Tonight was the first time I ever served pork belly, let alone sous vide pork belly. Thanks to my SousVide Supreme, it wasn’t a disaster and I didn’t have to order takeout as a back up. In fact, it turned out pretty yummy.
A few nights ago, I brined two ¾-pound bricks of pork belly per the guidelines I found on David Barzelay’s site, Eat Foo.
(Yes, the brine has brown sugar in it.)
The following morning, I removed the bellies out of the brine, dried them, and vacuum sealed them.
Then, I dunked them in my SousVide Supreme (set at 160 F) and let them hang for 24 hours. After a day passed, I put them in an ice bath and then stored them in the fridge until I cooked them off tonight for company.
I wasn’t sure whether or not to reheat the pork bellies in my SousVide Supreme before searing them so I opted to dunk them back in for 30 minutes at 160 F. It might have been a mistake because when I tried to weigh the pork bellies down to flatten them post bath, the fat layer sheared right off the meat. Oh well. I decided to brown the four pieces separately and reassemble afterwards.
To sear the pork belly, I heated my cast iron skillet to medium high with 1 tablespoon of lard. Then, I removed the pork bellies from their bags, pat them dry, and scored the fatty side with a sharp knife.
I browned the fat side for a good 4-5 minutes undisturbed and flipped it over to cook for an additional minute on the other side.
The other two pieces were meatier, so I just seared them a minute on each side.
I plated them and then reassembled them to look like two solid pieces again.
Since I wasn’t sure we’d have enough meat to eat, I crisped up my last two sous vide chicken thighs straight from the fridge (6 minutes skin side down…
…then 2 minutes on the meat side).
Here’s our meat on a chipped serving platter:
For veggie sides, I served spinach and shallots sautéed in lard…
…roasted butternut squash in lard…
…and curried cream of broccoli soup.
Here’s my dinner plate:
The pork belly was tasty but the chicken thighs were awesome! I love that I can fry them straight from the fridge!