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Pork Belly Question?

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  • Pork Belly Question?

    So...yesterday I purchased my first Pork Belly. I took it out just now to look at it, and the layer of skin was very tough and thick. So my question to the experts is, do you roast it with the skin on? I'm afraid if I do that, there will be an impenetrable armour on my meat when I take it out of the oven.

    If I take the skin off first, and cut into small pieces, can I make cracklings with it?

    This is a new one for me, and thanks for the advice!

  • #2
    ive just made pork belly for lunch. I fry it till its all crispy on the outside, skin and all. I know people like to roast it, skin on, aswell.
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    • #3
      Thanks, MeatMe!!!

      I'm gonna roast this sucker whole, and maybe make a spicy dipping sauce <3

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      • #4
        The skin becomes very tough/chewy. I cut it off and lightly fry it, so its edible but crisp!
        Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!

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        • #5
          Cool, Tara!!!
          I also found this recipe while I was goofing around: http://rasamalaysia.com/pork-belly-recipe-siu-yuk/, so I'm gonna try this.
          Maybe the brief par-boiling will make the skin come out more tender?

          I'll letcha know ;-)

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          • #6
            We roast it with the skin on. The skin goes very crispy and is what we Aussies call pork crackle (probably from the English). It's usually considered an essential part of a pork roast

            When doing a big pork belly roast though, we end up with more crackle than we can eat. It's ok the next day cold from the fridge, but no where near as good as fresh.

            If you aren't getting your skin to crackle up, then here's a few things to try:
            Cook your roast hotter at first (maybe 360F?) to start the crackle off, then turn it down to cook the meat (320F?). It all depends upon the size/thickness of the roast.
            Make sure your skin can dry out. You don't want fat pooling on the surface, so prop up the middle of the roast if you are cooking it flat (we have used a halved onion for this). Otherwise you can roll up the roast so the skin is all around the outside (and tie off with cooking string).
            Coat the skin with some lard. This probably helps get it hotter and keeps the moisture out.
            We don't use any salt in our house, but the muggles usually rub a bit of salt into the skin to help it dry out.

            You just want it to get dry by rendering all of the fat out of it. The fat then runs through the meat and makes it tastier (much more important for a leaner roast than pork belly).
            The "Seven Deadly Sins"

            Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
            Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
            Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

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            • #7
              Awesome, Tarlach!!!
              I was hoping you would chime in as well :-)

              I found a great source of organic pork belly at a really REALLY good price, so I'm hoping to have it often.
              <drool>

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              • #8
                Siu-Yuk update.

                Turned out only okay :-( I cut the salt in half automatically, but it was still too much. I'm not sure the par-boiling did anything, but the skin did turn out crispy, not tough or hard.

                Downside is, the frying process is VERY messy and splattery (even with the so-called "splatter screen"), and I almost got nailed by flying grease. Also, you really need about four other people to eat with you, I had three small pieces, and I'm full.

                I'll cook it it the way you guys do, from now on!

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                • #9
                  My favorite way to prepare pork belly is roasting it in the oven at 450 for half an hour and then turning the heat down to 350 for an hour to and hour fifteen. Turns out amazing each time. I cut slits into the skin and put a little bit of salt and black paper in them. Sometimes I'll put a fennell stalk on top of the pork belly so the little bits from the head burn off and give an interesting flavor to the pork. The skin turns out somewhere between crispy and hard but if you cut the skin off after it's done and fry it the next day after a night in the fridge, it gets awesome.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, GtrBMart.
                    I'm sold on pork belly as a meat---the flavor is awesome.
                    I'm just gonna do it in the oven from now on, as I spent an hour just now de-greasing my kitchen ;-)

                    Thanks for all the help, guys and gals!

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                    • #11
                      the last piece of pork belly i purchased had nipples on it. Was a little freaked out at first, but once they were crispy I had no promblem eating nips.
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