Braised Pork Belly Turkish Style

Pork belly is one of my favorite cuts of pork to use. Treated right, it’s pure indulgence, pure comfort food. I know that Middle Eastern cuisine doesn’t use pork but the spices are superb with it.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 500g of pork belly
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Nutmeg powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger powder

Getting it Done! 

  1. Divide the pork belly into 3 finger thick slices
  2. Remove the skin (a thin layer on top) leaving the fat in tact before placing the slices into a large bowl
  3. Add a teaspoon of turmeric, paprika and garlic powder. Also add a generous pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger powder
  4. Finally add 2 pinches of salt and a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
  5. Use your hands to mix well, making sure the meat is thoroughly coated before covering the bowl with a layer of cling wrap and leaving it in the fridge for at least 1 hour to marinate
  6. Into a heavy based large pot, over medium heat, add a think layer of oil (any type will do)
  7. When the oil is smoking, place the slices one piece at a time, into the pot leaving some space in between each slide
  8. If there is not enough space, cook it in 2 or more batches
  9. Leave to sear for 2 minutes before turning to sear the other side for another 2 minutes
  10. If cooking in separate batches, add all the pork into the pot and add enough water to cover the meat
  11. Stir well so that you can deglaze the bottom of the pot, bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pot
  12. Leave it to braise for at least 1.5 hours, longer if you have time
  13. To test that its tender enough, the meat must be able to slide off the fork when ‘poking’ it
  14. For best results, let cool, leave it overnight in the fridge and reheat the next day over low heat
  15. Serve piping hot with rice
  16. Done!
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