- Pork Belly
“Grilling fat slices of fresh pork belly (3/4” thick) is the greatest thing to grill since, well, everything else. So delicious, pleasantly chewy, fatty and juicy. There are endless things that grilled belly could pair with a warm lentil salad (al dente green lentils, charred onions, veggie brunoise, parsley, vinaigrette), a toasty Zuni Cafe style bread salad (toasted levain bread, currants, raw greens, chicken drippings), or an escarole and persimmon salad (raw escarole, shaved fuyu persimmon, ricotta salata, chopped pistachios, lemon juice and olive oil). I also just eat it on its own with my hands like it’s a hot-n-porky Charleston Chew. ”
- Salt only before cooking, a couple hours before cooking ideally so the salt penetrates nicely (e.g. salt, slap the slices back together and put back in the refrigerator while you prep other stuff).
- Grill over medium heat, ideally a bed of coals that are on their way down the backside of peak burn. Belly slices can go over direct heat, just make sure it’s not an intense direct heat.
- If you’re getting pork fat napalm bombs with flame roaching the belly slices, that’s a clue that the heat is too high. Remove pork, spread the coals a bit and let them die off a touch before resuming.
- Go gently on each side once or twice until the slices are nicely browned and the fat has rendered a bit. It will not look like bacon, nor should it. It’ll get crispy but not crunchy.
- There is no “done” but it’s definitely not “medium rare” if there is one (and definitely no temping something so slim). Let this baby go. If you’re in control of the coals and not starting a bonfire, the slices can cook gently for a while.
- Remove from heat and put the slices into any kind of plate or platter that will collect the juices. The juice that’ll come off the slices is pure gold so save it. Or put the grilled slices directly onto whatever you’re serving them with and all the good stuff will trickle down.