Pork belly comes from a hog’s ‘belly’ or underside after the loin and spareribs have been removed. This boneless cut may be served fresh, which means it is not cured or smoked.
Fresh belly is succulent and richly flavorful and is often served in small portions. Pork belly is at its best and is most tender when prepared using a slow cooking method, such as braising. Pork belly also is a popular menu item among restaurant chefs who appreciate its versatility, flavor and texture.
- Request a leaner cut (relatively speaking, as this is not a traditionally lean cut) and be sure to specify whether you prefer it with or without skin. If you plan to make bacon, pork belly without skin will yield the best results.
- Pork belly is not widely available in supermarkets, but can be ordered by meatcase managers upon request.