I know, I’ve been doing a lot of pork belly ever since I discovered that Trader Joe’s carries it in easy to handle 12 ounce pre-cooked packages – which saves hours of tedious simmering/braising/what have you before you can get to the really good part of pork belly; adding flavors to it and roasting ’til it’s all crispity and oh! so good – but I had an idea when planning our Thanksgiving menu, and I think it was a winner: I took some of that Paleo safe maple syrup and Dijon mustard salad dressing, and used it as a marinade.
Ermmm, if I do say so myself.
•1 (12 oz) cooked pork belly
Maple Dijon Marinade*:
•1/3 cup maple syrup
•2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
•3 tbsp Dijon mustard
•2 tbsp red wine vinegar
•1 tbsp veggie oil
•1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•1/8 tsp salt
*I tripled this recipe to have enough salad dressing for Thanksgiving’s feast and to pour over the pork belly. If you’re just doing one package of the pork, just use the listed amounts.
Cube or slice the pork belly into strips and place in a gallon sized zipper bag.
Whisk marinade ingredients together in a bowl (or combine in a blender), then pour over the pork belly, tossing to coat all the cubes or slices. Stash in the fridge, on a rimmed plate in case of leakage, for a couple of hours or, always more better, overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375º.
Remove the pork belly from the marinade and arrange on a rack set into a foil lined baking pan.
Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until the pork belly is as nicely browned and crispity as you like. Remember, it is already precooked, so this is all about your preference for looks and crunch.
Serve – a bowl of toothpicks on the side are always handy.
Note: the first image for this post was after about 40 minutes cooking, and they were yummy. This last image was after reheating in the back of a slow oven a few days later. Just as yummy, but a bit more caramelized. Choose the look and doneness you prefer, you will want to be making these.
These were quite popular at our gathering, right up there with the peppery chicken pâté, peach salsa, and bacon wrapped dates – with a kinda cunning option of stuffing some of the dates with pepperoni instead of wrapping ’em in the bacon.