Maple Bourbon Crunchy Pork Belly Burnt Ends
By: Jack Mancuso
This maple bourbon crunchy pork belly burnt ends recipe developed from two things. First, my new Maple-Bourbon BBQ Rub makes pork sing. Second, I love the crisp texture of chicharron. You will have soft on one side and crunchy on the other. You need a little extra time in prep and cooking, but it’s really worth it for such a succulent bite.
Maple Bourbon Crunchy Pork Belly Burnt Ends Ingredients
- 2 pounds pork belly (serves 4)
- 1 cup salt
- Cuso’s Maple Bourbon BBQ Rub
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Beer Bacon Finishing Sauce
Maple Bourbon Crunchy Pork Belly Burnt Ends Instructions
- Lay out the pork belly fat side up
- Poke holes all over the fat side
- Cover with an even layer of salt
- Let it sit for 24 hours in the refrigerator
- The next day, carefully scrape off the salt (that fat is now dried out and ready to be crisped).
- Finish cleaning off the salt with a paper towel (this step is essential. Otherwise, your results will be very salty)
- Flip the pork belly over (meat side up)
- Carefully cut 2x2” squares using a good kitchen knife without going through the fat (you want to keep it whole, like a mat).
- Sprinkle Cuso’s Maple Bourbon BBQ Rub all over the meat, getting into the cracks as evenly as possible
- Smoke at 250 for 4 hours
- Remove and transfer to a baking sheet
- Put beer bacon barbecue sauce on the meat side
- Brush red wine vinegar over the top of the skin
- Cook at 475 until the skin bubbles
- Cut and serve
- Put out a little extra barbecue sauce so guests can apply more if they wish
PitMasters Memo: What is a Finishing Sauce?
As the name implies, a finishing sauce goes on your meat in the last cooking moments. There are many varieties depending on your recipe. Here, the beer and bacon match the pork belly perfectly.
What happens with finishing sauce is it gives you another layer of flavor. It does not, however, overpower it. There’s a sense of “gourmet” about it.
By far, the most common finishing sauce in the US is barbecue. It’s familiar. People have tasted lots of different brands, finding what they like. Many barbecue sauces have sweet elements, so you don’t want them going on first. It will burn. So, we put it on at about 5-10 minutes before the end! Now you have caramelized sauce and broiled skin. The aroma entices.
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