After our initial success with cooking all sorts of meat sous vide, it was time for something more ambitious – slow cooked sous vide pork belly. There are a few sous vide pork belly recipes out there but as we had all weekend I decided to try Heston Blumenthal’s 36 hour version. It actually took more like 50 hours once the other steps were included – we started on saturday morning and were tucking into delicious crispy sous vide pork belly on monday evening.
Stage One: Brine: Saturday Morning
Pulled the pork belly out of the fridge and cut into thirds to make it easier to handle. Rubbed the meat with salt, pepper and fennel seeds and left in the fridge to brine for 12 hours.
Stage Two: Cook Sous Vide: Saturday Evening to Monday Morning
Washed off salt and marinaded the pork belly with soy sauce, honey, chilli, star anise, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Sealed the three pieces in individual vacuum bags and placed in sous vide machine for 36 hours at 63 degrees. The timer on my machine only goes to 24 hours so I had to reset it to go for another 12 hours the next night.
Stage Three: Weigh down: Monday Morning
When the pork belly had cooked for the 36 hours, I removed it from the water bath. Then it went into the fridge with something heavy on top to help weigh down the layers.
Stage Four: Fry: Monday Evening
The last step is to pan fry the sous vide pork belly to get the crispy skin. I reheated the pieces of pork belly in some warm water first before cutting it into cubes.
Pan fry the sous vide pork belly cubes in coconut oil or another vegetable oil, turning to get each side crispy. Serve with rice and steamed asian greens.