You're missing out...
If you’ve never tried Cuban cuisine before, all we can say is that you’re missing out. From a savory bite of medianoche to some equally delicious chicharrón, Cuban food might be the next big thing, once everybody finds out about it. And you know what perfectly complements a great Cuban dish? Finishing it off with one of Cuba’s trademark café con leche drinks, particularly if it’s prepared with our special Café Joe Cuban Espresso.
On the other hand, you can always just add that same coffee to your food, instead of pouring it into a mug, and still get incredible results. We’ve talked at some length about the underrated culinary delights of adding coffee to dinner recipes, and now we’re up with another delicious treat: a Cuban pork belly, cooked to perfection, with its excellent flavors deepened by a little of that same Café Joe Cuban espresso. Don’t just dream about this dish, though: make it yourself. Here are the secrets.
- 3 lbs. pork belly
- 1 tablespoon of Café Joe Cuban Espresso
- 1 tablespoon Chinese 5 Spice
- A pinch of brown sugar
- Onion powder
- Garlic Powder
- Himalayan pink sea salt
- Whole pepper corns
- White vinegar
- Tamari soy sauce
- Garlic bulbs
Okay, first thing’s first: make the seasoning. To do this, grind up a powder of Café Joe espresso, Chinese 5 spice, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, Himalayan pink sea salt, and whole pepper corns, and make a rub.
Now, it’s time to get out the pork belly. To begin with, cut a diamond pattern into the fat side, hold open the lines, and use your hands to work in the rub. Get it really in there, into the cracks! To complement this, splash some white vinegar over the pork belly, and spread it by hand, taking care not to rub off the seasoning. Add some tamari onto there as well, making sure to get both sides.
Once all of this is done, put the seasoned pork belly into a bag or container, and let it season in the fridge for a full 24 hours, so it can soak in all the flavors. Now, here comes the finishing touch: with a sharp knife, cut some deep slits into the pork belly, and stuff in some slits of fresh garlic.
Trust us, this is the magic touch. Push them deep in there, so you don’t lose any of those amazing tastes.
The next day, once you’re ready to roll, it’s time to go ahead and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put in the pork belly, in an oven safe dish, preferably glass. Cook it in there for a full 30 minutes, with the fat side up. Once the timer goes off, shift it around, and then turn the temperature down to 275 degrees. At this lower temperature, let it sit for about an hour. Once the timer finishes, measure the internal temperature with a meat thermometer— for pork, it should be at least 160 or 165 degrees Fahrenheit, for safety reasons — and then whip it out, cut it up, and enjoy your Cuban-style pork belly for dinner!
Note: This post was created through our friendship with Comfort Kitchen RSVP. Thanks to their amazing members who have a passion for food and the art of cooking, and sometimes combine that with coffee!