The secrets to releasing pork belly's magic don't require any special machinery or a food handler's certificate -- they're techniques you already know, or can learn on the fly. You won't be able to whip this up on a whim, but there's not much expected of you, other than patience. Adapted slightly from Bon Appetit. —Genius Recipes
Using a sharp knife, score pork belly fat in a crosshatch pattern at about 3/4-inch intervals, taking care not to cut into meat.
Mix thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub thyme mixture on both sides of pork. Place pork in a large resealable plastic bag, seal bag, and chill at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 250°. Arrange onion in bottom of a large heavy pot with a lid. Rinse pork and place fat side up on top of onion; add wine.
Cover pot; place in oven and braise pork, basting occasionally, until fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Increase oven temperature to 400°. Uncover pot and cook until meat is very tender and fat is crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour longer. If the onions are starting to get dark before the pork, add a bit more wine.
To make compote: Combine brown sugar, raisins, vinegar, ginger, capers, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Add rhubarb to skillet and stir to coat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until rhubarb is tender and liquid is syrupy, about 15 minutes.
Note: Compote can be made 5 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat before using.
Slice pork and serve with Gingery Rhubarb Compote.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.