Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Soy Ginger Maple Glazed Figs & Shishito Peppers

There’s a myth that pork belly is difficult to prepare. All it takes is patience and the best ingredients. And when seasoned with amazing flavors it’s going to be your new “impress the guests” meal!


INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. pork belly (Mine was about a 6” by 8” square. The Butcher can cut any size you like but this was perfect for 4 people.)

2 medium sweet onions

6 T olive oil divided

½ t ground thyme

½ t ground ginger powder

½ t paprika

1 t ground coriander

1 ½ t kosher salt

½ t black pepper + ½ t black pepper for figs

6 ripe Brown Turkey or Mission Figs, halved

Sprigs of fresh rosemary

GLAZE:

4 T soy sauce

½ t sesame seed oil

2 T real maple syrup

1 t finely grated fresh ginger root

1 very large garlic clove, grated

EXTRA: Roasted Shishito Peppers*


METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 500° F. Place a sheet of foil on a large baking sheet. Peel onion and cut each into quarters. Rub with a bit of oil. Lay them on top of the foil in a tight arrangement. You will cook the pork belly on top of these onions.   (Note cooking time may vary depending upon size of pork belly.)
  • Score the fat side of the pork belly with angled cuts about ½” apart, being careful not to cut all the way through to the meat. Tyler Florence uses an Exacto (X-Acto®) knife but I simply used a VERY sharp paring knife and employed a steady hand. Combine rub elements which are thyme, ginger, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper. Rub the oil all over the pork belly. Now blend all rub ingredients together and sprinkle on top and rub into the top of the fat very well, making sure you push it to the edges and into the cuts.
  • Place pork belly on the onions and place in the preheated oven on a rack set in the middle position. Cook for 10 minutes at 500°. Lower temperature to 300° F and cook for 3 to 3.5 hours. Remove, let cool slightly.
  • While pork is cooling, combine all glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and heat through. Don’t boil. Remove. Arrange the cut figs in a foil lined baking dish with sides. Sprinkle with a bit of cracked black pepper and drizzle with the glaze, reserving about 2 T to serve at end. Lay the rosemary sprig on the top.
  • Bake them in a 375° F oven for about 35 minutes.
  • To plate, slice off a portion of the cooked and very soft pork belly and lay on its side. Nestle the cooked figs next to the pork belly, place a few of the soft and lovely onion pieces next to it. Drizzle with the rest of the glaze. Serve with a flourish of cut parsley.

NOTE: I also roasted some shishito peppers tossing them in a bit of oil and salt and pepper and about a teaspoon of the glaze then roasted at 375 on another rack in the oven with the figs. Cook about 20 minutes or until soft and blistered.




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