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From One Belly to Another

belly taco 2_mykitchenmoovement

I don't know what to say about this. I did every thing right in terms if preparing the belly. I followed Thomas Keller’s pork brine instructions from Ad Hoc to a tee and I braised it for four and half hours. Somehow I ended up with this. Like an early morning trip to Macy’s for a one-day sale, or a journey through Costco’s aisles for a massive jar of four bean salad, the lesson today is plan ahead (you know you won’t be able to eat all of those beans).

This is not what I signed up for. I wanted to something spectacular, succulent and luscious.  I wanted something that only slow braising could deliver. I had about a pound and half of pork belly and I followed the brining instructions and did as Mr Keller instructed. I then took on some kind of Momofuku meets Mexican inspiration and what I got was this freak show. And it’s my fault because I didn’t plan ahead. Oh it tasted sublime, but the final product looks like a circus.

My issue is that I didn’t think beyond the belly. As I turned the heat off the stove, my wife asked me what we would be having with this delicious belly. I didn’t have a clue. We were too hungry and it was too late to start anything, so I made these junk yard tacos. See the yellow cheese that I melted onto the tortilla under the broiler? Yep, pure, junk yard. It would have been a home run as pork belly sliders with peach preserves or BBQ sauce topped with red cabbage coleslaw. Or as a taco, but paired with homemade black beans and a mango red onion salsa.

So, plan ahead. Whether it be the 2 gallon jar of four bean salad or slow braised pork bellies. We all need to think ahead.

Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc pork brine

Makes 2 quarts for up to 4 pounds of pork.

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 3 large rosemary sprigs
  • ½ bunch tyhmme
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup garlic cloves, crushed, skin left on
  • 2 tablespoons of black peppercorns
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 8 cups of water


Belly Tacos_mykitchenmoovement

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt.
  2. Remove from the heat and cool completely, then chill before using.
  3. The brine can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. 



Reader Comments (2)

i have been drooling over your pictures and posts day after day. this blog is something special, brad!

April 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJackie Luskey

@Jackie or the Jackster, as she is known in some parts of the Bay Area - You are too kind. Thank you for your support and encouragement. I will create and dedicate a dish for you using fava beans and small turtles. Stay tuned.

April 30, 2010 | Registered Commentermykitchenmoovement

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