Introduction: Slow Cooked Pork Belly With Braised Cabbage & Apples
Pork Belly = Bacon.
Pork belly is the uncured, uncut, unsmoked fatty meat from the belly of a pig.
This dish will essentially be BACON for DINNER!
A great hearty dish with slow cooked pork belly (bacon) over some beautiful purple cabbage. Contains your meat, veggies and fruits!
Step 1: Ingredients & Tools
- 1-1.5 pounds pork belly
- 11 ounces hard apple cider
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- .5 tablespoon mustard seeds, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoons juniper berries, freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chicken or pork stock
- 2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup sliced apples
- Skillet (preferably do NOT use a non-stick)
- Slow cooker
- Ziploc or vacuum seal bags
Step 2: Marinate
- If there is a large fat cap on the top of the pork belly the better (more flavor). Score the fat with a knife down to the meat. Rotate the slab 90 degrees and score the fat again. This will help the fat render and not shrink the slab as it cooks. Most importantly during the broiling process.
- Try to avoid cutting down into the meat if possible.
- Cut the pork belly slab into 2 equal sized chunks.
To make the brine, combine apple cider, salt, sugar, mustard seed, and juniper berries in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Allow brine to cool.
- In a Ziploc bag, pour brine over pork belly
- Use vacuum bags or a vacuum container to marinate if possible. This will help the marinate to penetrate into the meat.
- Allow pork belly to marinate for 12-24 hours.
Step 3: Cooking
- Remove the pork belly from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. A dry surface will help with pork belly sear in the next steps.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet on high heat.
- Sear the pork belly approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
Avoid checking the coloring for the 2-3 minutes to allow the meat and fat to properly sear.
Allow the pork belly to cool for a few minutes
- Place the pork belly in the slow cooker. Add the chicken (or pork) stock and apple cider vinegar.
- Liquid should NOT cover the pork belly.
- Cook on low heat for 6 hours or until internal temperature is 160F.
Step 4: Searing
- Heat a skillet to high heat.
- Add the pork belly and sear for a few minutes to re-heat and crisp
- Add pork belly over top of cabbage and apples.
Step 5: Cabbage and Apples
- Chop the cabbage and apples.
- Add the cabbage and apples into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add enough liquid from the slow cooker to cover the cabbage and apples.
- Allow the cabbage and apples to braise in the liquid until soft.
- Lightly strain the cabbage and apples and serve.
- Place the broiled pork belly on top of the cabbage and apple and ENJOY!