Crispy Pork Belly with Cider-Poached Pears

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Crispy Pork Belly with Cider-Poached Pears

Course: Main Courses
The appeal of cooking one hunk of pork belly isn’t just that your house will end up smelling AMAZING, but that you’ll have created magic with three ingredients. I don’t care what you serve this with; forget the pears, slice it on a piece of sourdough, add it to your spinach soup or make the best burrito on the planet- this magically fatty piece of meat with leave you sucking your fingers and forgetting that you’re snacking on for-real chicharrones.
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Ingredients

Crispy Pork Belly

  • 1 lb Slab of skin-on pork belly you can do this with a larger piece, so long as it fits in your largest pan.
  • 3 Tbsp Flaked sea salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp Grapeseed oil

Cider-poached pears

  • 3 Pears
  • 4 cups Water
  • 2 cups Apple cider
  • 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

Crispy Pork Belly

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • Place the pork belly skin side up on your cutting board. Using a sharp knife or scissors, score the skin in 1/2″ rows, then repeat in the other direction to score an even, cubed pattern. Rub the oil all over the pork belly, then press the salt over the oil.
  • Place the pork belly skin-side down in your largest pan (a large cast iron pan, Dutch oven or roasting pan). Start preparing the pears (see below).
  • Bake at 350F for one hour, uncovered. Turn the heat up to 400F for another 45 minutes, or until the sides and skin are a golden amber color.
  • Let the pork belly rest for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Place on a cutting board (reserve the juices for the pan to make any other number of fantastic dishes, like the humble fried egg) and cut into slices, interloping with slices of poached pears.

Cider-poached pears

  • Bring the water, cider, vinegar, honey, thyme and salt to a simmer.
  • Peel the pears (leave the stem on if they have it, makes it easier to pluck them out later) and place them in the simmering liquid. Cover and cook on medium low until tender (about 25-30 minutes).
  • Carefully remover the pears from the liquid and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Place this in the oven (whatever temperature it’s at) until the pears get some color. The sugars are caramelizing and give the fruit some texture.
  • Remove the pears from the oven and let them rest. Cut the pears in four sections around the core and slice each section into two slices. Place these between each slice of pork belly.