Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pork Belly Confit with Truffle Honey [Zack]

Confit pork belly is one of the best things you can make in your kitchen.  The belly of a pig is what is commonly used to make bacon.  Instead of the usual curing and smoking process to make bacon, you should try confit. 

When you look at the cross-section of pork belly, you’ll see alternating layers of meat and fat.  The confit process transforms the meat part into a delicate pulled pork-type texture and the fat becomes soft and creamy.  When you want to serve the belly, cut it into cubes, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, and crisp the outside.  You can choose to top it with a sauce or glaze, or just eat it right out of the pan.  I chose to drizzle the crispy belly with truffle honey.  That was a good decision.

This is a 5-ingredient recipe: pork belly, some type of cooking fat, salt, pepper, and truffle honey.  It takes a bit of time to make, but it’s all idle time, not hard work.


Ask your butcher for as much pork belly as you’d like to cook (a.k.a. how big is your pot?)  Make sure they take the bones out of the underside so you don’t have to deal with those later.  The more square the cut is from the butcher, the better your outcome will be in the end.  But I never bother with a square cut – I consider the extra scraps I cut off bonus nibbles.

Take the belly home and cure it.  I covered it with a generous amount of sea salt and black pepper and put it in a covered container in my fridge.

After about 2 days, take the belly out and wipe off the excess salt.  Place the belly in an oven-proof pot and submerge it completely in fat.  I used a combination of pork fat and canola oil, but any non-flavored oil will suit.  Bring the pot to a gentle simmer.

Cover the pot and place it in an oven at 300F/150C.  The cooking time will vary depending on how thick the belly is.  Mine took around 5.5 hours.  You know it’s finished when a knife slides into the meat side easily (similar to ribs). 

Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool off.  Place the belly in the fridge – it will keep for a week or so.  Theoretically it should not spoil as long as it’s submerged in fat and you discard the meat juice. 

The belly is easier to slice if it’s straight out of the fridge.  Remove the skin.

Cut the pork belly into cubes or strips.

Place it into a cold frying pan with a little bit of the confit fat and crisp all of the sides over medium heat.

If you’re using a glaze, pour off the excess fat and gently coat all sides of the belly.  If you can find some truffle honey, use that.

Drizzle the honey over the pork belly when it's still hot.


Pork belly (skin on or off, up to you)
Sea salt
Black pepper
Pork fat or other type of non-flavored oil
Truffle honey

Glaze ideas:
A sticky hoisin sauce glaze (from this recipe)
Roasted red pepper puree and honey
Honey with rosemary and garlic

Song: Paolo Nutini - Let Me Down Easy