Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pork Belly

Okay, I am posting about a roast pork belly I made for a picnic up at our cider barn on Sunday.  I have to admit I am torn about posting these shots because they are diametrically opposed to what I just posted over on Improv Diary.  Head over after this and you'll see what I mean.  I am not heartless, just for the record. I feel good about raising pigs to feed my family and friends for many many reasons, but it isn't without its complications.

I have never made a pork belly before so I read a lot before doing it and followed the directions I found here.  I did the slow first, hot second version and it was AMAZING!.  You may have heard this cut called Pork Layer Cake before, and here is the reason:

The lean meat is at the bottom, then comes a thick layer of fat, then atop the whole thing is the skin all crispy and crunchy.  The fat might seem like a bit much, looking at it running off the table (the dog was underneath being bathed in and licking up the treasure) but even I ate it and that sort of thing usually revolts me. This was so NOT revolting.  It was sooooo good.

I cut it up into squares and folks stuffed it into a baguette with a sweet vinegar slaw, mayo, hot sauce, and pickled beans and radish.  It was insane.  I don't have a picture of a fixed sandwich - sorry.  I don't know why I didn't think to snap one. Duh.

 We also had our first press day of the season with our whole new cider press set up.  New and improved. It went off without a hitch and our relief and joy was great.  Everyone went home with some fresh cider and much too full bellies.

This is me pulling the lever that operates the apple elevator.  They fall into the grinder above the press and then fall in a heap at the bootom of that plastic tube.
Here is the ground apples on top of the press cloth.
We wrap the press cloth around the ground apples like an envelope.
 We do it 6-7 times on press racks all in a stack like this.  Then it gets pushed into the press and smooshed.
 The juice runs through a tube into a container outside the barn. We were doing a small run, so it was into a 50 gallon drum with a liner.

Last year fermented cider under snow.

 A very cute boy eating a pork belly sandwich.  


  1. What a beautiful day of food, friends, and cider! I miss you guys so very much. And tell JC that I like the beard. xo

  2. You were meant to be there and I thought of you all day, dear man. I like the beard too, surprisingly. xo