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DrakeRemoray 03-10-2009 06:02 PM

Pork Belly Confit
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I made Pork Belly Confit from the cookbook Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing: Michael Ruhlman, Brian Polcyn, Thomas Keller: Books

It is a crazy recipe. You cure the pork belly for a few days, then cook it in rendered pork lard, then chill it. Then you dig it out of the fat and deep fry it. I served it on chilaquiles (black beans and tortillas chips) with avocado, onion, queso fresco and chipotle peppers.

I put some pictures on the web at

BrianShaw 03-10-2009 06:24 PM

Re: Pork Belly Confit
OMG... that looks great. The "confit-ing" seems odd for a "south of the (US) border" recipe, but that is one of the classic ways of making Carnitas. The use of cured pork belly in this recipe is an awesome notion. It must take carnitas to the next level, or the next, or even the next! I've eyed this recipe too, but after seeing your final product I think I need to give it a try. Thanks for sharing the information.

Dino_Pizza 03-11-2009 02:07 PM

Re: Pork Belly Confit
That IS a great book. I've made sausage from it a couple years back. I'll have to check out that pork belly. Sounds and looks great. Coincidence: L.A. Times Food section today mentioned (no recipes) home cured bacon made with quality pork belly and it got my mouth watering again for the "Lardo" we have whenever we go to Tuscany. Thanks for sharing that Drake.
Ciao, Dino

BrianShaw 03-11-2009 06:02 PM

Re: Pork Belly Confit
Hi Dino; Hello neighbor. I'm within 4 miles of you... in Winnetka. I make bacon from that book at least once a month.


DrakeRemoray 03-11-2009 07:42 PM

Re: Pork Belly Confit
I love that Lardo. It sounds terrible, but when a thin slice of that melts on the bruschetta...heaven!

I made bacon from that book at the same time. It is done curing now and I am going to smoke it tomorrow. I would like to order some top quality pork belly some time, this stuff was pretty thin. The book says a good quality pork belly can be 3 inches thick.

BrianShaw 03-12-2009 08:52 AM

Re: Pork Belly Confit
I've had best success at finding decent pork belly by going to asian markets. Korena markets tend to cut it into slices and chunks; Chinese and Philipino markets sell slabs (halfs? about 2.5 lb each) generally with a large selection to choose from.

Being a cheater... I've 250 deg. oven finished mine in the past with liquid smoke. It works, but is probably inferior to the real thing. Building a smokehouse is this spring's task!

BrianShaw 03-12-2009 08:54 AM

Re: Pork Belly Confit
Oh... another thought. I have never seen 3 inch thick belly in the market. The best is about 2 inch. With shrinkage it is still OK but I can imagine that 3 inch would be awesome.

Dino_Pizza 03-12-2009 09:48 AM

Re: Pork Belly Confit
Hey Brian (Neighbor!) nice surprise that someone on the forum lives so close, but then again (on the forum) people form Switzerland, Australia & Toronto seem close.

You've all got me wired up about pork belly. As soon as I finish my oven, I'll get back to cooking. I want to try curing pork belly for #1: better quality, #2 make a bacon source without using Nitrites. I'll check out those Asian stores Brian.

And Drake, I once tried to import Lardo from an Italian online source. USDA confiscated it, said it was unsafe without the nitrites and preservatives. I guess I'll just have to go back to Italy to experience it. :D Dino

DrakeRemoray 03-12-2009 09:58 AM

Re: Pork Belly Confit
As to nitrites...I add my own. The pink salt used in that book is sodium nitrite...
Curing salts - Ingredients, Substitutions and Equivalents

And Brian, I use the bradley smoker. It is my 4th smoker and I can highly reccomend it.
Meat Smokers, BBQ Smokers, Digital Smokers, Electric Smokers, Propane Smokers and Meat Smoking Books, Recipes and Accessories |
Compact, easy to use and produces excellent quality smoked meats! I own "the original" version.


BrianShaw 03-12-2009 02:49 PM

Re: Pork Belly Confit

Originally Posted by DrakeRemoray (Post 52201)
As to nitrites...I add my own. The pink salt used in that book is sodium nitrite...

I've done nitrite-free curing. It's not the same taste. Nitrites form the "essential taste" of bacon.

Pink salt was difficult for me to to locate. No local retail store offered it; no local retail store would order Morton's curing salts. Maybe I didn't ask in a nice enough way??? Sausagemaker is one source; Savory Spice Shop in Denver is another. Both do mailorder. I bought from Savory Spice and had it in just a few days

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