4 hours! Who the hell is willing to wait 4 hours to get a nice crispy port belly?
Well, I am, and if you tested this pork belly I made, you would too.
Pork is the national dish in Denmark, my native Viking land, and my Viking mother made wonderful dishes from most parts of the pork … except for the oysters 🙂 thankfully!
As a kid, and during late fall, my parents would order a full pig, cut into two halves. The butcher would come to our house and cut the pig into all kinds of cuts, ground, roasts, bacon, chops, loins … you name it. My mum would freeze most of the meat, and we would literally survive on a full pig for at least 6 months.
Pork is awesome and I, in particular, love the crackling pork that we serve for Christmas and pork belly which we use as a topping on our Viking rye bread with homemade remoulade.
Since moving abroad, Ireland and now the US, I make pork belly as a snack. Yes, as a snack! Why? Well, rye bread is not easy to find in the land of the Free & Brave, and it is timeconsuming making it myself.
The only challenge is finding a suitable butcher that actually sells pork belly, and more importantly, pork belly with the skin on. See, the skin is what makes it awesome.
A good 4 lbs pork belly will set you back around $20, but can easily feed a hungry posse, and last you a few days in the fridge as you slowly eat it.
You roast the sucker long enough to get crackling pork skin, and then your bite-sized pork belly has a nice crunch to each bite. Wonderful!
So, let me share how to make a super nice pork belly. You’ll be surprised how easy it is, you just need a little patience and one of the Lord of the Rings movies.
Here we go! Mix them flavors!
- 3-4 lbs of pork belly, with skin
- 2 tablespoons of paprika
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 3 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of Italian herbs
- 3 teaspoons of pepper ground
- 1 teaspoon of pink salt (yes, I succumbed to salt for this one)
Let’s show this slab of pork some love!
- Turn on your oven and set the temperature to 425F
- While the oven is heating up, take a small bowl for the spices
- Mix all the spices together in the bowl; paprika, sugar, chili, garlic, Italian herbs, and the pepper. It has to be well mixed.
- Place the pork belly on a clean surface – time to rob in the love!
- With a VERY sharp knife, cut through the skin, vertical and horizontally, and cutting small 2 x 2 inch insertions in the skins. Do not cut all the way through the meat, just the skin. If in doubt – click here to learn how to score pork skin.
- Take your spice mixture and rub it all over the pork. It has to get into all the cracks, corners and sides of the pork belly.
- Take a deep oven pan, with a rack on the bottom, and place it skin up
- Sprinkle the salt over the pork skin – the salt gives the skin opportunity to crackle 🙂
- When oven reaches 425F, place it in the middle and close the door
- Set your timer to 2.5 hours, and start the movie!
Not much you can do while the pork is getting roasted. It simply takes time to get it
The time really depends on the thickness and size of your pork belly. I set it to 2.5 hours so I can check it. If the skin is dark and cracked, then you can cover with a sheet of tinfoil to avoid burning the skin.
After 2.5 hours, test the firmness of the roast by pushing down gently on it. When squeezing it, the juices should be clear, and you know if it is done.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool for 30-45 minutes before you start tasting. It is very tempting!
Store it in the fridge and dip your bite-sized pieces in Frank’s hot sauce for an extra kick.
Please note how your little bite-sized squares are now visible and easy to cut.
A Viking plans ahead and makes it easier to snack.
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