Oh pork belly glorious pork belly, how I love thee! There are few cuts of meat that provoke as much excitement as a deliciously tender hunk! The perfect decadent ratio of meat to fat, it`s just pure porky delight.
For a number of years now pork belly has become an increasingly popular menu item at restaurants from various cuisines around the world. My question, why don`t more people make this at home? Really, it`s perfect as a centerpiece entrée for guests or a great starter for a multicourse feast. And…the best part is it`s SUPER SIMPLE to prepare!
I guess you probably know where we`re going. Yep, this simple man`s plan to better eating is coming at you with Milk Braised Pork Belly. A few easy spices & aromatic herbs, a couple of cups of milk, some hands off oven time & the result is meaty, piggy, melt in your mouth bliss.Here`s what you`ll need for your Milk Braised Pork Belly:
Pork Belly- skin removed
Olive Oil- 2 Tablespoons
Milk- 2-4 cups depending on the size of your roasting pan
Fennel Seed- 2 Tablespoons toasted & crushed
Crushed Red Pepper- 1 teaspoon
Rosemary- a few sprigs (Thyme &/or Sage would be beautiful as well)
Garlic- 6 cloves peeled
S & P
The star of the show.Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. With a sharp knife score the top fatty side in a crosshatch pattern about 1 inch by 1 inch. Only cut through the top fat being careful not to cut into the meat.Season well with sea salt & fresh pepper. Rub the olive oil into the pork with 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary & the crushed red pepper. Really try to get the seasoning down into those shallow cuts. Place into a metal baking dish or Dutch oven & roast for 25-30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven & reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Add the milk to the pan being careful not to pour over the top. Fill until the milk reaches about 3/4 of the way up your pork belly. Add the garlic cloves, remaining fennel seeds & rosemary sprigs to the milk bath. You don`t want to use a glass or ceramic baking dish because it might shatter when adding the milk to the hot pan. Return to the oven & roast for another 1 1/2 hours.This is looking so amazing!
Remove from the roasting pan to a plate & loosely tent with foil for about 15 minutes to rest before slicing. You`d hate to lose all those glorious juices to the cutting board! Your ready to serve! I told you it was easy but now the best part! Time to eat!
Slice into pieces or chunks & get ready for the groans of pleasure that`re about to come from those lucky enough to be at the table. Trust me here, they`re coming!
Enjoy your Milk Braised Pork Belly!