Thursday, June 24, 2010

Self-Indulgent Chef's Snack

When I am cooking and preparing food, I like to leave some scraps on the side and make a little chef's snack or treat. Usually it is trimmings of meat or scraps of fat that I will season and toss in the pan for some quick, tasty bites.

Last week, I prepared a pork belly for an upcoming post on Home-Cure Pancetta and I trimmed the edges for a clean square of belly. I don't like throwing away bits and pieces so I saved an edge of the pork belly. For a self-indulgent lunch, I decided to use my homemade bacon and wrap and tie it to the saved pork belly scrap.

Yes I know, some may think of it as over-indulgence in pork, fat, salt, sodium, etc....I see it more as an exciting experiment of pork on pork, a true intoxication of pork.

Seasoned with black pepper, I wrapped the belly with bacon and sloppily tied it together. I browned the meat in a cast-iron skillet for about a minute a side while I preheated the oven at 425 degrees.

I roasted it in the oven for about 15 minutes at or around the temperature of 425. I basted the pork belly with soy sauce (more salt/sodium) afterward and garnished it with fresh sage leaves from my garden.

I'd say the pork belly was well cooked. I guessed right on oven temperature and time. The salt from the bacon seasoned the belly well. Next time, I would omit the soy sauce and accompany it with something that would pair well with the bacon, perhaps a guacamole or salsa. The sage leaves gave it a nice herbal balance.

I'm not sure if you would see Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly on any restaurant's menu but it fits well for home cooks who like to experiment or who simply like pork. I've seen recipes for "pork bombs" and bacon-wrapped "insert cut of pork here," and they all seem to be fun and tasty. This entree fits right into that category.

I would normally recommend serving with a beer but I have to work yet today so no beer with lunch!

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