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Low and Slow: Braised Pork Belly with Kabocha Squash

Braising is such a warm and comforting cooking method that it’s perfect for fall and winter. Few cuts of meats braise better than pork belly.

A long, low-heat braise yields an amazingly soft pork belly, the kind of pork belly that gives way under a mere gentle press of the fork. As it braises, the layers of fat slowly melt over the slabs of meat, leaving them tender and juicy.

After braising, give the pork belly another element of texture by quickly crisping up the outer layer on a hot pan. When taking a bite, that thin, crisp outer surface contrasted against the meltingly soft center is pure delight to the senses. This also will reheat the pork belly, enabling it to be braised long before serving time, and then quickly heated and crisped up when ready to serve.

The braised pork belly leaves behind such an amazing broth, it’s a shame to waste it. Take advantage of the incredible winter squash available and use the remaining braising liquid to cook up a hearty squash to serve with the pork belly.

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