Cured Sous Vide Pork Belly

Everyone loves a nice bit of crackling, and pork belly is the cut you want to make a great impression. You can even sous vide this in advance and finish off in a hot pan, filling the kitchen with amazing smells and setting mouths watering. The recipe comes in two stages – curing, and cooking. This one takes a while, so take care.

Stage 1: Curing the Pork

First, you’ll need to cure your pork belly for 24 hours using a wet cure method. This will make the meat so tasty you’ll wonder why you don’t do it all the time. Curing the pork also ensures that it is fully safe to eat, which is important when cooking at low temperatures.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 L water
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 10 peppercorns
    • 225 g salt
    • 225 g sugar
    • 1 tbsp thyme
    • 1 g five-spice powder, or similar
  • Method:
    1. Infuse all ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil then turn down heat to a simmer.
    2. Remove pan from heat once the sugar and salt is dissolved.
    3. Leave to cool.
    4. Place the pork belly in the liquid and keep in the fridge for 24 hours.

This cure can be stored in the fridge for up to one month and can be used for more than one recipe.

Stage 2: Cooking the Pork

  1. Pre-heat your waterbath to 64°C.
  2. Remove your pork belly from the wet cure and rinse under cold running water.
  3. Now, cut the pork belly into nice portions to serve six.
  4. Place the portions into pouches and vac-seal.
  5. Put the pouches into your waterbath for 48 hours, regularly checking to make sure they are submerged in the water.
  6. Once the pork belly is cooked, remove from the pouches and place on a baking tray. Then, place another baking tray on top of the pork belly portions, weighing it down slightly, and refrigerate. This will give you perfectly straight portions ready for finishing in a hot pan.
  7. Remove the top skin from the belly and pan fry, giving a butter-like texture inside and roasted exterior.
  8. Plate up with your favourite sides. We recommend poached apples with sage and lavender – try lots of different microherbs to see what you like!

Serves: 6

Cooking time: 72 hours total