Pork belly is just divine in my book. Here’s a Christmas version where we smoke it with a rub made from gingerbread cookies, and spritz it with glögg (mulled wine).
The Iberico pork is richer (read: fattier) than traditional pork, and you can see here the intense marbling:
What’s fun about this recipe is the somewhat odd combination of gingerbread cookies and pork. But the flavor combo goes really well together, and the mulled wine helps build awesome bark.
- 2.2 lb Iberico pork belly
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 gingerbread cookies
- 7 tbsp mulled wine
- Cut off the skin if there is any. Now apply a dry brine with the salt, and leave it in the fridge overnight, or at least for 2 hours.
- Crush the gingerbread cookies with your hands so they are fine-grained like bread crumbs. Apply a good layer evenly on all sides of the pork belly. If you have a mortar it's even easier.
- Fire up your grill and prepare it for indirect heat, have it running at 130° C / 265° F. Once the grill comes up to temp, add a few wood chunks for smoke flavor. I use oak wood or cherry wood.
- Now place the pork belly on the indirect side, put the lid back on and leave the meat on the grill for it to get a nice color and develop flavor. It's done when the inner temperature is 85° C / 185° F for regular pork, or 80° C / 175° F for Iberico pork. Check meat temp in several places so you get a good reading.
- After about 2 hours of cooking it's time to start spritzing with mulled wine. Use a spray bottle and spray every 20-30 minutes until the pork belly is done.
- Remove the pork belly from the grill and let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes before slicing and serving it.