The rich flavor of the pork belly melts into the greens, giving this dish a dreamy, smoky flavor.
Braised Pork Belly with Collard Greens
Serves: approximately 6 servings
- 1⁄2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 31⁄2 pounds pork belly, skinned and cut into 6 pieces
- 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 1⁄2 cup chopped carrot
- 1⁄2 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1 cup apple cider, divided
- 11⁄2 pounds sliced collard greens
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Using a sharp knife, make 4 (1⁄4-inch) deep cuts into the fatty side of each piece of pork. Press sugar mixture onto both sides of pork. Place in a large resealable plastic bag; refrigerate 12 hours, turning occasionally. Remove pork from bag, shaking off excess sugar mixture.
- Preheat oven to 300°. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic, fennel seed, and red pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup broth and 1⁄2 cup apple cider. Remove from heat. Add pork, fat side up (keep fat above liquid; add remaining 1⁄2 cup cider, if space allows).
- Bake, covered, until a knife can be easily inserted in the center of pork, approximately 2 hours. Remove pork from pan, reserving 1 cup braising liquid in pan. Add collards and remaining 1 cup broth to pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook until tender, approximately 25 minutes. Stir in vinegar.
- In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat. Add pork, fat side down. Cook until lightly browned, approximately 30 seconds per side. Serve with collard greens.