JARED’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of recipes that we’re featuring from Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World by Kevin Gillespie with David Joachim (Andrews McMeel Publishing). Don’t forget to read the review and enter our giveaway for a copy!
Pigs don’t have wings and that’s a damn shame. Look at what the wing has done for the chicken. The turkey. The duck. That beautiful, greasy dark meat seems like it would be perfect coming off the body of a pig. Instead, the pig has other spectacular sources of meat. The shoulder and loin are the primary cuts that people flock to, but for me it’s all about the belly.
The belly is where most bacon is derived, but it’s also home to the best tasting, most tender meat. Think about it. The shoulder and loin get a work out from moving around and support the animal. But that belly just hangs there. All of that flavor is just waiting to be slow cooked and devoured. Now, most butchers take the belly and turn it into bacon. That’s a guaranteed sale and it lasts longer in the case. But, if you get a belly, you have so many more options.
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Take the idea of a pork wing. These are popular on the menus of gastropubs and upscale bars, as they are not chicken and do not have a bone. In Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World, Chef Kevin Gillespie braises the pork belly and deep fries this goodness before tossing them in a traditional Buffalo sauce. Personally, I like them straight up or in a sticky Kansas City style barbecue sauce. Regardless of how you finish the batch, keep one plain one to the side to eat plain. Deep-fried pork belly will change your life.
Buffalo Pork “Wings”
From Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World by Kevin Gillespie with David Joachim, Andrews McMeel Publishing
- Canola oil for frying
- 2-pound slab Braised Pork Belly (see below)
- 5 oz. Frank’s Red Hot sauce
- 2 tbsp. butter, cubed
- Blue cheese or ranch dressing, for serving
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F.
Trim the top layer of fat off the pork belly down to the first layer of meat.
Cut lengthwise (the way you would slice bacon) into 1-inch-thick slices.
Crosswise, cut the rest of the pork belly to make pieces about 4 inches long and 1 inch thick.
In a saucepan, heat the hot sauce over medium heat just until bubbling around the edges. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter cubes one at a time until all are melted.
Fry the pork until crispy, about 5 minutes. Shake the fryer basket to remove excess oil. Drop the pork into the buttery hot sauce and toss to coat. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing.
Braised Pork Belly
- 1 (2-pound) center-cut slab raw pork belly
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 300°F.
Rub both sides of the pork belly with the salt and lay flat, fat side up, in a baking dish that is just a little larger than the slab. Add the vinegar; it should come about halfway up the side of the meat. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and braise in the oven for 3 hours.
Remove from the oven and let rest, wrapped in the foil, until the pork cools to room temperature.