Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Paleo Hoisin Sauce

Juicy tender melt in the mouth pork belly…rippled with fat making it all the more succulent, twice cooked to ensure you end up with crispy crackling! Served up with a simple fresh slaw and nut butter based hoisin sauce, it’s the kind of meal my dreams are made of!

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Pork for me in the past has been a bit hit and miss…tenderloin is so easy to overcook, shoulder on the other hand is foolproof, and pork belly…I hadn’t quite gotten around to tackling a larger piece hands on!

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That was until last week! I picked myself up a might thick piece of pork belly, remembering to ask the butcher(James Whelan’s in Avoca Kilmac) to score it for me..neglecting however to even consider whether or not the ribs were still attached.

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Which of course they were. Panic ensued when I went to cook prepare it that evening. Luckily I got my hold of myself and successfully removed them with relative ease and left my piece of pork belly unscathed and looking pretty! Bonus having the ribs which I ended up cooking up at the same time…but I shall give them their own time to shine next week!

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I cooked the pork belly for a good three hours. You don’t want to cook this one to the point where its falling apart…I was looking for thick even chunks of pork belly, beautifully contrasting tender white meat with golden crispy crackling. The key is allowing the pork to sit and be pressed in the fridge overnight. Then you can slice it with ease in to perfect squares; making sure to nibble on any trimmings as you go of course!

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Seared skin side down in a pan with coconut oil the crackling crisps up beautifully. More addictive than chocolate…I kid you not! That was not a question, for me its most definitely a reality! The end result was stunning!

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I wanted to keep things simple so served it up with a quick fresh cabbage, radish and apple slaw and a side of cashew butter based hoisin sauce! I LOVE this sauce! I made use of Meridian’s roasted cashew butter, the best of the best along with coconut aminos to keep it paleo friendly. The perfect sauce for dunking chunks of pork belly in or drizzling over the top…or both!

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You can also serve the pork belly up in some cabbage or lettuce cups with the slaw and sauce and roll them up for a no cutlery needed kind of meal…things might get a little messy but it’s totally worth it!

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It’s a great way to serve it up if your having friends around for some relaxed eats. You could serve the pork and it’s sides as a centre piece and let people dig in building their own “rolls” as and when they feel peckish. A few forks on hand won’t go amiss!

Like hunky “pork” candy. Planned breakfast got set aside in favour of digging in to this plateful…

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I only have one chunk left, sitting pretty in the freezer. Pork belly and scrambled eggs for breakfast is on the agenda this week. I might just have to whip up some hoisin sauce and cauliflower rice for a Chinese inspired fried “rice” feast! Leftovers are best reheated in a pan with some coconut oil to give that crackling a chance to be reborn.

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What’s your favourite cut of pork? If you haven’t tried pork belly cooked this way you simply need too! Kind of time consuming but it’s more of a waiting game as opposed to having to stand over the cooker for hours on end!

Twice Cooked Pork Belly

by Michelle Hunt

Prep Time: 5 minutes + Overnight

Cook Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Keywords: roast fry entree gluten-free grain free low-carb paleo soy-free pork belly red cabbage

Ingredients (Serves 4- 6)

    Pork Belly

    • 1kg – 1.5kg piece of pork belly, scored; ask your butcher for the thicker end!
    • Generous amount of Pink Himilayan Rock salt and black pepper
    • 1-2 tbsp melted coconut oil
    • Something heavy to press it overnight!

    Hoisin Sauce

    • 1 tbsp (15g) roasted cashew butter butter
    • 1 tsp raw honey honey
    • 80ml (1/3 cup) coconut aminos
    • 2 cloves of garlic minced
    • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
    • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
    • 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp tomato paste
    • Cabbage and Apple Slaw to serve


    For the Pork Belly

    Preheat oven to 140C (250F).

    Place pork skin side down in a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Season the underside of the pork belly with salt and pepper rubbing it in to any crevices.

    Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 3 hours. Remove and allow to cool.

    Place in a tray that will fit in your fridge, baking paper on top followed by a good two or three heavy books or something flat an of similar weight that will press the pork down evenly. Leave in the fridge overnight.

    Remove pork from the fridge, melt coconut oil in the pan…

    Trim pork to form a neat square and cut in to individual square portions or whatever shape you desire!

    Cook skin side own in the pan over a medium to high heat for 10 minutes undisturbed to crisp up the crackling!

    Serve with hoisin sauce (below) and fresh cabbage and apple slaw!

    For the Sauce

    Blend together all ingredients in your food processor. Place in a pot over a medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 -10 minutes; until thickened to your desired consistency. Set aside. Can me made up to 48 hours in advance and stored in the fridge!

    Store leftovers of both the pork and sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze leftover pork for up to one month.

    Serving Option

    You can also dice up portions of the pork once cooked for the second time and serve it up in lettuce or cabbage cups with the sauce and slaw!

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