This recipe is a bit time consuming but well worth it!
I first tasted this dish at the Anderson Valley Alsace festival (now known as “White Wine Weekend”). It was prepared by Beau MacMillan, the Executive Chef at Arizona’s Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. I’ve adjusted some of the ingredients and procedures to make the recipe a little more home-friendly, for those of us who don’t benefit from a team of prep cooks.
Pork belly is generally available through most good butchers these days, but you may want to call ahead just to be sure.
The preparation begins with the rub applied to the meat, which remains on for a brief 2 hours before the meat is seared and then slow-roasted. The recipe is broken into three sections – one for the meat, one for the dressing, and one for the salad (photo, left).
Pair this with a rich and aromatic white wine or a good dry to off-dry rosé. Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, unoaked/lightly oaked Chardonnay or Riesling would be among my top picks. Rosé fans will like the way the wine plays off the sweet-tart nature of the ingredients, and how the fruit complements the pork.
Ingredients – Pork Belly
- 1-2 lb. Pork Belly (ask your butcher to remove the thin, tough skin on top of the fat)
- ~1 Cup Salt
- ~1.5 Cups Sugar (I use a mix of brown and baking sugar)
- Zest from one orange, one lemon, and one lime
- 2 Sprigs fresh rosemary, stripped from stems and chopped
Combine all ingredients, place half in a non-reactive pan, place pork top, meat-side up, and massage the remaining rub into the top and sides. Cure pork belly for ~2 hours. About 20 minutes before it’s done curing, pre-heat your oven to 475F. Rinse the rub off the meat and place in a roasting pan, fat-side up. Roast at 475F for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 250F and cook for another 30+ minutes – checking every five minutes after that, removing it from the oven when much of the fat is rendered and the meat is done but still a bit pink. If the fatty top is not caramelized and bubbly, put it under the broiler for a minute or so – but watch it closely, and don’t take any phone calls from mom.
Ingredients – Soy Sesame Vinaigrette
Yield: approx. 1 cup
- 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1/2 Tbsp. Ginger, chopped fine
- 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic, chopped fine
- 1 Tbsp. Green onion, chopped fine
- 1 pinch Red chili flakes
- 1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup Mirin
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce – low-sodium highly recommended
- 1/4 cup Brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch (dissolved in 1/4 cup water)
Heat a saucepan over medium heat for couple of minutes. Add the oil, wait about 30 seconds, then add the garlic, ginger, green onion and chili flake. Sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds) and then add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer a couple of minutes until thickened. Strain and cool (alternative – I liked the idea of a wilted salad, and although kale isn’t prone to wilting, I opted to heat the dressing and apply it to the kale salad just before serving.)
Kale Salad Ingredients
- 1-2 bunches of Kale (1/2 – 1 pound)
- 1 C Fresh blueberries or golden raisins
- 1/2 C dried cranberries or cherries
- 1/2 C pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1/3 C Sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 C Shredded carrots
- 1 Tbsp Chopped mint
Wash kale, remove and discard stems, then chop. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, dress with the soy-sesame vinaigrette (hot, if you so choose) toss lightly and season with salt to taste. Serve family style on a large platter, or on individual salad plates. Top with pork belly cut into 1-inch slices.
Recipe originally from Beau MacMillan, Executive Chef.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
5700 E. McDonald Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
“#1 Resort in the United States” – Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards
“#1 Resor in Arizona” – Travel + Leisure 500 Best Hotels in the World for 2012