This week I was fortunate to get my hands on a healthy supply of pork belly. Now the question is what to do with all of it. Now this might be kind of a daunting task for a lot of people, but as for me, I just get excited about the endless possibilities of what I can make from it.
I am already planning on making several different things with the belly. Surprisingly bacon was kind of at the bottom of my list at this point. Mainly because I don’t have the curing salts I need. However I am thinking about playing around with several different times and temperatures. I am teaching a class at Sur La Table next month about sous vide, so I want to have lots of answers to what we are cooking.
So along with testing that recipe I am also going to be doing more of an Asian inspired one as well. And that will include using one of my new favorite ingredients, Little Soya Soy Sauce. If you haven’t tried this before then please try it and read about my thoughts of it here. It is really amazing stuff and will change the way you think about soy sauce.
So for my first test I will be using a recipe that I will be using in the class. I am going to be cooking it how they recommend it. Personally I think this may be a little to hot, so I will be doing the same recipe at several different temperatures and times. Once I get that down it is game on for experimentation!
So the times and temps I am testing are:
185 F for 8 hours
160 for 16 hours
158 for 24 hours
I am really interested to see if we will be able to see a difference between the temperatures. I am going to be cutting them up into cubes and then frying them off in the fryer to add a nice crisp to the outside as well as some color.
What I am really looking forward to is getting home tonight. I should have a huge package waiting for me. The reason I am so excited for this is because I am getting my Polyscience Chamber Sealer delivered today. This is going to be a serious game changer for me. . No more having to worry about freezing liquids so I can seal things in my FoodSaver. So for now I will just be testing the one recipe and then when my chamber sealer gets delivered I will try some different things. It takes a lot longer to cook things when you have to take the time to put together a marinade and then freeze it, add it to the bag, seal it, let it thaw and then get it cooking. So I will wait to play around with the rest of the belly I have until I get that beautiful new machine.
I will post updates when we do our taste test.
When we did our taste test we found that the belly cooked at 185 F for 8 hours was a little on the dry side but the skin had the better crispy texture. The ones cooked at the lower and slower times had the better flavor and texture with 160 F for 16 hours being our favorite. So going forward I think that is the target time and temp I would go with.