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Pork belly... Where did I go wrong

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I tried cooking pork belly for the first time following the recipe at epicurious "dan barbers
Pork belly" I followed the recipe although I cooked it in the oven for an extra hour. However I felt
that while the taste was excellent there was still too much fat. My thoughts are that I need more time vs higher temp to render out more of that fatty layers however I'm looking for other peoples thoughts. I'm worrie that if I cooked it longer it might start to fall apart and lose some of it's consistency.

Thanks

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  1. This must depend on how much fat is "too much". Personally, I cook pork belly because it is fatty and I find the layers of fat intrinsic to the taste and texture that I like.

    For, say, a 1kg piece, I'd give it a really high blast for 15 -20 minutes to start to crisp the skin and then turn the heat down to around 170C for 2.5 hours. It may still need another half hour or so. The texture I get is very similar to American "pulled" pork.

    1. It may just be that you don't like pork belly. Pork belly is mostly fat, and recipes for this ingredient are trying to celebrate that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: smtucker

        When you pull the belly from the oven, put a sheet of parchment over it followed by a sheet pan. Weigh down the belly with a couple cans of tomatoes. The weight squeezes out any excess liquified fat and also compresses the layers, giving you a denser, more succulent piece of meat. Keep the weight on at room temp until the belly is completely cooled. I find it's usually the liquified fat that re-solidifies in the belly that makes it unpleasantly fatty, so this method should solve your problem.

        1. You do realize that pigs don't do ab workouts, right?

          Their belly is going to be about 75% fat, if not more.