For the first 3 months of 2009, I lived with a good friend, Thomas, on St. Marks Place in the East Village, not too far from the Momofuku Milk Bar. Momofuku Milk Bar had only been open around 6 weeks. There were many mornings when I would wonder over for the fried poached egg and pork belly bun with a hot cup of Stumptown coffee. This was heaven, or, on few occasions, relief from the night before.
Fittingly, this will be the first foray into the Momofuku Cookbook, albeit without the slow poached egg for this post. Since this recipe, like most of the Momofuku Cookbook, requires a few recipes, I’ll break it up into a couple of posts. Not surprisingly, I made a few mistakes, learned by doing on the initial go round and tried everything twice. I did a test run of the pork belly in NYC early December but repeated it over the holidays. I waited until the holidays to put the whole thing together at my parents house so we all could enjoy in the food and new skills. Also, I don’t have a dough hook to make the steam buns!
First, start with a good pork belly. Pictures are courtesy of my sister, Beth, and her new Nikon D40 SLR she loves so much. She insisted in including the mini-York peppermint patty for scale and a good idea. Actually, she wanted anything and that was very handy and a frozen mini York peppermint patties are in the freezy 24/7. Mom’s nickname is Junkfood Joanie! But I digress…
The skin had to be removed, which was a little more time consuming than I expected, but not a big deal. Chicharrón will be coming soon once I pick up some Shichimi togarashi.
The cure was pretty straight forward and simple. In fact, it was so simple I was sure we were doing something wrong. Actually, we were and should have sprinkled the salt/sugar mixture over the pan rather than making a big mess. We hammed it up with some action shots.
This was covered and put into the fridge on Christmas night. After letting it cure for 14 hours, it was ready for the oven. This was a done as directed at 4500Fc for an hour with basting halfway and than another hour at 2500F.
The pork came out beautiful. It may have been a little crisper at the corner than I would have likes, but that was unavoidable with the sugar.
Finally, the best part, decanting the liquid gold! (That’s gold, Jerry, gold!)
Trial run Mise En Place and skinned pork belly.
Coming Soon: Steamed Buns
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