Food - Drink
Why You Shouldn't Cut The Fat Cap Off Pork Belly
By AUTUMN SWIERS
According to the National Pork Board, pork belly is "the boneless cut that remains after the loin and spareribs are removed." In a cut of pork belly, the individual ripples of fat and meat are surrounded by an outer layer of fat called the cap, and you may want to think twice before removing this part of the meat.
Since you'll be cooking your pork belly slow and low, most of that fat cap renders off, which will also break down tough collagen fibers in the pork belly, creating a tender bite. As the fat falls away from the meat and into the pan, the pork belly continues to cook in its own melted fat, a natural moisturizing agent that adds major flavor.
This fatty cap is where most of the flavor comes from, as the meat itself has a mild taste, making the natural fat that melts off and gets absorbed during cooking responsible for pork belly's trademark richness. Great British Chefs recommends looking for cuts of pork belly with distinctly white, silky, creamy-looking ribbons of fat, particularly a 50:50 fat-to-meat ratio.