Get a recipe for the tasty Smoked Pork Belly we tried with Chef Matthew McClure, a semifinalist for “Best Chef: South” in the James Beard Foundation Awards. It’s tasty!
While filming in Arkansas for “Travels with Darley” both for our channel on the AOL On Network and our new Public Television series, we had the opportunity to meet and eat with Chef Matthew McClure at The Hive at 21c. One of our nation’s top chef’s, McClure was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and grew up utilizing the abundance of homegrown vegetables and meats in this agriculturally blessed state.
On our visit, we tried a number of great dishes, but the Smoked Pork Belly really stood out. ––. Below is the recipe, so you can try to recreate it at home… and if you fail, just head to Bentonville, Arkansas and give McClure a shout. He’ll cook some up for you.
Check out photos, too, from our visit and watch for McClure in our “Southern States Road Trip” episode, where we feature great Southern chefs, food and ways to work it all off through fun, adventurous activities.
Smoked Pork Belly with Mop Sauce Recipe: Step by Step
4-5# pork belly
Soaked wood chips for smoking
- 1/2 cup sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/8 cup aleppo pepper
- 1 teaspoon ancient spice
- 2 tablespoons each, onion and garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons cayenne
How to make the Rub:
1. Rub belly thoroughly and refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. Smoke at 325 degrees for 2 hours; or internal temp of 150.
Pickled Vegetables Ingredients:
- 6 ea zucchini washed and sliced into 1/4 “ rounds
- 2 c. White wine vinegar
- 1 1/3 c. Rice wine Vinegar
- 5 c. Water
- 5 c. Sugar
- 1/4 c. Fennel Seed
- 1/4 c. Coriandar
- 2 tsp Pink Peppercorn
- 1/2 tsp. Allspice
- 1/2 tsp. Cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. Juniper
- 1/2 tsp. Cloves
- 1/2 tsp. Black peppercorns
- 4 each Bay Leaf
- 1/3 cup. Salt
How to make the Pickled Vegetables:
1. In a large saute pan, add fennel seed, coriander. Pink peppercorn, allspice, cardamom, juniper, cloves, black peppercorns. Heat pan on a stove for 1-3 minutes with medium heat. Stir spices around to evenly toast everything. Once the spices have lightly browned and you can smell the aromatic perfume, remove from heat.
2. To make the brine mix toasted spices, water, sugar and salt into a large pot and bring to a simmer.
3. Allow the brine to gently simmer for 5 minutes.
4. As the brine is still simmering, add the zucchini and poach until barely tender.
5. Remove the pot from the stove and pour the pickle into a large shallow pan and allow to cool.
6. Once cool, the zucchini is ready to use.
Mop* Sauce Ingredients:
*A mop sauce is a thin liquid that’s brushed or mopped onto food during cooking to infuse a flavor.
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups honey
- 2 T Marash
- 1 t ground allspice
- 1 t ground mustard
To finish the dish:
Slice the pork into ½” slabs, and warm on a grill or in a pan in the oven. Gently apply the mop. Serve with the pickles, at room temperature.
See how we liked this dish, below, in our photos from our visit.