Braised Pork Belly Sliders

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 15 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 20 sliders
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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:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

2 cloves garlic 

2 sprigs fresh thyme 

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 

Directions

  1. For the braised pork: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. For the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. To assemble, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. 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.