Pork Belly with Mixed Herbs, Garlic & Maple Sous Vide

Pork Belly

Pork belly, for most Americans is generally cured and smoked for bacon, that universal breakfast treat so often taken for granted. Because the belly is a relatively inexpensive cut and can be fatty, it sometimes doesn't impress diners as meatier, leaner tenderloin or chop.

But the times they are a changing. Nowadays pork belly is the darling of high end and hipster restaurants everywhere. Raw, unsmoked pork belly may come with or without the skin. I love the addition of the skin, its texture and lip smacking flavor makes pork belly unique and delicious.

Regardless of the cuisine, the typical method for cooking pork belly is braising. Many recipes cure the belly with a spice rub first and then braise it in a liquid that ranges from a seasoned stock to soy sauce. The slow, cooking transforms the belly into pure unctuousness. The cooking can stop there or the belly can be pan-fried or crisped in the oven before serving.

Sous Vide replaces the often messy and time consuming centuries old technique of braising. The prolonged and low temperature of the SV1 water bath transforms the belly and leaves you with all the cooking liquid that I have spiked with maple syrup, garlic, herbs and lemon for a rich and deeply satisfying glaze.

This recipe offers you the belly perfectly cooked in addition to the cooking liquid for a glaze but feel free to use the belly in a myriad of ways. It can be used as is with the maple glaze crisping the rich skin or can be used in soups, stews and assorted sandwiches.


Pork Belly Seasoning Ingredients

• 4 pounds pork belly, skin on

• 10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

• 1/2 cup broth, pork or chicken or similar

• 1/4 cup lemon juice

• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, raw

• 1/2 cup maple syrup

• 5 rosemary sprigs, fresh

• 5 thyme sprigs, fresh

• 5 oregano sprigs, fresh

• 2 medium serrano chile(s}, or similar, thinly sliced

• 1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes

• 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or as needed

• 1 teaspoon black pepper


Pork Belly in Water Tank

1. Preheat the water bath of the VacMaster SV1 to 154 °F / 68 °C.

2. Using the VacMaster Bag Filler and an appropriate sized VacMaster bag(s) add the pork belly and follow with the rest of the ingredients.

3. Using a VacMaster Chamber machine vacuum seal the bag.

4. Gently place the bag in the water bath and cook for 24 hours.

5. Gently remove bag from the water bath of the SV1 and remove belly, reserve.

6. Pour cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and discard the sediment.

7. Transfer the cooking liquid to a pot, and over high heat bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and reserve.

For the Maple Glazed Pork Belly:

Maple Glazed Pork Belly

1. Preheat the oven to 475°F

2. Place the pork belly skin side up in a suitable casserole dish or similar.

3. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the fat in a diamond or crisscross pattern.

4. Using a pastry brush or similar generously coat the top of the pork belly.

5. Place the pork belly in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crispy.

6. Serve immediately.

If using the pork belly for another application:

1. Let both the pork belly and the glaze to cool to room temperature and when cool vacuum pack independently.

2. Refrigerate and use as needed.