Crispy pork belly with white wine-garlic sauce

This may be the most complex thing I’ve ever made. And it’s essentially just fancy bacon.

If you like bacon (and really, who doesn’t?), you’re going to love pork belly. If you don’t know where to get it, check out Whole Foods, Fresh Market or Wegmans. You’re probably not going to find this at a chain like an Acme, Giant or Pathmark. And you’re going to need to ask the butcher at the meat section for it if you can’t find it.

Ok, so you know how people say some food is so good that it melts in your mouth? This stuff lives up to that promise. Crispy on the outside, melty deliciousness on the inside. But don’t try to live on it.¬†Cause it’s all fat.

Delicious fat.

Recipe courtesy of Gordon Ramsay
Serves 6-8

2.5 lbs. pork belly
2 heads of garlic, halved horizontally
salt and pepper
fresh thyme
olive oil
generous splash of white wine
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 325.

Score the top of the pork belly in a criss-cross pattern.

Jump! Jump!

Season the pork with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place the garlic, halved side up, on a roasting tray or pan, then scatter thyme sprigs on top. Lay the pork on top, fat side up, so that it’s elevated. Add a splash of white wine around the pork. Cover with foil and cook for about 2 hours.

When the pork is done, let it cool slightly. Put another tray of equal size on top of the pork and way it down with whatever you can. You want to flatten it, but be careful not to squish it (technical term). Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours. I did mine overnight and had it for dinner the following evening, so that’s ok too.

Take the liquid from the roasting tray and place over high heat. Deglaze with some white wine, scrape the bottom, and crush the garlic. Reduce by half, then add the chicken stock. Reduce until thickened, then strain. Season. Store it in the fridge for the main event.

Sleep. Wake up. Fast forward to dinner.

Cut the pressed pork into individual portions or squares. Pay dry, then cook fat side up in a 500 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy. In the meantime, heat up the sauce.

Rest for 5 minutes, then pour sauce around the pork.

Serve.

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