Recipe: Pork Belly Tacos with Kumquats and Dates
Serves 6 to 8 | Prep Time 2 hours | Cooking time: 30 hours
- 1 pound pork belly, skin on
- 8 to 12 small tortillas (find recipe here)
- 1 cup kumquats, sliced thin, seeds removed
- 1 cup date chutney (find recipe here)
- 1 cup cilantro and tomatillo pesto (find recipe here)
- 1/2 cup of corn oil or animal fat (chicken or duck)
- Salt the pork belly on all sides.
- Place in a vacuum bag, vacuum at the highest setting and seal.
- Place in a sous vide bath at 145F for at least 24 hours.
- An hour before service prepare the cilantro pesto and the date chutney.
- At service, place a large skillet, or better yet, a griddle, over medium fire. Wait until it is hot.
- Paint with corn oil or animal fat. Place the raw tortillas over the cooler side of the pan or griddle. Move around to coat them evenly with the fat. Turn after a couple of minutes, when the tortillas have cooked. Set aside.
- Remove the pork from the sous vide bath and cut open the bag on a large bowl or rectangular container to catch the juices and gelatin released in the cooking process. Save the juices and gelatin and use them to aid the searing process, if desired.
- Score the skin of the belly deep into the layer of fat immediately adjacent. The scoring marks should produce small enough rhomboids that they will fit in the taco, helping round out the texture palette.
- Pat the skin dry with a paper towel. Remove from the rest of the pork belly.
- Slice the rest of the pork belly thinly, and cut into small pieces if necessary so they will be able to be placed inside the tortilla.
- Place on the griddle and warm up, allowing some of the extra fat to render.
- Place the skin over the hot part of the skillet or griddle to crisp up.
- Place the kumquats on the griddle and cook briefly until lightly caramelized, or charred depending on your preference.
- Place some of the chutney on the tortilla, followed by pork belly, crispy skin, charred kumquats and cilantro pesto.
- Serve immediately.
Tacos are a wonderful finger food that can be served in so many ways, including a cocktail party. This recipe makes use of the rich quality of pork belly balanced by a number of additions as described below.
Its fattiness can be too much for some people, so to counterbalance we add ingredients with a different flavor profile: kumquats for acidity and a date chutney for sweetness.
We finish these tacos with a cilantro and tomatillo pesto, to round up the flavors and add some tartness.