Braised Pork Belly Sliders

TOTAL TIME: 15 hr
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 8 hr
Cook: 6 hr 30 min
 
YIELD: 20 sliders
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

CHILI-BRAISED PORK BELLY:
  • 5 pounds skin-off pork belly
  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon chile flakes
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 10 cloves garlic (about 1 head)
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole carrots
  • 2 yellow onions
  • Two 28-ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes
  • One 7-ounce can chipotles in adobe sauce
ROASTED TOMATOES:
AIOLI:
  • 1 whole egg plus 2 yolks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups blended oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 20 Parker House rolls
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut into 2-inch pieces
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Directions

For the braised pork: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

In large high-sided roasting pan combine the pork, apple cider, salt, peppercorns, paprika, chile flakes, coriander, cumin, garlic, celery, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, onions, tomatoes and chipotles. Cover with parchment paper, and then cover with aluminum foil, insuring a tight seal. Braise in the oven until fork tender, 6 hours.

Cool the pork to room temperature. Store the pork in the braising liquid overnight in the fridge. Remove from the liquid and wrap. Can be used for up to 7 days.

For the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme in a bowl, and toss to coat evenly. Roast the tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet for 20 minutes.

For the aioli: In a food processor, process the eggs and garlic until smooth, 1 minute. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream. Add the lemon juice, then add half of the roasted tomatoes, and pulse until smooth. Add the remaining tomatoes, and pulse until smooth. Season with the salt.

To assemble, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the pork belly in half lengthwise. Slice each half into lardons, 1/4-inch pieces. Cook the belly in the oven on the prepared baking sheet until crispy, 10 minutes. Slice the rolls in half, and toast. Spread the aioli on the bottom half of the bun, place two pieces of pork belly on top, the place some romaine on the belly, top with the top half of the bun. Repeat for the remaining buns and pork belly. Serve immediately.

Notes

Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.

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