I've long wanted to play around with pork belly, but wasn't able to find it readily. Recently, however, a new international market opened, literally across the street from my apartment complex. Not only do they have every cut of meat and every type of offal imaginable, they are also ridiculously inexpensive.
So, it's possible I've gone a little overboard on the pork belly lately, but who can blame me? It is the single-most decadent cut I can imagine, and can be prepared in so many ways, from crispy rendered pieces to tender, melting braises.
This dish tries to capture both - first the belly is braised to create a flavorful, rich, melting bite, and then finished, either under the broiler or in a saute pan (I prefer the broiler). The poaching liquid reduces down to a thick sauce with almost no reduction needed. The leftovers (if there are any) make great lardon when sliced and rendered. —Eaton
Pork Belly (My butcher cuts these into 1-inch wide lengths)
Freshly-ground White Pepper
Oil or rendered pork fat
Cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
Braising Liquid and Aromatics
Rice Wine Vinegar
Small Onion, cut into 1/4" slices
1-1 1/2" Fresh Ginger, cut into 1/4" slices
1-1 1/2" Lemongrass, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices