Chashu pork belly for tonkotsu ramen

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by tooshortu2, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. tooshortu2

    tooshortu2

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    Hi all,

    I have been working on a tonkotsu ramen recipe for the restaurant I work in and this will likely be my first post of many on the subject.

    Recently I have been trying to do the braised pork belly with a little difficulty. Nearly all of the recipes I have come across portion out the meat prior to cooking, presumably to achieve a softer texture all around. However I would like to go for the rolled style of meat that is quite common in Japan and pre-portioning just doesn't seem possible in this form. And I have run into problems in getting the uniform, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the meat itself (the fat has never really been too much of a problem).

    In my attempts I have covered about half the meat with the liquid and cooked in a covered pot in the oven at 275° and then checked the texture over a period of 6-7 hours. I originally planned on cooking it for 2.5 - 3 hours but the fat didn't even feel soft at that point so I just let it keep going. At the end of that a good portion of the centers were quite tender and close to what I was going for. But closer to the outsides were still quite tough, closer to the texture of pulled pork. Was this too high a temp? Obviously it was a long time, but wouldn't it be even longer if I lowered the temp?

    And so here is my question: what is the best technique of braising rolled (i.e. thick) pork belly for the characteristic melt-in-your-mouth texture? Should I cook slower and at a lower temp? I am thinking of trying it in a pressure cooker next to see if that will get me closer. Has anyone had success with this? Any tips for my first attempt?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. helloitslucas

    helloitslucas

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  3. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I think Sous Vide would work well with the pork belly. After it is sous vide, it could be sliced in portion sizes, browned as needed. What's nice about it is, the portion sizes are thin enough that when browned, it will also be heated all the way through.....Chefbillyb
     
  4. tooshortu2

    tooshortu2

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    Chefbillyb, That would likely work best, but unfortunately I don't have a sous vide setup :(