If you've never tried pork belly, DO IT. Its magical on its own, but takes truly anything to the next level when added to another dish.. Its super versatile and OH SO MUCH MORE than just "bacon steak." For this dish, I paired it with a light pasta and mildly sweet brown butter sauce. ( again, browned butter is also SO much more than just a sauce) but that's neither here, nor there.
2 lb Pork belly
4 T EVOO
1/2C Brown Sugar
1/2C White Sugar
1/2T Smoked Paprika
1T Season Salt ( I like Johnny's seasoning)
1. Set smoker to "smoke" with the lid open, and allow the fire to get established. After about 5 min turn to (250F)
2. Cut the belly in half lengthwise then Score each fat cap in a criss cross pattern. Don't cut through the meat!
3. Rub each in EVOO and 3/4 of the rub. Put them directly on the grill and cook for 2 hours
4. Turn up the heat to (350F) . Remove the slices from the smoker and set on a piece of foil. Sprinkle the rest of the rub and cover completely. Cook or an additional 30 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let rest about 5 minutes before slicing.
We both know that you're going to have to sample a slice, just try to save some for whoever you're making dinner for.
Sweet Potato Farfalle pasta with Brown Butter and Sage
2C Farfalle Pasta
1 Sweet potato, cubed, and steamed
5-6 Sage leaves
1. Cook the pasta to al dente. I have found that cooking pasta in salted water for about 7 minutes is almost always perfect! Toss the pasta with 1t of evoo just so it doesn't stick together.
2. Sauté the sweet potato cubes in about 1t of EVOO until they look browned and are soft. Sprinkle the cubes over the pasta.
3. Put sage leaves in the hot pan and 3T of butter over the top. Swirl the butter in the pan until it browns and becomes fragrant. ( Browned butter smells like happiness incarnate). Pour the butter over the pasta and sweet potatoes. Top with a couple slices of pork belly. Automatically feel better about your life.
This meal SLAYS! Its incredibly visually pleasing , and tastes every bit as good as it looks.