Friday Night Splurge: Braised Pork Belly with Sauteed Cabbage and Savory Apples

As I may have revealed in the past, I’m not the best Jew because Pork and I are good friends.  Matter of fact, I love Pork’s whole family: bacon, sausage, ham, and most recently, Pork’s portly relative- Pork Belly.  If you’ve ever seen pork belly in the raw you’ll realize pretty quickly that it’s no good for you, what with the small amount of meat layered between large amounts of fat, but pork belly tastes so delightful that it’s worth the splurge once in a while, clogged arteries or no clogged arteries.

This particular dinner cost less than $10 dollars to make (what a bargain!), though it takes planning ahead because the pork belly needs some time to cure.  Score the skin of the pork belly with a sharp knife, then add to the curing liquid and refridgerate overnight.  The curing process adds the first layer of flavor to the pork.

The fun begins once the pork is done curing.  Sear the pork belly in grapeseed oil on all sides.  Add your stock, vinegar, and good quality Calvados or Apple Brandy to the slow cooker.  If you’ve had a hard day, go ahead and take a swig of the brandy yourself just to test that it has the right flavor for the job.  Plop the seared pork belly in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  (Editor’s note:  I had to steal Big N’s precious Calvados because he guards it well, and I didn’t tell him that I’d used it until after he took a bite of the pork belly, decided he loved it, and was ready to face the news).

Alternatively, you can braise in a dutch oven on the stove top for a couple hours, but I prefer the slow cooker method because dinner is practically ready when I get home from work.  Once it’s done braising, sear it again on all sides to get that nice crispy skin.  I served my crisped pork belly over sauteed red cabbage with savory apples on the side (pork and apples is a classic pairing).  

Braised Pork Belly and Apples Recipe. pork-belly-8-of-8  

Beaujolais For the wine, Big N opened a bottle of nice and light Luis Jadot Beaujolais-Village.  The Beaujolais AOCs are located just south of Burgundy.  These wines are made exclusively from the Gamay grape and are young drinking, light bodied, fairly acidic reds, with raspberry and cherry flavors and some nice spice.  Because of the vinegar in the pork belly, I needed a slightly acidic wine to stand up to the tanginess, and this wine fit the bill. Plus it had enough tannins to absorb some of the fattiness of the pork on the palate and complemented the cabbage and apples well.

Though we decided to stay at home on the Friday night (we’re such homebodies), this meal was special enough to eat slowly and to savor over a good bottle of wine.  It was the main entertainment for the evening.  Plus, the pork belly was so rich Big N and I were glad to be home to slip off into food coma dream land.  Lazy Friday indeed.


  1. Sounds wonderful!

  2. Tamara,
    It’s a good thing you and the Big N work out! If not you two would be Giant! Sounds great well have to try that at the cabin next time.

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