Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sweey & Spicy Pork Belly with Cheddar Waffles

Pork Belly on a cheddar waffle? Doesn’t that make you want to get out the waffle maker and grab a fork? I was watching an episode on Martha Stewart. I am usually doing the dishes or starting dinner and I will play one of the reserved episodes on my DVR. It immediately resonated with me and I thought “I have to make that”? Living in a new town, the opportunities to entertain are a little slim and serving pork belly for a weeknight dinner to the husband and daughter seemed a little indulgent. So I used the excuse of a chocolate tasting to lure my Ohio foodie friend, Tami, over for some pork belly. It is true I did need to do a formal chocolate tasting with as many participants as possible for an online Chocolate School I am attending. And in retrospective perhaps I should have served dry toast and water before sampling 12 chocolates but like I said I had to find a reason to make this dish.

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Pork Belly recipe on Martha Stewart Living

I had the butcher cut a 4 lb. piece of pork belly into 4 squares. I rubbed the pork belly with the spice rub on Sunday and let it sit overnight in the fridge. On the day I was serving, I made the glaze first and let it sit and cool. I rinsed the rub off the belly and patted it dry with paper towels and nestled it in a small roasting pan fat side up. I added orange juice and stock following Martha’s directions. If you watch the video link on the recipe page be careful. She screws up the recipe a couple of times.

I cooked it for two hours. It was very tender when poked with a fork. I let it cool and threw it in the fridge covered until closer to dinner. There is no reason not to make it up to this point ahead of time, even the day before, so it is perfect for entertaining.

Forty minutes before serving, I baked the pork belly fat side up again. Martha’s direction did not say what to do with the liquid that was remaining in the pan from the braising. I thought about it and drained it off. I wanted the belly to get crispy. I basted it with round one of the reserved glaze and cooked it the requisite amount of time, basting with additional glaze every ten minutes. Meanwhile I made the waffle batter. This recipe annoyed me. The pork belly recipe serves 4. The waffle recipe serves a thousand. I used a small Belgian waffle maker that makes three at a time. After dinner I was still making waffles just to use up at least half of the batter. (If anyone wants a frozen cheddar waffle - come on over.)

Both these recipes stand alone great. But combined they are sweet, spicy, crispy, smooth and everything in between. I followed the directions and against my better judgment served them with maple syrup, sour cream and cilantro. It was not overkill. It was a perfect pairing and what exciting food is all about. The pork meat /fat and the spicy glaze were a great counterpoint. The small waffle was perfect for a small square of belly. The waffles could have had a little more heat in them. I didn’t taste the Serrano chile. 3 small chilies in a vat of batter the size of a wash tub don’t have much impact but the cheddar waffles were crispy and smelled like a grilled cheese.

I have 2 llbs. of cooked pork belly in my freezer that will make another day a little brighter and a thousand cheddar waffles. This dish is a keeper!



  1. It was awesome! It's nice having a friend who would dare make this on a weeknight.

    But the chocolate tasting probably would have been better as a stand alone meal ;-)

  2. What a delightful repast. My mouth watered just reading it, and I laughed out loud. I can't decide which I'd like more--pork belly or a dozen chocolates. Amazingly enough, now that I think about it, the pork has won me over. Perhaps it was the description of the cheddar waffle smelling like grilled cheese...mmmmmmm!

  3. Love pork belly! It's all the rage in Seattle right now (just visited and it was on every menu and basically, it seemed to me, all that anyone was talking about)