It’s Father’s Day, and unlike Mother’s Day, where pretty, lady-like meals are in order, Dad doesn’t want quiche and salads and tea sandwiches. No, dad wants hearty, manly meals. Dad wants meat, and since we can’t order up a rack of Flintstone ribs, let’s give him a manly, unpretentious, no-holds-barred pork belly.
Pork belly is a boneless fatty cut of meat from the belly of a pig, not to be confused with bacon, which is cured (or uncured), smoked, and sliced. Most chefs prefer pork belly to bacon because of its juicy layers of fat wrapped around meat. There isn’t much meat, but once cooked, the meat becomes tender like a pork tenderloin, and the fat renders down to become a melt-in-your mouth experience. Dad is going to LOVE it!
To prepare a pork belly, the most difficult step will be finding pork belly. As popular as it is, it’s still not stocked in every supermarket. However, if you can find it in your local grocery store, buy extra and freeze it, because once you realize how simple it is to cook, you’ll be making it regularly and not just on Father’s Day!
1-2 lb. pork belly
4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper
12 oz. hard cider (reserve 1/3 c.)
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb. tomatillos-roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves-minced
1 Anaheim pepper-seeded & chopped
1 c. chopped green onion
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
pinch of red pepper flakes
Cotija (Aged Mexican Cheese)-crumbled
In a small bowl, combine pork belly spices to create a rub.
With a sharp knife, carefully remove the skin from the pork belly without removing the fat and cutting into the meat. Rub both sides of the pork belly with the spice blend. Pour the hard cider into the bottom of the pressure cooker and place pork belly on top. Close the pressure cooker, and once the cooker builds pressure, cook it for 30-40 minutes. (I use an electric pressure cooker, which is so much easier than the ones our grandmothers used. Depending on the thickness, I set the time before it comes to the correct pressure. The electric pressure cookers will only begin counting down the time once the internal pressure is correct.)
While the pork belly cooks, combine olive oil, tomatillos, garlic, and onions in a sauce pan. Saute over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until veggies begin to soften. Add remaining ingredients AND the reserved 1/3 c. cider. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove bay leaf and transfer ingredients to a blender. Allow to cool for a few minutes before pulsing. Once cool enough to process, puree to create the salsa. Pour into a bowl and set aside while pork belly finishes.
When pork belly has cooked, release the pressure valve, remove pork belly, and allow to cool for 5 minutes. With a sharp knife, slice pork belly against the grain as thinly as possible. Heat a cast iron skillet with a small amount of oil (or bacon grease if you have it). Fry pork belly slices just until each side is caramelized and slightly crisp. (Be very careful. Pork belly likes to pop and splatter hot oil. Consider an apron and maybe long sleeves!) Remove from oil and drain. On a cutting board, chop pork belly into small chunks. Drizzle with a little bit of the cooking liquid from the pressure cooker.
To build a taco, char/toast soft corn tortillas on a griddle until lightly brown. On each tortilla, layer pork belly chunks, salsa verde, and crumbled cotija. Enjoy!
Sunday Supper Father’s Day Menu Ideas
Sides Dad Will Love
- Best Dark and Stormy by Cricket’s Confections
- Spanish Cheese Plate by Caroline’s Cooking
- Sweet and Spicy Arnold Palmer by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Mains for the Main Man
- Blue Cheese Bacon Burger with Crispy Onions Strings by Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Chicken Fajita Burgers by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Chili Cheese Omelet by Food Lust People Love
- Chinese Chicken Salad by Pies and Plots
- Cider Braised Pork Belly Tacos by Gourmet Everyday
- Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches by Soulfully Made
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pesto by Cooking Chat
- Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger (The JCB) by This is How I Cook
- Korean BBQ Steak Bowls by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Out of a Can Chili by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Pork Chops With Brandied Cherries by Mysavoryspoon
Dad’s Favorite Desserts
- Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Brownies by Desserts Required
- Chocolate Tofu Cupcakes by NinjaBaker.com
- Devils Food Strawberry Shortcake by The Freshman Cook
- Simple Fudgy Brownies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Snickery Springform Cookie by What Smells So Good?
The Best Recipes You Need Now for Father’s Day by Sunday Supper Movement
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