• 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove and let pork belly cool completely. Reserve braising liquid.
  5. 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.
  6. Reheat on stove top over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Makes 6 servings pork and 3 cups creamy grits.
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