This sticky smoky pork belly recipe is everything y’all. If you are anything like me, then you enjoy eating pork from time to time. I grew up eating bacon, ribs, heck even chitterlings for that matter. As far as my memories serves me, I do not recall eating “pork belly”. Even as I type this, the only thing that I could compare it to is what we call Fat Back. A quick google search and voila! They are pretty similar but the do come from different cuts of the pig. Pork belly has some meat and is close to the area where bacon comes from. Fat back comes from the back of the pig and is simply just that FAT!
If you have never had the pleasure of eating pork belly, let me be the first to tell you that you are truly missing out. It is extremely common in England and if you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you will know that I have a soft spot for these tiny morsels of goodness. If you are looking for a few spots to try them out check out my post on Las Iguanas or Tap N Kitchen. These places serve up some amazing pork belly bites. In fact, they are the inspiration behind me wanting to create my own pork belly recipe.
Sticky Smoky Pork Belly
After two successful trials, I am happy to say that my pork belly is outstanding. I tried two different cuts, the first was in small cubes the second was in 1/2 slices. Either way is okay, I suppose it just depends on the use i.e. an appetizer for a party vs putting it in a rice bowl. What is important is the jam packed flavor that this recipe creates. Lessons that I am imparting on you so that you do not make the same mistake I did.
- Remove the thick skin layer – it is just like our skin…well definitely thicker than our skin but the pork belly I had still had hair in it. Thick course hair…and I doubt pig hair is a delicacy.
- Remove the thick skin layer before you cut it into chunks. My first mistake was trying remove it after it was cut up in cubes….see #1 as to why that is a bad idea.
The dry rub ensures the pork belly bites have flavor before the sticky element is added. I love that the dry rub gives it its smoky flavor and let’s face it pork was made to be smoky.
Next, when baking the pork belly, I recommend cooking it at 400 degrees for roughly 8 minutes. Since the pork belly has a high proportion of fat, it basically fries itself under intense heat. Once the pork belly is cooked, remove it from the oven and place it in a skillet. Again, the fat content of lends itself to creating a nice crispiness on the outside of the pork belly. Lastly, the real magic happens when you top it with the glaze. It creates a sweet sticky sauce that takes the pork belly bites out of this world.
Here is the recipe, feel free to give it a try and let me know what you think. If you make it be sure to tag #mettlefork for a chance at a feature.