We’re used to braising pork belly low and slow, so we were shocked when Puerto Rican chef Jose Enrique told us his favorite way to prepare the cut of meat is on the grill. By placing it on a cooler part of the grill, the pork belly smokes almost like bacon, while the skin bubbles to crisp perfection. A scoop of peach salsa then ties the dish together and adds some island flavor.
Do not put the belly directly over the hottest part of your grill. It will take about an hour, since you are taking all the moisture away from the skin. To make this easier, pour the hot charcoal only on one side of the grill and then place the pork belly on the grill grates on the opposite side. Once the skin is crispy and bubbly, quickly sear it on the other sides and let it rest before serving.
To learn more, read “Rico Suave.”
Grilled Pork Belly with Peach Salsa
Recipe adapted from Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus resting time
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus resting time
For the Grilled Pork Belly:
One 1½-pound skin-on pork belly, cut lengthwise into 3 pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Peach Salsa:
3 tablespoons lime juice
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon thinly sliced mint leaves
1 white peach, pitted and thinly sliced
½ medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Light a grill. Season the strips of pork belly with salt and place skin-side down on the coolest part of the grill. Cook until the belly reaches an internal temperature of 145º, 1 hour. For the last 10 minutes, sear the other sides of the pork belly strips.
2. Meanwhile, make the peach salsa: In a medium bowl, toss the lime juice and onions together. Let sit for 10 minutes until bright pink. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to coat. Let marinate while the pork belly finishes grilling.
3. Once cooked, let the meat rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve alongside the peach salsa.
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