For the Purchasing Meat and Game blog i have chosen to do the mighty pig and the specific cut i picked was pork belly. The reason I chose to do pork belly was because I think many of us automatically think bacon, when its actually a very versatile piece of meat that you can have for any meal as well as cook with variety different methods. As well as the fact you can not go wrong with any pork products its usually going to be a really delicious item.
Pork is one of the oldest forms of livestock, dating back to 6000bc in west Asia where it was domesticated. The name pork actually comes from the latin name Porcus and the French name Porc. Todays pigs are breed from the wild boar and they are breed in cooler climates because they do not sweat. On average the pig will weight 200-250lb before being slaughtered and the entire process in which anywhere between 7 to 11 months. Its also one of those animals that are very good to use for head to toe cooking everything can be used in some fashion. Leather hides for shoes homes and shields can be made, bones can make tools and the bristles are used fro brushes nothing goes to waste.Toronto itself is called Hog Town because back in 1860 the William Davies Company was the second largest pork processor on the continent and now is part of Maple Leaf foods. They pork belly is located between the shoulder and the ham on the bottom half of the pig under the spareribs and is considered to be a primal cut.
The average cost of pork belly is 13.21/kg or 5.99/lb which makes it a fairly affordable piece of meat compared to chicken or beef. There are a number of different methods to cook pork belly, many of which involve low heat in the oven and then the last few moments you turn it up and crispy the skin. There is also slicing trimming off the skim and slicing it like bacon and pan frying it. You can even braise it if you wanted to just sear your belly on all sides, bring your braising liquid up to temperature and into the oven the pork goes. There is even the option to cure the belly and then smoke it and that turns into bacon. I think the best method for getting the most bang for your buck would be to roast it with the skin on, so you aren’t wasting anything. You aren’t trimming off any of the skin you aren’t even taking off any of the excess fat you get the slab of belly season it and roast it.
The recipe I’m going to post is a how to on making porchetta.
2 lb of pork belly (preferably meaty a meaty piece)
Inside herb rub
1 tbsp of kosher salt
2tsp of thyme
1tsp of sage
2 tbsp of olive oil
2tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
2tsp of olive oil.
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp chili flakes
Preheat oven to 275F
Step 1) mix all ingredients for the inside rub in the food processor or finely chop and mix by hand. Set mixture aside.
Step 2) Place pork belly skin side up, and score the skin 1 inch by 1 inch and flip the piece of belly over
Step3) Rub the inside meat side of the pork belly with the herb mixture from before and roll the belly into a log. Truss the belly with 4 lopes.
Step 4) Rub the outside of the belly with olive oil and season very liberally with the salt (this helps get the crispy skin) and a little bit of fresh cracked pepper.
Step 5) Place pork belly onto a wire rack thats on top of a roasting pan or baking sheet.( this is because a lot of fat will drip from the pork. This should take around 4 hours or whenever it reaches 160F.
Step 6) Raise the heat of the oven to 425F for 20mins this will allow the outside skin to become very crispy.
Step 7) Remove from oven, remove the string finally slice and enjoy.
bout pigs. (n.d.). Retrieved February 04, 2016, from http://www.ciwf.org.uk/farm-animals/pigs/?gclid=Cj0KEQiAisy1BRD7_YSgpduD2cEBEiQAPR3UuIwLn7Vo0cAG42xvkNc35qYqnN