Braised Pork Belly with Creamy Grits

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Cooking Method:
Braising Braising
Prep Time :
4 hr 50 min
Servings :
  • Ingredients
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    2 1/2 to 3 pounds Pork Belly, skin removed
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
    1/4 cup grapeseed oil, or clarified butter
    1 bottle pinot noir, or other red wine
    4 cups veal stock, or vegetable stock
    1 rib celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1/2 ounce fresh thyme leaves
    6 teaspoons honey, light-flavored, like alfalfa

    Creamy Grits

    2 cups heavy cream
    2 cups water
    1 cup white grits, or yellow grits, or polenta (not instant)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper


    Heat oven to 350°F. Using a very sharp knife, carefully split pork belly crosswise in half. Season both sides of both pieces with salt and pepper.
    Heat 2 tablespoons clarified butter in a large heavy skillet or 6-quart braising pan. Add one pork belly piece, fat side down. Cook until fat is nicely brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn pork belly piece over and brown the other side. Transfer pork belly to a plate; discard fat in skillet or pan. Repeat browning with remaining 2 tablespoons clarified butter and pork belly piece. Discard fat from skillet or pan.
    With skillet or braising pan away from heat, add 1/3 cup wine. Return skillet or pan to heat and cook over low heat, scraping brown bots from bottom of pan; remove from heat. If using braising pan, return pork belly pieces to pan. If using skillet, pour liquid from skillet into a 6-quart Dutch oven and add pork. To the pork, add remaining wine, stock, onion, celery, carrot, and thyme. Bring to boil and cover tightly.
    Bake in preheated oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove and let pork belly cool completely. Reserve braising liquid.
    Portion pork belly into 3 ounce to 4 ounce rectangle pieces. Place belly pieces in a large skillet or braising pan with enough braising liquid to cover.
    Reheat on stove top over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F.
    To make grits: Bring heavy cream and water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low. slowly stir in grits. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until fully cooked. Stir in salt and pepper.


For a cook who does not want to make their own clarified butter, use grapeseed oil because it too has a high smoke point and bland in flavor.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve pork belly portions over a small mound of grits and drizzle with honey. If desired, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons hot strained braising liquid and garnish with snipped thyme.