This recipe uses pork, oil, salt and lard. You’ll be lucky to live through this post. But if you make it far enough to eating this one, it’s a hell of a last meal.
Recipe courtesy of Thomas Keller’s ad hoc at home
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
12 bay leaves
3 large rosemary sprigs
1/2 bunch thyme (1/2 ounce)
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup garlic cloves, crushed, skin left on
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 cup kosher salt
8 cups water
pork brine (above)
2-1/2 pound slab pork belly with skin
6 cups lard
coarse sea salt
Combine the pork brine ingredients and boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove and chill completely before using.
Place the pork belly in a container or covered dutch oven. Pour the brine over it, and refrigerate it for 10 hours.
Do something with yourself for 10 hours while you pass the time. Me? I slept and beat Batman: Arkham City. And yes, I am an adult.
Remove the pork belly and rinse under cold water, then dry.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the pork belly in a pot or casserole dish (whatever has a cover) and cover it with lard. Delicious lard. The lard should completely cover the pork by 1/2 to 3/4 inches. Cover the pot and cook for 5-1/2 to 6 hours. Wait, how long? Screw this!
Oh stop it. You’re going to eat. Eventually. Calm down.
6 hours later…
Remove the pot from the oven and let it cool. Put the pork in a deep baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, then top with a smaller baking dish and weigh down to press the pork belly. Refrigerate for…seriously? Ok, fridge this piggy for 12 more hours.
I swear, it’s time to eat the thing. Real soon.
So it’s been 12 hours. Your beard has completely grown in and is quite scraggly. But you still want the pork belly because you bought it and you’ve done all this work already.
Remove the pork belly and let it rest for 2 to 3 hours. Wipe off any excess fat, then scour the belly in a crisscross pattern. Slice the belly into squares. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, then heat some oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium-high. Put the pieces of pork fat-side down in the skillet and reduce to medium-low. Cook until browned (about 18 minutes), then pour out any excess fat. When browned, transfer the pan to the oven for about 10 minutes, then let the pork rest. Season with sea salt.
Assuming you haven’t died of starvation just preparing this dish.