Pork belly is a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig and particularly popular in Hispanic, Chinese, Danish, Norwegian, Korean, Thai and Filipino cuisine. It’s one of the most delicious, decadent, unctuous bites of food you can have - a good reason to have it only once in a while, or balance it out with something lighter like a salad.
2 lb pork belly
1 cup table salt
For The Marinade
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Grand Marnier or orange-flavored liqueur
2 tbsp brown sugar 2 cloves garlic minced
Using a paper towel, pat skin of pork belly until it is completely dry.
Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and then pour into a rectangular pan that is big enough to hold the pork belly.
Place pork belly into the pan, making sure only the meat touches the marinade and the skin stays completely dry. If the marinade level is too high you can pour some of it out. Place in fridge for several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Completely line a roasting pan with foil (this will make clean-up much easier). Pour 1 inch of water into bottom of pan. Place wire rack on top of roasting pan to hold the pork belly.
Place the pork belly on the wire rack. The pork belly will cook above the water, with the pork drippings dripping down below into the water. Make sure the pork belly is level (if one part is lower/shorter the skin will not cook evenly. if you have to, use something oven-safe to prop up a shorter part to keep it completely level).
Spread 1 cup of salt evenly across the pork belly skin. Place into top half of oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until meat looks cooked.
Remove pork belly and increase oven temperature to 465°F. The salt that was poured over pork belly should have formed a crust. Remove salt crust from pork belly. Wipe off any excess salt from the pork belly skin. Once oven has reached desired temperature, place pork belly back into oven. Bake for another 30 minutes until skin is completely bubbly and crisp. Let pork belly cool a few minutes before cutting and serving.
Dress the greens with the dressing below and top with a few fennel fronds and if you like, toasted pecans.
Orange Fennel Dressing
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh fennel bulb (Save some whole fronds to put on the greens).
Try this with a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc like Starborough (which would make my good friend, Cindy, very happy).