There is nothing better than pork belly. Nothing.
If you’ve never had it, or never cooked it before, it’s time for you to rectify that situation. Stat. This simple pork belly recipe will help you do just that.
I was pretty sure I had shared a pork belly recipe in the past but apparently that was just a pan fried pork belly and spinach salad rather than just pork belly in general.
In a recent email newsletter to The Paleo Porn Family I posed the following question: “What is the one thing that you wish existed that would make your Paleo life easier?” and several of the responses were simple paleo recipes.
At that response I realized that a lot of the recipes that make it to this blog are ones that I am proud of or that feature a more unusual ingredient that people wouldn’t normally pick up. I do that on purpose to help broaden your day to day recipes.
That is the teacher in me, trying to increase your kitchen literacy.
If when you go to the grocery store, you always pick up the same old things, I hope that when you come across one of my recipes that it inspires you to learn something new about an ingredient you’ve never worked with before.
Simple Always Wins
The problem with the way I’ve approached sharing my recipes is that I never think to share the simple stuff I’m making on a regular basis. I tend to share these simple recipes as food porn on our social media platforms instead of recording and sharing the recipes here on the blog.
I also forget that not everyone has the same understanding of the kitchen as I do. And some people just don’t have the same amount of time to devote to learning something new.
And that’s when I realized I had not shared this simple paleo pork belly recipe yet with you!
If you take a scroll through our Instagram account, you’ll likely find that pork belly (and oxtail) vie for the majority of our regular meals.
Where To Find Pork Belly
The best resource, of course, is to get local pork belly straight from the farm. Here in Chicago we have a local resource for our meat thanks to Nature’s Choice Farm though there are several other options available for pasture-raised pork in our area.
If you don’t have access (or time) to source locally, straight from a farmer, the next best choice would be to seek out a butcher or local heath food store. Whole Foods tends to have pork belly off and on. No matter where you shop, if you ask at the meat counter they will tell you what they have available and when. You’ll typically have to order pork belly by the pound so they can cut a chunk off the slab for you.
On a whim one day, while taking a field trip to Costco with a friend (since we don’t have a membership) I found a huge amount of pork belly (not pasture-raised, mind you which I was perfectly fine with) that I simply couldn’t pass up. We were dining on swine for over a week with that giant cut and it was amazing!
Had a fantastic Interval class at Daley Method today followed by restorative & meditation yoga. Was introduce to @doterra Passion EO and absolutely loved it! Came home feeling energized ???? and immediately hit the kitchen to make some pork belly & lemon roasted potatoes. Now it's time to get some work done! #letsdothis #paleo #porkyporkpork #paleoporn @daileymethod @tdmelmhurst
Know Your Cut
If you’re unfamiliar with this cut, you might be wondering if pork belly is in fact from the belly of a pig? And it is!
What you might not realize is that bacon is pork belly that has been cured, smoked, and sliced. And you can actually make homemade bacon with your chunk of pork belly if you wanted to experiment with a kitchen project. Bill & Hayley at Primal Palate have a recipe they’ve experimented with for makin’ bacon, if you’re up to give it a go.
I’ve never made it myself because we don’t own a smoker but I have cooked fresh smoked pork chops, thanks to the folks at Local Foods in Chicago for doing the smoking part for me and OMG does a smoker create some amazing flavor!
This Recipe Couldn’t Be Simpler
I promise you have nothing to fear with this recipe, especially if you’ve never cooked pork belly before. It truly is a simple, delicious and hearty meal.
Once you salt the slab of swine (and optionally season with whatever herbs and seasonings you would like) simply slice a few shallow cuts on both sides of the meat to let the juices flow while it’s cooking and within an hour or so you’ll have an amazing meal, ready to rock the dinner table.
Special Occassion or Weekday Meal
You don’t have to save this meal for a special occassion but it does look pretty fancy to guests. I served pork belly and Greek potatoes on New Year’s Eve to usher in 2016 but as I said, you’ll find me making pork belly on a weeknight as well.
It’s quite versatile and a really filling meal, since there’s lots of tasty fat in this cut. And that’s why you want to source from a pasture-raised and local place, whenever possible.