Braised Pork Belly with Creamy Grits

  • TOTAL PREP TIME
    290 minutes
  • DIFFICULTY
    Medium
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Braised Pork Belly with Creamy Grits

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds pork belly skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter OR grapeseed oil
  • 1 bottle pinot noir or other red wine
  • 4 cups veal stock OR vegetable stock (32 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 rib celery cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 ounces fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 teaspoons honey light flavored (such as alfalfa)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white grits OR yellow grits or polenta (not instant)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 960 calories
  • Protein: 13 grams
  • Fat: 79 grams
  • Sodium: 1120 milligrams
  • Cholesterol: 175 milligrams
  • Saturated Fat: 37 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 34 grams
  • Fiber: 1 grams

Cooking Directions

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a very sharp knife, carefully split pork belly crosswise in half. Season both sides of both pieces with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons clarified butter in a large heavy skillet or 6-quart braiser pan. Add one pork belly piece, fat side down. Cook until fat is nicely brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn pork belly piece over and brown the other side. Transfer pork belly to a plate; discard fat in skillet or pan. Repeat browning with remaining 2 tablespoons clarified butter and pork belly piece. Discard fat from skillet or pan.

With skillet or braiser pan away from heat, add 1/3 cup wine. Return skillet or pan to heat and cook over low heat, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan; remove from heat. If using braiser pan, return pork belly pieces to pan. If using skillet, pour liquid from skillet into a 6-quart Dutch oven and add pork. To the pork, add remaining wine, stock, onion, celery, carrot and thyme. Bring to boil and cover tightly

Bake in preheated oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove and let pork belly cool completely. Reserve braising liquid.

Portion pork belly into 3 ounce to 4 ounce rectangle pieces. Place belly pieces in a large skillet or braising pan with enough of the braising liquid to cover.

Reheat on stove top over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F.

Creamy grits: Bring heavy cream and water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Slowly stir in grits. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until fully cooked. Stir in salt and pepper.

Serving Suggestions: Serve pork belly portions over a small mound of grits and drizzle with honey. If desired, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons hot strained braising liquid and garnish with snipped thyme.

Makes 6 servings pork and 3 cups creamy grits.

Quick tips: Look for pork bellies at Asian or Hispanic markets or order them online if your supermarket or butcher shop does not carry them.
For a cook who does not want to make their own clarified butter, use grapeseed oil because it too has a high smoke point and bland in flavor.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Mark Hibbs of Ratcliffe on the Green in Charlotte, N.C.