Sous-vide pork belly

Ever since I had the luxury of lunch at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, where we enjoyed a sous-vide version of pork belly, I’ve wanted to try it for myself.

Last week I got the chance, and it was well worth the effort. Frankly, as long as you have a thermal bath and some time, it is a cinch. There are various suggestions for time, temp, and spices, so you can experiment, but roughly:

* Season the pork belly with your personal selection from salt, pepper, red pepper, coriander, cumin, fennel, sugar (rub on all sides)

* Vac seal & sous-vide for 72 hours at 140 or as high as 149 if you prefer

* Pat dry & sear on all sides.

Serve! You don’t even need to remove the skin as it will turn soft during the cook.

We had it with friends and everyone loved it. A full pork belly seems to run about 8 pounds, but our butcher was happy to cut one in half. I paid a little over $4/pound.


September 8, 2012. Technique. 1 comment.