Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Pork Belly Experiment - Confit of Pork Belly

Beautiful pork belly from our local butcher, note that the top skin is still on but it has been de-boned.

I carefully remove the top-skin and set it aside, do not discard.

All the ingredients prepared to cure the pork belly. Star Anise, Juniper berry, Bay leaf, Kosher salt, Brown sugar & wine.

Lovely cinnamon sticks.

Detail shot of the curing mixture on the pork belly in preparation to store in the fridge for two days.

Another shot of the mixture on top of the pork belly in preparation to store in the fridge.

I love pork belly!

Place in the deepest, coldest part of your fridge. Use the top-skin as a blanket to prevent from drying out too soon.

Note how compact the pork belly has become, the colour has also intensified. The pork has become more dense.

Pork belly in the pot covered in olive oil in preparation to be poached for 5 hours.

Detail shot of the pork belly cut into pieces to fit the pot. Note that the top-skin is lining the bottom of the pot.

Make sure that you use enough olive oil to cover the pork.

Once ready bring the pork belly up to a simmer. Do not cook covered, do not rush this process.

Just a shot of the pork belly on my range.

Just a detail shot of the pork as it cooks. Once the colour changes and deepens you are getting close to being done.

Beautifully cooked and cooled pork belly. Store in air tight container. 

When you are ready to serve. Cut into portions. Sear in a pan and serve with a celery root, yukon potato mash.


Pork Belly – boned and top skin removed
Cinnamon Sticks
Star Anise
Juniper berries
Dark brown sugar
Kosher salt
Bay leaf
Olive oil
White wine


Day One

To prepare the pork belly make sure that it has the rib bones removed. If you have a good butcher ask them to remove for you. The top skin should be removed as close to the time that you are going to prepare the dish.
Remove the top skin. Do not discard the skin.
Prepare the ingredients and combine:  star anise, cinnamon, juniper berries, peppercorns, dark brown sugar, bay leaf and kosher salt
Dry the pork belly and place in a shallow tray.
Pour the mixed ingredients all over the pork belly and rub the mixture into the meat.
Pour the wine over the pork belly.
Blanket the top skin over the whole pork belly and place in the coolest part of your fridge. Store over night.

Day Two

Check the progress of the pork belly – you will notice that there is a significant amount of liquid. Drain it.
Flip the pork belly and re-position the top skin on the top to blanket the curing pork belly.
Place the pork belly back into the fridge.

Day Three

Remove the pork belly from the fridge.
Place in a large pot that allows for the pork belly to fit without too much spare room as you will be using olive oil as the poaching liquid. You do not want to waste too much unnecessarily.
If you need to cut as I have with this one please try to maximize the size of the pork – keeping in mind what is the planned portion size.
Pour enough olive oil to cover the whole pork belly completely.
Bring up to a simmer and leave it at a good low simmer. Step away – keeping temperature at about 120 – 130F.
The planned poaching time is a bit hard to judge – it is a matter of colouring and tenderness.
I anticipate that the required time is a minimum of 4 -5 hours.  Please see the colour in the final photos to compare with your end results.
Remove from the olive oil poaching liquid. Do not discard. You can reuse after you strain the sediment.
Cool and then store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
I would suggest that you cool and store over night before you serve.

How to Serve

Once you have decided to indulge and serve this confit of pork belly to yourself or your guests.  I would suggest that you have some mash prepared, a reduction of basalmic or a gastric to glaze.
Cut the pork belly into the desired portion size and heat a pan and then sear on all sides and serve immediately.



  1. Oh my goodness, what a thing of beauty! I've been looking to execute and post TK's pork belly confit recipe for a while now. I think your stunning step by step has propelled me to do so sooner than later. I must have pork belly!

  2. Great detailing!