Sunday Supper Crispy Pork Belly and Cabbage Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day
One Irish dish that’s familiar to almost everyone is corned beef and cabbage. But, did you know that boiled bacon and cabbage is a a popular, traditional Irish dish as well? Actually, the most important meat in Ireland is pork, not beef, corned or otherwise.
Irish recipes are usually based around a few fresh, local ingredients: potatoes, cabbage, oatmeal, dairy, fish, fowl, lamb and pork. For this year’s St. Patrick’s Day supper, I’ve chosen to use a combination of a few classic ingredients with a contemporary food lovers twist.
I’ve taken the dish forward to something most food lovers adore right now…crispy pork belly, and paired it with potatoes, carrots and cabbage. The vegetables are all sauteed in Irish butter till they reach a lovely brown.
If you’ve never prepared pork belly before, it’s actually quite simple. The hardest part might be finding somewhere that sells it in your area. I’d start by calling local butchers and if that doesn’t work, try Whole Foods (which is where I buy mine) or you can find it online. I like to buy pork belly without the tough outer skin. I also look for a piece that has a nice ratio of fat to lean.
Once you’ve found your beautiful piece of pork belly it’s easy to prepare. I recommend that you place it on a rack in a roasting pan, if you don’t have a roasting pan that has its own rack, use a cooling rack placed in your roaster, or even wadded up aluminum foil…you basically need to elevate the meat so that the fat can drain, you don’t want the pork belly to stew in its own juices. Also, it needs to be cooked slowly so that the outside is crisp and the inside is tender.
I like to serve pork belly cut into slices and served over a bed of sauteed cabbage topped with a layer of golden brown potatoes and carrots.
Crispy Pork Belly and Cabbage Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
An easy, delicious alternative to corned beef.
2 lb. pork belly (have butcher remove the tough outer skin)
1 tablespoon salt
1 small head of cabbage, cored and sliced into thin strips
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (as shown)
4 tablespoons Irish butter, divided in half (I used Kerry Gold, but feel free to use any good quality butter)
Salt and pepper
Important: For this recipe you want to use the lowest rack in your oven so that fat does not splash on the heating element.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place pork belly on rack in roasting pan skin side up and sprinkle with salt.
Place pork belly in the oven and roast for 10 minutes, IMMEDIATELY turn oven down to 325 degrees. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the outside is crisp and the inside is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes then slice into pieces (as shown).
In 2 separate large skillets, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. In one skillet add the cabbage, in the other skillet add the potatoes and carrots. Stir occasionally till all the vegetables are golden (about 15 - 20 minutes).
Salt and pepper, to taste
To serve: Arrange the cabbage on a plate, top with carrots and potatoes and sliced pork belly.
Wishing you and your family and friends a very happy St. Patrick’s Day…enjoy!