- 3 pounds pork belly (skin removed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground)
- 1/4 cup clarified butter (OR grapeseed oil)
- 1 bottle pinot noir (or other red wine)
- 4 cups veal stock (OR vegetable stock, 32 ounces)
- 1 onion (medium, coarsely chopped)
- 1 celery (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
- 1 large carrot (peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
- 1/2 ounce fresh thyme leaves
- 6 teaspoons honey (light flavored, such as alfalfa)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup grits (white, OR yellow grits or polenta, not instant)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Heat oven to 350 degrees 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 braiser 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 braiser pan away from heat, add 1/3 cup wine. Return skillet or pan to heat and cook over low heat, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan; remove from heat. If using braiser 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 of the braising liquid to cover.
- Reheat on stove top over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F.
- Creamy 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.
- 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.
- Makes 6 servings pork and 3 cups creamy grits.