Recipe courtesy of Ace Hotel and Swim Club

Pork Belly Sloppy Joes

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 days 5 hr 20 min (includes curing and cooling times)
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Inactive: 2 days 30 min
  • Cook: 4 hr
  • Yield: 12 to 15 servings
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Pork Belly Rub:

1/4 cup cumin seeds

1/4 cup fennel seeds

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons black peppercorns

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon whole cloves

2 teaspoons white peppercorns

4 cinnamon sticks

4 pieces star anise

1 cup salt

2/3 cup sugar

Pork Belly:

3 sides pork belly

5 ounces garlic cloves, peeled

5 large carrots, cut into thirds

4 onions, quartered

1 bunch celery, ribs quartered

48 ounces dark beer

4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground sage

6 bay leaves

BBQ Sauce:

7 pounds ketchup

4 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup molasses

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

5 tablespoons mustard powder

3 tablespoons Sriracha

4 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke

1 tablespoon sambal

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

Hamburger buns, for serving


  1. For the pork belly rub: Two to three days before cooking, prepare the pork belly rub. Toast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves, white peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and star anise in a dry pan until fragrant, and then grind in a spice grinder. Put the mixture into a medium bowl, add the salt and sugar and mix well. 
  2. For the pork belly: Rub the pork belly thoroughly with the rub and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Wash the rub off the pork belly and cut each into 6 squares. Put the garlic, carrots, onions and celery in a large pan. Place the belly pieces on top of the vegetables and add the dark beer. Cover with hot water and add the black pepper, sage and bay leaves. Put the pan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer until the pork is super tender and easily breaks apart. Taste for salt and add some if needed before turning the heat off. Remove the pork from the liquid and cool enough to be able to peel the skin and fat off. Shred the meat while warm for easy shredding. Cool in the refrigerator to avoid the meat getting tough. For the BBQ sauce: Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, honey, molasses, Worcestershire, mustard, Sriracha, liquid smoke, sambal and coriander in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. 
  3. To assemble the sloppy joes: Warm some of the pork belly meat with some of the BBQ sauce. Serve in hamburger buns.

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