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Recipe

Cider-Glazed Pork Belly and Brussels Sprouts

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

This dish uses a classic flavor combination—pork, Brussels sprouts, and apples—in new ways. The pork is braised and glazed with cider for deep apple flavor and served over a Brussels sprout-apple side dish that’s punched up with Marcona almonds and Gorgonzola.

Ingredients

For the belly

  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless pork belly
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 medium head fennel, coarsely chopped
  • 1 12-oz. bottle hard cider
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth

For the glaze

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 12-oz. bottle hard cider

For the Brussels sprouts

  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick (about 4 cups)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 head frisée, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red apple, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped Marcona almonds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 540
      Fat Calories (kcal): 320
      Fat (g): 36
      Saturated Fat (g): 10
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 19
      Cholesterol (mg): 60
      Sodium (mg): 320
      Carbohydrates (g): 27
      Fiber (g): 5
      Protein (g): 24

Preparation

Braise the pork belly

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels. With a paring knife, cut a 3/4-inch crosshatch pattern through the fat, but not through to the meat. Season with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-duty 7- to 8-quart pot over medium heat. Put the belly, fat side down, in the pot (cut to fit, if necessary) and cook until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Flip the belly, then add the carrots, celery, onion, fennel, hard cider, and broth. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise until the pork is fork-tender, 2 to 3 hours. Remove from the oven and cool. Cut into 12 pieces, about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long. Discard the braising mixture.

Make the glaze

  • Put the apple cider and hard cider in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy, about 1 hour.

Make the Brussels sprouts and serve

  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork belly and cook, fat side down, until the meat is warm and the fat softens, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts and cook undisturbed until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, stir, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes more. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar and toss. Add the frisée, apple, nuts, and the remaining 3 Tbs. oil, and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Brush the pork belly with the glaze, then drizzle the remaining glaze evenly over the Brussels sprout mixture. Top the Brussels sprout mixture with the pork belly pieces. Sprinkle with the Gorgonzola, and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The belly pork belly can be braised up to two days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before searing and glazing.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • stwainott | 11/08/2016

    A rather expensive disappointment. The pork belly, despite the braising in the cider/veg mix, tasted like a plain old pork roast, albeit a more succulent one. The top fat never did get crispy. The glaze, simmered for several hours, reduced considerably in volume, but never did thicken. And the fussy veg mix tasted downright nasty with the addition of the sherry vinegar and watery glaze, though the gorgonzola and nuts helped disguise it. On the positive side, it was easy to prepare and used up the last of the brussels sprouts! My search for the quintessential pork belly recipe continues.....By the way, I keep trying to give this 3 stars, but your program keeps deleting them.

  • Retha | 02/29/2016

    Just happened to have part of a pork belly in the freezer & have been looking for something a little different to do with it when I saw this recipe in my new Fine Cooking. This was just absolutely DELICIOUS, and definitely something I will make again for a dinner party. If I was serving 6 as the recipe calls for, I'd double the brussel sprout/apple/marcona almond part. Three of us ate the entire veg portion of this, but then we only ate 1 slice of the belly itself. Love it, but it is just super rich. I couldn't find frisee anywhere, so just left it out. It would have been a nice addition, but the dish was great without it. I just halved the brussel sprouts instead of slicing them up. I had to add a little bit more water & cooked them slightly longer before adding the vinegar. Don't leave out the gorgonzola. It was a very very nice addition to this dish. I'd buy a different gorgonzola next time, as mine was very very fresh and soft-I had to put it in the freezer for a while, because I couldn't crumble it. I ended up just using thin slices. If you haven't cooked pork belly before, you are going to be appalled at the amount of fat after you brown the belly at first (pour it off, think that step was omitted from the recipe), and more appalled at what is left in your roasting pan after braising when it cools. And then lots and lots of fat in the pan when you reheat the belly after slicing it. I just left all of the fat in after reheating the belly slices, browned the brussel sprouts in it, and omitted the 3 TBS of oil called for to finish the brussel sprouts. Even my husband, who just hates the idea of pork belly and will rarely eat it with me (but loves bacon, go figure), loved this dish. If you don't eat all the belly, just put it in the freezer. It will be great to pull out later & make the rest of the recipe.

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