We had a power outage earlier today, just as I was sitting down to write today’s update. By the time the power came back on, I had to leave for an evening event. It’s getting late now, so just a quick update on Day 4.
Yesterday was Pork Belly day. It was the first time I’d ever cooked Pork Belly (except for bacon, of course) and I chose a pretty complex recipe, Agave-Glazed, Grilled Pork Belly with Grilled Pineapple. It was very good, but possibly not worth the 2 day cooking time and the cost of the pork belly.
The belly started with a 7 hour braising step. I had to do that on Day 3, while I was smoking the pork butt. That was a lot of pork cooking at once.
I braised it in the indoor oven (since the Egg was occupied) on a bed of chopped poblano, serrano and habanero chiles with a cup of agave nectar and some water.
After 2 hours the whole kitchen smelled like New Mexico. The chiles and the pork smelled great.
After the braising was finished it was into the fridge to rest over night, then into the Egg to finish it.
After an hour at 250, turning once or twice the belly was hot through, charred and crispy. Then I just had to grill the pineapple and server.
As I said above, it tasted great. The thing is though, it was really just like an amazing piece of pulled pork. It had the same taste and texture. I could have gotten the same effect, easier and cheaper, by smoking another pork butt and glazing it the chile/agave sauce. I also would have gotten a lot more meat using a butt. That 2 lb. pork belly barely yielded enough meat to serve 4.
I might try this recipe again using ribs. If I try belly again, it will be to make my own bacon.