This is a great way to enjoy pork belly that merges a few cultural preparations. My butcher, Antoine, once he heard what I was planning to do with a slab of pork belly, suggested scoring it in the fashion of Colombian Chicharron. Instead of cutting it into strips, we left it whole and scored in squares with the fat intact. This makes for quicker cooking and allows more of the jerk seasoning to penetrate the food.
If you choose to keep the pork belly whole, use a paring knife to create pockets throughout the meat and stick some of the seasoning in the holes.
For those who love extra heat, add slices of scotch bonnet and serve with a cold drink. Add my Jerk Shrimp Slider and spicy tomato and cucumber salad for the perfect meal.
For the homemade jerk seasoning recipe, click here.
Allow at least 24 hours for marinading time and at least 3 hours to cook on the grill.
- Chef and Steward jerk seasoning (see note)
- 4-5 Pounds slab of uncurled pork belly, with skin scored throughout
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, place the 4-to-5 pound slab of pork belly with scored skin meat. Pour over enough jerk seasoning to completely saturate (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups). Massage marinade into meat and ensure that all the cut pockets of meat are coated heavily. Store unused marinade in an air-tight container for future use. It will last in the fridge for roughly 6 to 8 weeks in an air-tight container.)
Step 2: Cover the bowl, transfer to refrigerator and allow meat to marinate for at least 24 hours, though more than 36 hours is ideal, especially for cuts that include bones.
Step 3: About 20 to 45 minutes before ready to cook, remove the bowl with marinated meat from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
Step 4: Preheat the smoker or grill to 250F (charcoal yields the best flavor; make sure coals are white before you begin). Remove meat and place on oiled grill, skin side up, for at least 2 to 3 hours, until the internal temperature for the middle part of the meat reaches 200F. Cooking this low and slow makes for tender meat with perfectly rendered fat.
Step 5: If you want to add a little extra char at the end, brush on some of the reserved marinade and crank up the heat to 350F for about 10 minutes.
Step 6: Remove pork belly from the grill. Allow meat to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into it.