Braised Fresh Bacon
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds pork belly, skin on
- 1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 leek, white part only, trimmed and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 About 3 cups brown chicken stock
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 180mins
Adapted from chowhound.com
1) Heat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat until the oil slides easily across the pan. Salt and pepper the pork, and add it, fat side down, to the skillet. Cook until the skin is browned, about 15 minutes, then transfer the pork to a plate.
2) Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat and add the onion, carrots, celery, leek, and garlic to the skillet. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Return the pork belly to the skillet, fat side up, and add about 2 cups of stock (it should surround but not cover the meat). Bring the stock to a simmer, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Gently simmer the pork, uncovered, for 1 hour, then add another cup of stock. Continue cooking until the pork is tender enough to cut with a fork, about 1 hour longer.
3) Allow the pork to cool in the braising liquid. Remove the pork from the liquid, then gently lift off and discard the skin (use a small knife to separate any pieces that don’t come away from the fat easily). Score the fat, making crosshatch incisions, then cut the pork into 4 equal pieces.
4) Turn up the oven to 400°F. Strain the braising liquid, discarding the solids. Return the liquid to the skillet, bring it to a simmer, and skim off the fat. Return pork, fat side up, to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook, without basting, until the pork is heated through and the fat nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Serve the pork in a shallow bowl moistened with a bit of the braising liquid.