Friday, July 8, 2011

The Day Of the Pork Belly.......

Today I decided to tackle the Pork Belly that I got from Newman Farms at the Memphis farmers market.  I am all about using local ingredients.  I want to support my local farms for a few reasons.  Number one, the food tastes better, and number two, I know where my food is coming from.  The difference in taste and quality is second to none.  So here is the belly that Mark sold me.
That is one piece of delicious porky goodness. If you look back to the primals post I did you can see where the belly comes from.  It is not only the belly but the side of the hog.  You can see where the spareribs were once attached to this cut of meat.

For this recipe we will be using the thicker cut by the spareribs to make a traditional style bacon.  This recipe is from the Book Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.  Very simple to make.  Takes approximately seven days in the refer then the smoking to 150 degrees F, chill in the freezer for three hours then slice.  We will get more in depth into the smoking process next week when these little beauties are out of the fridge and into the smoker.  I started with the pork belly(2lb 4oz. 1033g)

And added 50g of the basic cure, and 20g of Turbinado sugar.  This got Vac Sealed and will be in the fridge for a week.  Coming up you will get the spicy Lola bacon and my recipe for pancetta.

I am sure that most of you have heard of Michael Symon He started Lola and other restaurant's in Cleveland area.  And since I am from Cleveland, and that he has the same culinary point of view of mine, I thought that the first post I do of pork belly had to consist of some of his influence.  I have to tell you I have eaten at Lola, and Lolita and am a huge fan!! His menu is straight up porky goodness!

This how I got started.  You can see Michael Symon's Live to Cook in the background it is a great book!!  This is my variation on his recipe.
  • 883g, 2lb pork belly(heritage of course)
  • 1/4 C 60g kosher salt
  • 2tsp 10g Pink salt #1
  • 1/4 C 48g Turbinado Sugar
  • 2T 8g Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2T 12 g smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/4C 100g honey (from remember source local!!!!
  • 1tsp Cumin seed Toasted

Mix all of the above ingredients and coat the pork belly.  Trust me I know how much a pain in the ass this is.  But the color and smells you get from this are amazing.  This is going to sit in the fridge for a minimum of seven days, to see its stiffness then it is going to hit the smoke chamber.  I will update on this one.  Check out the pics after it had the master Aaron rub down.

MMMMMMmmmmmm Spicy smokey goodness!!!!!

Now onto the last endeavor of the day. Yes I have been playing with pork belly for most of the day.  I did help a friend get in touch with the digital revolution earlier... but that is an entirely separate story.  Okay Moving on.  Pancetta Is the God of Italian Bacon.  And as you all know, bacon is Foodie Candy.  I came up with this recipe after reading just about every Charcuterie book out there.  This post will document the curing process.  I will get the hanging one up in two weeks.  This cut will sit in the fridge for two weeks being overhauled every other day(pulled out and rubbed down).  I wish I got as much attention as the meat I cured.  Anyway this is how we started today.

  • 4lb 1814g Pork belly
  • 1/4C 60g Kosher salt
  • 2tsp 10g Pink salt #1
  • 3T 38g Turbinado Sugar
  • 4clv 25g Garlic Chopped
  • 1T 2g Fresh Rosemary chopped
  • 1T 2g Fresh Thyme chopped
  • 1T 3g crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3T 20g Tellicherry peppercorns crushed
  • 1T 5g Juniper berries crushed
  • 4 ea Bay leaves crushed
  • Little bit of porky love.
Mix all of the above together and rub all over your belly.  OK now wait, don't take your shirt off yet, this is meant for the pork.  Get this in every nook and cranny of your pork belly and seal.  This is going to sit in the fridge for 7-14 days until it is firm and ready to be hung.  It is then going into the cure chamber.  I will update when ready to hang. 
Remember what I say, Support your local farmers and restaurants.  This is where we need to get our country going with fresh and natural foods.  Thank you for supporting my blog.  Please become a follower to my blog at or to my hardcorpsfoodie twitter.  Plenty of fun stuff a coming!!!

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