Savor the irresistible combination of flavors and textures with these mouthwatering Pork Belly Tacos. Chef Brandon Cunningham’s recipe will guide you through the process of creating tender and succulent pork belly that’s perfectly seasoned with a pepper rub and roasted to perfection. Accompanied by a vibrant and spicy Salsa Macha and tangy Escabeche Pickles, these tacos will take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.
Recipe by Brandon Cunningham
Photo by Dan Goldberg Photography
Courtesy of The Green O, Greenough, Montana
- 1,000 grams pork belly slab, skin off
- Kosher salt
- Pepper rub
Generously season pork with kosher salt followed by a liberal amount of the pepper rub. Massage seasonings into pork belly, wrap in plastic and store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Place pork belly in a glass or metal baking dish and roast at 275°F until internal temperature reaches 195°F. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before slicing.
- 15 grams dried ancho peppers (weigh after stemmed and seeded)
- 15 grams dried pasilla peppers (weight after stemmed and seeded)
- 100 grams peanuts
- 20 grams white sesame seeds
- 250 grams safflower oil or other neutral oil
- 3 grams whole coriander
- 4 grams cumin seed
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and gently smashed
- 5 grams kosher salt
- 8 grams granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Destem and deseed chile peppers before weighing. Heat safflower oil in a medium pot to 350°F. Add peanuts, sesame seeds, garlic, cumin, and coriander seeds to oil. Gently roast in oil until garlic has caramelized and peanuts are golden brown. Once peanut mixture is ready, strain hot oil into a separate pot with the dried chile peppers. Bring heat of oil back up to 300°F and immediately remove from heat. Once peppers and oil have cooled slightly, add contents to blender and pulse until chiles are broken down. Place remaining ingredients along with the chile peppers, salt, sugar and sherry vinegar in the food processor and pulse until the ingredients are broken down into small chunks, making sure not to emulsify the ingredients.
- 20 grams cumin seed, toasted and ground
- 3 grams guajillo powder
- 5 grams green chile powder
- 10 grams whole coriander, toasted and ground
- 7 grams onion powder
- 5 grams smoked paprika
- 10 grams aji Amarillo powder
- 3 grams Aleppo pepper
- 10 grams black pepper, ground
- 50 grams kosher salt
- 30 grams granulated sugar
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
- 500 grams water
- 250 grams apple cider vinegar
- 150 grams granulated sugar
- 10 grams cumin seed
- 10 grams coriander seed
- ½ jalapeno, halved
- 3 large carrots, peeled and julienned to 2-inch strips
- 1 large daikon radish, peeled and julienned to 2-inch strips
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Combine carrots and daikon together in a metal or glass dish. Pour hot pickling liquid over vegetables and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
- Roasted pork belly
- Salsa macha
- Escabeche pickles
- Lime wedges
- Tortillas of choice
- Avocado, sliced
- Fresh cilantro
Slice pork belly thin and arrange on a large warmed platter. Serve with warmed tortillas along with other accoutrements.