Pork Belly Taco
This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.
We all love a good Taco Tuesday, and we also love Cinco de Mayo. I mean, is there ever a bad time to celebrate our universal love for tacos?!
This recipe is a way for you to impress your friends and loved ones by mastering the art of pork belly, which is one of my favorite things to cook. I cook it many ways, but the best way for tacos is taking the time to prepare it the day before.
During my time on Master Chef, I spent many days in what could be described as a quarantine. We were filming a massive cooking competition and it was important that we stay isolated to not reveal or disrupt the show. In those moments, I really discovered the importance of patience not only in the kitchen, but in our everyday life.
So, if you take anything from this taco recipe, other than its profound deliciousness, practice the art of patience. Making the pork belly a day in advance and knowing you have to wait to eat it will help you focus on the art of cookery. When you finally bite into these tacos, you will appreciate them on a whole new level. I encourage you to approach everything with this mentality, and I promise, every day will feel like taco Tuesday!
|Pork Belly Tacos with Pineapple Pico De Gallo & Miso Slaw|
|Serving Size: 12 tacos|
|· 2 lbs pork belly||Pineapple Pico de Gallo Ingredients|
|· Mission Street Taco Flour Tortillas||· 1 cup of pineapple, diced|
|· 1 Roma tomato, diced|
|Braising Ingredients||· ½ white onion, diced|
|· 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped||· ½ cup green onions|
|· 2 apples roughly chopped||· ¼ cup chopped cilantro|
|· 1 large carrot, roughly chopped||· 1 serrano chili, sliced thin|
|· 1 stalk of celery, roughly chopped||· 2 limes|
|· 1 small yellow onion|
|· 5 garlic cloves||Equipment|
|· 2 bottles of dark ale||· 1 braising pan or Dutch oven|
|· 2 baking sheets|
|Miso Slaw Ingredients||· 1 medium Sauté pan|
|· 2 cups of shaved cabbage||· 1 fine mesh sieve|
|· 1 cup matchstick carrots||· 2 small bowls for mixing|
|· 1 tsp white miso paste||· Whisk|
|· 1 tbsp apple juice||· Aluminum foil|
|· 2 tbsp mayo||· Plastic wrap|
|· 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar|
To prepare the pork belly: This should be done the day before you plan on serving the tacos.
Score the fat side of the pork belly and season vigorously with salt and pepper. In a braising pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of grape seed oil and sear the pork belly to a golden brown on all sides. Remove pork and set aside.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan and leave all the bits stuck to the bottom. Place the pan back over the heat and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic.for 1 minute, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the fennel and apples. Sauté for 2-3 more minutes until the onions soften and everything is really fragrant, then deglaze the pan with the dark ale. Bring to a simmer.
Once the pan reaches a simmer, turn off the heat and bring the pork belly back to the pan. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 5 hours at 250 degrees.
When the pork is done, remove it from the braising liquid and place on a sheet try to let it cool. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a separate container, then place the liquid into the fridge.
Cover the pork belly with plastic. Place a second sheet tray on top and place it in the fridge overnight. Place weight on top of the tray, such as something heavy from your fridge.
To assemble the Pineapple Pico de Gallo: In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients: diced pineapple, diced Roma tomato, diced white onion, diced green onion, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced Serrano chili and mix. Squeeze two limes over and mix. Season with salt to taste.
You can also prepare the Pico de Gallo the day before and refrigerate. The longer your Pico de Gallo sits, the more flavorful it will be!
To assemble the Miso slaw: In a small mixing bowl, add miso paste and apple juice and whisk. Then add the mayo and rice wine vinegar and whisk. Finally add the cabbage and carrots and toss.
Using the braising liquid: Remove the braising liquid from the fridge and scoop the fat off the top. We will use the braising liquid by drizzling it over the pork belly while it’s searing to give it a nice glaze.
To finish the pork belly: Pull the pork belly from the fridge and slice or dice the meat—your choice! I prefer to slice.
In a Sauté pan over high heat, add the sliced pork belly and sear until crispy and golden brown. Just before the pork is ready to be pulled, drizzle the braising liquid over the pork in the pan until fully glazed.
To assemble: Warm tortillas to your liking. I love using the flat top to lightly toast them.
Start with the miso slaw, then place pork belly on top. Add the Pineapple Pico de Gallo and finish with a sprig of cilantro. Don’t forget to add your favorite hot sauce if you like your tacos extra spicy!