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Spicy Pork Rillons (Pork Belly)

Spicy Pork Rillons (Pork Belly)

1.5 to 2 lb pork belly, boneless with any skin/rind removed

1 T unrefined salt

1 T lard for browning plus ¼ - ½ cup additional lard, melted, for braising (DIY)

1 bay leaf

Spice mixture (see options below)

½ cup bone broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 heaping tsp. prepared horseradish

Spice Mixture Options

Option #1

2 tsp. unrefined salt

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. cumin

*** If you are on the autoimmune Paleo protocol, use this option:

Option #2

2 tsp. unrefined salt

2 tsp. black or white pepper

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground allspice

Cut pork belly into large cubes, approximately 2” x 2”, place in a dish and toss with 1 T salt to evenly distribute on all sides. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours.

When ready to prepare rillons, remove pork from refrigerator, rinse then pat dry with paper towels. Allow pork to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place dry pork pieces in a bowl and toss with the spice mixture of your choice.

Heat 1 T lard in a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium to medium-low heat until glistening, then sauté pork on all sides until medium brown and becoming caramelized. Avoid crowding the pork in the skillet. Sauté in batches, if needed.

Arrange browned pork in an oven-safe dish that is just large enough to hold all pieces in a single layer. Strain pan drippings over pork then add bone broth, garlic, and horseradish. Add additional melted lard until liquid is half-way up the sides of the pork pieces.

Place dish in the preheated oven for 20 minutes then reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Remove dish from oven and carefully stir the rillons to redistribute, cover and return to oven to braise. Check occasionally to insure liquid is still at least half-way up the sides of the rillons. Add a little more broth or filtered water, if needed.

Allow to braise for up to 2 hours, or until the lean meat portions of the rillons are tender and the fat portions are buttery soft. Serve hot.

To save for later, place rillons in a dish and strain the remaining fat over them. Cover and store in refrigerator. When ready to serve, remove rillons from fat then sauté over medium heat to warm through and add crispiness to the outer layers. Can also be sliced and served cold on a salad.