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SLOW ROASTED PORK BELLY

BETTER THAN BACON? 

Pork belly is often thought to be a thick slab of bacon. Unlike its offspring, pork belly is thick slab of fresh meat. It's not cured or smoked like bacon. One of the best parts is the fat layer that is transformed into a crunchy, salty-sweet crown.

INGREDIENTS:
2-3 lbs pork belly with a thick even layer of fat cap
2 tbsp Garlic olive oil
1 tbsp Maple balsamic and more for serving
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Score the fat layer with a sharp knife about half inch apart. Do not go deep enough to penetrate or risk exposing the meat section. In a measuring cup whisk together garlic olive oil and balsamic. Rub in the mixture all over, sides included. Sprinkle salt all over including in the slits, then pepper. Place pork belly on a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack. Move to middle rack in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue roasting for another 25 minutes. You can test for doneness by poking a skewer into the middle. Juices should be clear or almost clear. Place back in the oven on top shelf and broil for one minute, checking to see if the skin has bubbled up and a golden brown crackling has emerged. Let rest for 10 minutes.