Mabel's Pork Belly

105/18: Mabel’s Pork Belly

105/18 – Mabel’s Pork Belly:

I was having a look through Amazon for new BBQ books when I saw Playing with Fire by Michael Symon. The cover looked awesome so I bought it. Having a read through the book one of the first recipes that stood out was Mabel’s Pork Belly so it went onto my cook list!

The book Playing with Fire by Michael Symon is currently £22.50 on Amazon.

The Meat:

2kg of Pork Belly from Turner and George – £16.

Mabel's Pork Belly

The Prep:

Using my curved boning knife I took the skin off. The knife needs sharpening so it wasn’t as easy as it should have been! 

Mabel's Pork Belly

Flipped over and I took the bones out.

Mabel's Pork Belly

I made the Pork Rub from the same book: Maldon Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Celery Seed, Ground Coriander and Sweet Paprika. Using the spice shaker I covered all sides of the meat.

Mabel's Pork Belly

I also made Cleveland BBQ sauce, also from the same book: Cider vinegar, red onion, chipotle in adobo sauce, Dalwhinnie Scottish Whisky (the book says Bourbon but I used Scotch), coriander seeds, smoked paprika, French mustard, American mustard, soy sauce, Maldon sea salt and black pepper. A handy bottle to store it in was an Elements of Islay Bunnahabhain bottle.

Mabel's Pork Belly

The Cook:

My first low and slow cook on the Kamado Joe Big Joe! One of the main reasons I bought the Big Joe was to help me cook only on lumpwood and stop buying briquettes. I filled the firebox with Oxford Charcoal Oak Lumpwood, there were some nice big bits in the bag that looked ideal. A single firelighter in the middle, lid down, vents open and with a bit of patience the temperature gauge slowly started to creep up. Once it hit 200f I started to close the vents down until it stuck at 225f at which point I dropped an oak log onto the fire, put the divide & conquer system in and placed the meat on the grill.

Mabel's Pork Belly

6 hours later it was 85c in most places on the Thermapen so I took it off. The colour was glorious!

Mabel's Pork Belly

It sliced very easily, really tender and so juicy. Mabel's Pork Belly

Time to Eat:

Mabel’s Pork Belly, Cleveland BBQ Sauce and Poppy Seed Coleslaw (from the same book: cider vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, French mustard, poppy seeds, rapeseed oil, salt, pepper, green cabbage, red cabbage, red onion and coriander leaves).

Mabel's Pork Belly


This dish really blew me away! Such a tasty dish, I was thinking about it all afternoon and I ate so much I needed a sleep! The meat was so soft and tender, the fat had rendered down and was juicy as you bit into it. The rub was fantastic and the taste of the oak log on the meat was awesome. The poppy seed coleslaw and Cleveland BBQ sauce went really well with this dish.

The Kamado Joe was so easy to cook on. Once it was at 225f it pretty much stayed there with minimal intervention. So impressed with it and looking forward to more long cooks over lump.

Cook Difficulty: 3/5 
Cook Duration: Medium: 3/5
Cook Equipment: Kamado Joe Big Joe
Cook Method: Indirect / Low and Slow
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Oak
Smoking Wood: Oak log
Cook temperature: 225f
Cook time: 6 hours
Internal temperature: 85c
Notes: 1: No major changes

The book Playing with Fire by Michael Symon is currently £22.50 on Amazon.




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