Glazed Pork Belly with Baked Eggs: Breakfast, Upgraded to Dinner

For our second attempt at pork belly, we were inspired by Cooking Channel's television show "Everyday Exotic" with Chef Roger Mooking. For each episode, Mooking chooses his "obedient ingredient" and creates three or four dishes highlighting that ingredient. You can find the recipes on the show's website. However, when we made this dish, we were living without Internet in the aftermath of Winter Storm Alfred, so our recipe is adapted from the show. 

Pork belly, from which bacon and pancetta are made, is inherently tough, fatty and salty. The ultimate goal is to get the fat rendered into the meat which will make it tender and flavorful. This takes several steps (blanching, simmering, searing, roasting), but the result is definitely worth the effort.

We started the process, as Mooking did, by cutting the pork belly into 1-inch pieces and blanching them in boiling water for about 10 minutes. While the meat was blanching, we made a pickling liquid out of brown sugar, salt, whole cloves, whole peppercorns and apple cider vinegar. We brought half of this liquid to a low boil and simmered the pork belly pieces in it for a half hour. The other half of the pickling liquid we reduced to use as a glaze for finishing the pork belly.

After removing the pork belly from the pickling liquid, we patted it dry with paper towels and seared it on all sides in a very hot cast iron pan. During this time, we prepared our baked eggs for cooking. We then put the pan with the pork belly into the oven along with a cookie sheet on which the dishes with our about-to-be-baked eggs rested. We let everything bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

We made some toast. The timer rang. We drizzled the pork belly into the glaze and plated the dish. We dipped the toast into the creamy baked eggs then bit into the salty sweet smoky crispy glazed pork belly. Oh yeah. This is definitely bacon-and-egg-breakfast upgraded to dinner. Awesome.

Glazed Pork Belly

1 pound pork belly, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups water
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 dozen whole cloves
1 dozen whole peppercorns
3/4 cup brown sugar

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the pork belly cubes in it for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, make a pickling liquid by mixing the 4 cups of water with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Bring half of the pickling liquid to a boil. Remove the pork belly using from the blanching water using a slotted spoon or skimmer and place it in the boiling pickling liquid. Allow to simmer in the pickling liquid for 30 minutes.  Remove the pork belly with a slotted spoon or skimmer and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a cast iron skillet to very hot and sear the pork belly on all sides. Set oven to 400 degrees and place entire cast iron skillet, with pork belly, into the oven; roast for 15 minutes. Place the unused pickling liquid in a saucepan and heat to high; boil until reduced to a 3 or 4 syrupy tablespoons. After removing pork belly from oven, glaze with this "pickling syrup" and serve.


jck said...

That works for me breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Lacy said...

MMmmm pork belly is amazing. Great recipe!

Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny said...

What an interesting dish, this looks so delicious! :)

Steph said...

I wish you were my neighbor! This looks so amazing!!!

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

Yum! I love pork belly!

Lindselicious said...

YES!!! I love this as dinner. This looks amazing!

Russell at Chasing Delicious said...

This is my kind of dinner. Of course I'd love a breakfast like this!

fatpiginthemarket said...

Pork belly for breakfast...are you trying to steal my husband from me? This is decadent and I'm totally in!

PolaM said...

Have to try cooking pork belly! I love it, but I never tried cooking it myself. Your recipe looks great!