Sunday, June 2, 2013

Creme Brulee-d Pork Belly Confit

Alright, we're going french and fancy. What is creme brulee-d pork belly confit? Caramelized bacon folks! CARAMELIZED BACON!  I saw this recipe and had to try it. I have tried to cook pork belly in the past and failed horribly. So I was determined to make this recipe work!! And it did!!! And it was delicious!!!

First a few quick definitions.

creme brulee = dessert consisting of a custard base topped with layer of hard caramel.
In this case, custard base is replaced with delicious pork belly.

confit = food that has been immersed in oil (never exceeding 85C) or sugar water. 

Make sure to give yourself enough time for this recipe. Start the morning the day before you want to serve. It needs to brine for 6 hours, confit for 4 hours, then chill for 12 hours before it can be served. On to the recipe!

~1 lb. pork belly
yellow mustard (for dipping)

4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 c. salt
1/4 c. orange blossom honey
4 c. water

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Creme Brulee:
2 Tbsp. pork fat or oil
white sugar (enough to cover pork skin)

Chef's Torch
10 skewers
saran wrap
aluminum foil
parchment paper

(day before serving)
1. Combine all brine ingredients in a pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until all of the salt is dissolved.

2. Chill until the brine is cooled.

3. Place pork in a zip lock bag and pour brine over pork.
4. Place zip lock bag in a deep dish so the pork is fully submerged, place in the fridge for 6 hours (I set a can of beer on mine once it was in the fridge to make sure it stayed submerged).

5. Preheat oven to 230 F.
6. Remove pork belly from brine and rinse it of any scraps, then pat really dry with a towel.
7. Place pork belly SKIN-SIDE DOWN in a baking dish. Make sure the baking dish that when filled with oil, the pork belly can be completely covered.

8. Heat up the oil in a pot over medium-low heat until warmed through.

9. Pour oil over pork belly and cover with aluminum foil.

10. Confit in the oven for 4 hours.

Overnight Prep:
11. Carefully remove the pork belly with a wide spatula without breaking the skin or meat.
12. Place on a cutting board SKIN-SIDE UP.

13. Tape together the wooden skewers and pierce the skin all over. Do this without breaking the fat layer underneath.

14. Invert the pork belly so it is SKIN-SIDE DOWN on a flat bottomed baking dish or plate and cover with saran wrap.

15. Place another flat plate or baking dish on top and weight it down with something relatively heavy (pot, cans, juice bottle, etc.).

16. Chill for a minimum of 12 hours.

(day of serving)
Crisp Skin:
17. Remove saran wrap and place pork belly on a cutting board. The skin should be FLAT!



18. Trim pork into a rectangle, removing any excess skin or fat.

19. Heat up 2 Tbsp. of the pork fat in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

20. Lay pork belly SKIN-SIDE DOWN in the pan then turn the heat to low. Be careful, it will be like a mini explosion (I got hit in the face with the oil so seriously, be careful). Place a piece of parchment paper over the pan with a small opening facing away from you. This will help keep the moisture in the pan and protect you from flying oil.

21. Cook for 18 minutes, then remove parchment paper and cook for another 5 minutes. The skin should be nice a crispy, through the entire skin layer. If not, let it cook for another 5 minutes.
22. Once done, flip pork belly over to warm the meat side for 1 to 2 minutes.

Creme Brulee:
23. Place pork belly on a board, SKIN-SIDE UP.

24. Cover skin with a layer of sugar, enough so you can not see the skin.

25. Caramelize with the sugar with a blow torch until melted and browned. Tip: hold the torch further away so as not to burn the skin but still melt the sugar.

26. Let caramel harden, about 2 minutes.

27. Turn pork SKIN-SIDE DOWN and cut with a very sharp knife.
28. Dip in mustard and stuff face!

Original Recipe

Might also enjoy:
Beer Boiled Brats
Prosciutto wrapped Scallops
over Grits
Bourbon Bacon Brownies

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