I was nervous about pork belly.
I don't know why.
After decades of vegetarianism, I learned to love bacon readily enough. And pork belly is just uncured, unsmoked, unsalted, unsliced bacon.
The step from bacon to pork belly seemed serious.
Solemn. Like a rite of passage. Perhaps there'd be no going back.
Maybe there isn't.
Truth is, what with the advent of freezers and fridges over the past 100 years, we don't actually need to cure, smoke and salt our meat anymore.
When I decided it was time to approach pork belly, I used the same reverence techniques I employed when I first grappled with bison heart.
I also looked up 101 recipes on the internet, most of which were complicated. I tried a number of them. I fell in love with pork belly, but not necessarily with complex ways of preparing it.
So here's my take.
As simple as possible. Delicious. Crispy. With a gorgeous side of golden-fried zucchini coins.
A fat-tastic breakfast.
And as a side benefit, you'll garner a wee tub of rendered lard for cooking for the rest of the week.
Hot Crispy Pork Belly with Zucchini Coins
- 12 ounces (¾lb or 350 grams) Pork Belly
- 2 baby zucchinis
- A generous sprinkle of Himalayan Salt (or similar)
Slice the pork belly into rashers, about 1/4 of an inch thick.
Lay the slices in a wide frying pan on low heat and fry gently, turning every 4-5 minutes. If you have hot spots in your pan, rotate the slices so they get evenly browned.
Meanwhile, slice the zucchinis into coins, about 3/4 of an inch thick.
Once the Pork Belly is nicely browned and the pan is full of hot liquid fat, nestle the zucchini around the browning Pork Belly.
Cook the Zucchini and Pork Belly on each side for 4-5 minutes.
The Zucchini Coins should be golden brown on both sides and the Pork Belly should be crispy.
Sprinkle generously with Salt and plate.
Serve with something cleansing and astringent, like sauerkraut. And maybe a handful of berries.
Pour the remaining lard into a glass container and set it in the fridge for future use.