Pork belly is one of the most popular cuts of meat from the belly of a pig.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pork belly
Pork Belly Pork belly is one of the most popular cuts of meat from the belly of a pig. “The pork belly family is generated from the central portion of the carcass after the removal of the loin and consists of thevarious styles of bellies and spareribs,” according to the International MeatManual. “Bellies are generally squared or cut in a rectangular shape.”Compared with other meat cuts, the pork belly is more fatty. It can bepurchased with or without the skin (or rind). Pork belly with skin on is made intohong shao rou or slowly braised pork belly in Chinese cuisine. Braising it for a longtime tenderizes the skin and meat, infuses the meat with ginger, garlic, soysauce, rice wine, peppercorns, sugar and other aromatic spices and producesa melt in the mouth dish that can be served on a bed of rice or as filling for asteamed bread bun. Hong shao rou is also known as Red Cooked Pork becauseof the dark, thick sauce rendered from the long, slow cooking.In Korean cuisine, the fatty slices of pork belly are made into samgyeopsal.According to Wikipedia, it is part of the evening meal and cooked at the tableon a grill. The pork belly in samgyeopsal, unlike the hongshao rou, is unseasoned or not marinated in sauce orspices.The slabs of pork belly are also cured into the all-Americanfavorite, bacon. The skin is removed first before the porkbelly is cured in salt and nitrite. It is then heat-processed, according to theUnited States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “Bacon receives its smokeflavor from natural smoke obtained by smoldering wood chips or by sprayingthe bacon with a liquid smoke extract.”In Europe, pork bellies are part of traditional dishes as listed in the Wikipediafeature on the pork belly. In the Alsace region of France, for example, it’s part ofthe choucroute garnie (dressed sauerkraut) which also includes sauerkraut,sausages, salted meats, smoked meats and potatoes.In Switzerland, it is part of the Berner Platte (Bernese platter) along with ham,bacon, spare ribs, pork knuckles, marrow bone, beans , potatoes andsauerkraut. According to the Switzerland Tourism department, the Berneseplatter is a gourmet feast that commemorates how the Bernese defeated theFrench army at Neunegg in 1798.In Germany, pork belly is part of the hearty dish called schlachtplatte, whichconsists of boiled pork belly and two kinds of sausages--the blutwurst andleberwurst.