Hey, so how is your house after Thanksgiving weekend? Still a mess? Still finding half eaten slices of pie, and have you not yet put away the good silver, and do you feel like coming home from work today and just collapsing on the couch in your quiet home? When my apartment becomes quiet, after there are no guests where before there were lots and lots of guests and noise and music and loud laughter, I like to sit in a chair in the quiet and basically just… sit. I sit and stare at things silently, like my brain forgot how to work, and I enjoy nothing but the absence of noise for a little bit. It’s wonderful.
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In that quiet time, after the wheels in this old brain started turning I again, I thought to myself- you know what is missing from this blog?
Wait for it: (it’s a good one)
Pork belly. Yep. That beautiful, cheap fatty cut of pork that is more or less a steak of bacon. A filet mignon of bacon, more like. It is my one true love (ok, that might be a slight exaggeration but roll with it) and I have given you none of it since this little site’s inception. For that, friends, I am truly sorry. I promise to make it up to you with this insanely good salad.
I mean, what else is there to eat after a long and fatty and boozy holiday weekend? You should be eased into eating like a normal person again (if ‘normal eating’ is even a thing) I don’t know about you, but the amount of food I consumed over the holiday, along with the notable absence of leafy vegetables, was wonderful in its rarity, but I’ve been moving at the pace of a wounded animal and I need me some good stuff. I’m not ready to go slamming straight into nut butters and tofu here anytime soon, so think of a Caesar Salad with Pork Belly as almost a devil-and-angel-on-the-shoulder thing: on one hand there is romaine lettuce, with its leafy goodness and its vitamins and iron, and on the other hand there is grated parmesan cheese and pork.belly and a delightfully creamy dressing made from egg yolks and olive oil. It’s like the hyphen between last weekend’s decadence and the marathon of December.
So while you’re cleaning up the last of the wreckage from the weekend, and washing your millionth dish and pulling your zillionth load of laundry from the dryer, this pork belly can be slow-cooking away and when that first bite is taken you can think, “I deserve this, god dammit!” Because you do, and last week was a long one, and we’re talking about pork belly here.
Oh, and another thing that is wonderful about a finally quiet home- it means that since there are no other people around, you get a slab of belly all to yourself. I mean, come on. I’m ready for December with this one.
Pork Belly Caesar Salad Recipe
Glazed Pork Belly
- 1 pound pork belly or slab bacon
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Caesar Salad Dressing
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 t teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black olive tapenade
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more as desired
Glazed Pork Belly
- Heat the oven to 450*F. In a baking dish lined with foil, score the pork in a crosshatch pattern on the top and bottom, careful not to cut into the meat. Rub all over with the sea salt and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar and vinegar together until the vinegar starts to foam. Add the rum and continue to cook until the mixture has reduced to a thin syrup, about 10 minutes. Pour this over the pork and roast for one hour. After the first hour, turn the pork over and roast one more hour. Reduce the heat to 350*F, turn the pork over again, and roast for half an hour. Remove and let rest for ten minutes before serving.
Caesar Salad Dressing
- Combine the garlic, yolks, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly add the oil in a continuous stream, whisking constantly, until the mixture has emulsified desired dressing consistency.Toss with greens. Keep chilled; mixture will last overnight.