Brown meat on both sides Photo by Cynthia Nelson

The headline above is not really the name of this dish; it is more representative of the number of steps involved in preparing the dish.

20151018in good taste logoPork belly is exactly what the name says – it is the belly part of the pig that is used to make bacon, pancetta, and several other cured meats that go by different names. In some places, such as Barbados, pork belly is labeled and sold as pork flap. It is a cut of meat that takes some time to cook and has layers of fat and meat one after the other. If you buy and eat bacon, you will know what I am talking about.

There are many ways to prepare this cut of meat; I especially like it braised with Asian sauces like regular and dark soy sauce, Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce), oyster sauce, Chinese black vinegar, along with ginger, garlic, pepper etc. I shared a recipe for this with you before. Today, I want to explain how you can cook this cut of meat quickly in your pressure cooker and then make it crisp by slicing and cooking it in a hot skillet.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan
  • Wire/cooling rack

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 – 3 pounds pork belly
  • All-purpose seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste (see notes below)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wipe clean the meat and pat it dry. Season generously with all-purpose seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste (if necessary). Set aside to marinate for ½ hour at room temperature. If marinating for longer, refrigerate and bring up to room temperature before cooking.

  2. Add oil to pressure pot, place over medium high heat and let oil heat until smoking hot.
  3. Carefully lay the meat skin side down in the pot and let sear for 6 – 8 minutes. Flip meat and cook for another 6 – 8 minutes. The idea here is to brown the meat.
  4. Pour the boiling water around the meat. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon to remove any stuck on bits. Cover and close pot and let it come up to pressure. When pot comes up to full pressure (first whistle or high steady hiss depending on your pressure cooker), turn heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from heat, release pressure and open the cooker. Put pot back on the heat and let cook until all liquid has evaporated. Let meat cool until you can handle it and for it to set.
  6. Transfer meat to cutting board and cut into ½-inch slices.
  7. Place dry skillet or pan over medium heat until very hot. Lay slices of the meat in pan to brown and crisp up (there is no need to add oil to the pan as the meat will render its own fat). Let brown on both sides, drain on wire rack lined with paper towels and repeat until all the meat is browned.
  8. Serve with sautéed vegetables, or as a side dish with rice, noodles or ground provisions. Goes well as an appetizer or cutters.

NOTES

  • Read the label of your all-purpose seasoning and if it already has salt, do not add more salt and pepper.
  • If you prefer not to work with a pressure cooker, use a Dutch oven pot to brown and cook the meat. You will need to add boiling water to come just shy of half way up the meat; bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook covered for 90 minutes or until the meat is tender. Raise heat and remove lid to dry out liquid then continue with the directions.
  • The meat can be marinated overnight.

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