I’ve been preoccupied by spicy pork since I had a delicious taco at the Wahaca concession at the ill-fated Alex James Presents Harvest. The other day I spotted a heavily discounted pork belly and figured it would be the perfect time to try out some ideas.
I had intended to use some chipotles in adobo after reading this post but when I opened the tin I found it was chipotles and tomatoes in adobo. Not ideal as we’re allergic to tomatoes so they went in the bin and I improvised from the store cupboard.
Having never cooked pork belly before I had a look at a few recipes which all suggested that a half hour at high heat either at the start or end of cooking was in order for crunchy crackling. I opted to do mine at the end but when I cam to check the meat the skin was crisp and glistening so I dodged that bit all together.
We were having a little celebration meal as Monty started pre-school last week. Candles and constructing your own meal are two of Monty’s absolute favourites so we turned our pork belly into wraps with guacamole and sour cream.
Slow Cooked Sticky Chipotle Pork Belly
Pork belly (around 1 – 1.5kg should easily serve 4-6)
2 tsp dried chipotle chillis – soaked and soaking liquor reserved
1 tbsp molasses cane sugar
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Oven preheated to 160°C. Roasting tin lined with tin foil (see my cheat’s way to rescue a burnt pan if you forget this!) should be just a smidge bigger then your meat.
- Soak the chipotles for 15 minutes in hot water. Drain but reserve the cooking liquid.
- Score the skin of your pork belly (being careful not to go as far as the flesh) so it has half inch wide stripes all over.
- Rub salt all over the skin and into the cuts you’ve made. Set aside for a moment.
- In a bowl or cup mix the chipotles, sugar, vinegar and enough of the soaking liquid to create a nice loose marinade.
- Pour your marinade into your tin roil-lined tray spreading it out over the bottom.
- Pat dry any water which has come out on the skin of the pork belly and put it into the tray. Wriggle it around so it gets nicely coated in the marinade. You don’t want it on the skin but it isn’t a major problem if you get a bit on, just wipe it off.
- You can leave your pork belly to marinade for a couple of hours or pop it straight in the oven. The longer it has marinading the deeper the flavour can penetrate.
- Put it in the oven and cook for 3.5 – 4 hours. Check it at around 3.5 hours and if the crackling needs a bit of help turn the oven up to 220°C for the last half hour.
- Rest for 20 minutes then use two forks to pull apart the meat and place in a serving dish.
- Enjoy this sweet sticky spiced meat in wraps, soft tacos, with noodles or however you like but most definitely with friends!