I find it funny sometimes when you look at things everyday and think the same thoughts about them … and then one day a ‘snap’ happens and you see things in a different light. This happened to me the other day as I was in the Asian grocery store looking at all of the meat at the meat counter.
The Paleo community seems to have this affinity with bacon. I have always thought this mildly strange as we are supposed to stay away from all things processed…meats included. Now to my mind, bacon is a ‘processed meat’, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong here (I can here all of you paleos clamoring to get at me for desecrating the sacred bacon lust), I love me the bacon!! I’m just sayin’ it kinda flies in the face of what most of us are supposed to believe.
So, here I was looking at this meat counter and my eye graze across the pork section, the ribs, loins, shoulders, hocks and there off to the side, the pork bellies (boneless or boned). That’s when it happened…
“Pork belly… Pork belly… Pork belly… Hey isn’t that what Bacon is made from??”
“Why yes it is sir!”
“If I get one of these, I can make something Baconesque and be totally on track”
So there you have it. I bought one, cooked it and ate it quilt free at the alter of breaking any paleo guidelines.
The recipe feeds 2-4 Paleo eaters and takes about 3 1/2 hours to cook.
- 2-3lbs Pork Belly (bone in)
- 2 Carrots
- 3 Stalks Celery
- 1 Onion
- 6 Cloves Garlic
- Fresh Thyme
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 Lrg Beer
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
- With a sharp knife, remove the ribs from the underside of the pork belly and reserve.
- With a sharp knife, slice the skin (trying not to go all the way to the meat).
- Rub in the thyme, salt and pepper all around the meat and into the grooves in the skin.
- Coarsely cut the carrots, onion, and celery, placing them into the bottom of a roasting pan.
- Cut the ribs apart and lay on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
- Place the pork belly, skin side up, on top of the ribs in the roasting pan.
- Put into the oven for about 45 minutes or until the skin turns a golden brown and is bubbly.
- Reduce the heat to 325 degrees for 90 minutes.
- Add the large beer carefully to the roasting pan and cook another 60 minutes.
Once the roast is cooked, remove it from the oven, place it on a cutting board and let it rest for a while. Using a strainer, pour the cooking liquid into a bowl, mashing the vegetable with the back of a large spoon through the strainer as well. Put the ‘gravy’ aside for later.
To serve, remove the crackling to a plate and set aside. You can go two ways here: 1. pull apart the meat into shredded hunks or 2. Slice lengthwise into thick strips… either way works well and is equally delicious. Place the meat onto a serving platter along with the crackling and pour over with the reserved gravy.
The cooked pork belly can be chilled overnight and then slices can be fried as “Bacon” with breakfast. So effing good!!
I sincerely hope you enjoy this recipe.