A Special Guest

I was so thrilled to Kevin at the New Years show in ATL. He's such a nice guy and we wish him only the best in his culinary endeavors!

Good Luck Kevin!

--Joe Kwon
PS: New post coming soon for NY restaurant Yakitori Totto.

Recipe: Slow Roasted Pork with Pickled Apples and Peanut Butter from Kevin Gillespie

Just in time for the holidays here's a recipe from Kevin Gillespie. If you don't know who Kevin Gillespie is, here's an article from Paste Magazine about his recent success. Congratulations Kevin!

Oh yeah and he's got great taste in music too. HA! We'll have the pleasure of meeting Kevin this coming New Years Day, so I'll try to post something cool after that.

--Joe Kwon

Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Pickled Apples and Peanut Butter

Prep Time 6 Hrs
Plating Time 15 minutes

1 whole pork belly skin off
5 fuji apples peeled and cored
3C cider vinegar
1tsp pickling spices
1C sugar
1C peanuts, roasted and cooled
grilled peanut oil
peanut oil
black pepper

Season the pork belly with salt and pepper. Wrap in a double layer of foil and cook at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 2.5 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature without opening package. In the mean time, peel, core and dice apples into a medium dice. Combine the vinegar, sugar, spices, a pinch of salt and a ½ C of water in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to boil for 5 minutes then take it off the stove. Let this sit until just warm to the touch. Add apples and allow to cool under refrigeration for 6 hours. Put the peanuts, and enough peanut oil and grilled peanut oil into a blender and puree. Season to taste. Now unwrap the pork and slice the pork belly into 1/4" thick pieces and grill until warm through and caramelized on the outside. Place on top of a pool of peanut butter and top with pickled apples.

I couldn't find a whole pork belly so I'm using some sections of pork belly I found at my local Asian supermarket. If you don't have an Asian supermarket nearby try going to your local Whole Foods store and asking if they can order you some pork belly.

It might be hard to find toasted peanut oil. I had to go to a specialty store to locate it, and I'm assuming that toasted peanut oil is the same thing as grilled peanut oil. Kevin correct me if I'm wrong.

This is the pickling spice I got at my local specialty market. If you have your own recipe by all means use it instead of buying some. After doing a little research myself I found a few recipes that I like a lot. Here's one from the New York Times.

I love these peanuts!

You might want to boil this mixture with your vent fan on 'high'. I didn't realize how it was going to make my house smell like cider vinegar and spices for a few hours. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I happen to love how cider vinegar smells and tastes.

Of course I wouldn't follow the directions correctly and leave the apple peels ON the apples when the recipe SPECIFICALLY states to peel and core apples. What can I say I'm a rebel without a cause.

Most of the fat will have rendered off of the pork belly when you roasted it. But make sure to have a squirt bottle handy for when you grill the pork belly. There's still a good enough amount of fat and it will flame up if you're not careful.

Here's the dish. I'd like to see Kevin's version and compare it. It's always hard to make a dish look and taste the way it's supposed to when you've never experienced original dish. But it's also a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy making this dish as much as I did!

Kevin Gillespie is a partner and Executive Chef at Woodfire Grill in Atlanta, GA.

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