Oven Pulled Pork and Grilled Pork Belly recipe take hours to make but its just the best!!!
Disclaimer: These recipes are not for the weak. I have (count ’em!) two awesome pork recipes in store. We’re talking slow roasting, hours-on-end, oven pulled pork, with crisp-yet-succulent pork belly. That’s right. Pulled pork PLUS pork belly. Prepared in various ways and eaten for multiple meals. Used together or separately, these recipes are a meat lover’s dream.
But first, a story.
On a recent trip to Cleveland to visit my sister, she took us to the well-known Melt Bar & Grilled. This restaurant was featured on both Man vs. Food and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, so I knew it had to be good… It did not disappoint.
Melt is known for their take on grilled cheese sandwiches; their menu is full of various options of grilled cheese, and you can even make your own sandwich using any ingredient on their menu. I ordered their fried green tomato BLT (amazing!), but Michael’s custom barbecue grilled cheese became the talk of the weekend – mainly because he was the one who couldn’t stop talking about it.
It was a great sandwich, though: piles of barbecue pulled pork with slices of pork belly, American cheese, and honey mustard, squeezed between two thick slices of Texas toast.
I’d love the luxury of traveling to Cleveland whenever we craved sandwiches from Melt but these recreations are a pretty close second. Plus, there will be tons of leftovers, so that’s pretty good consolation.
Let’s start with the pork belly. First, where to get it? Asian grocery stores (I’ve raved about them in previous posts) will have pork belly, but your local butcher should, too. For those in the Madison area, the Conscious Carnivore recently moved downtown and they gave me some beautiful organic Berkshire pork.
Momofuku’s recipe for pork belly does not disappoint. 2-3 pounds (I have 3 pounds here) are covered in a sugar and salt rub overnight. I kept the skin on and removed after the oven in order to snack on, but the easiest way to cook this slab of pork belly is actually without the skin (remove it yourself or ask your butcher).
The next day, blast in a hot oven for an hour and then slow roast it for another 30 minutes. Cool, cut into small slices and then finish with a quick sear on a grill pan. This is a time-intensive recipe but the actual cooking time is minimal.
We used the pork belly for sandwiches here but there are multiple uses. Buy some buns from an Asian grocery store and use it in there. Wrap up the pork belly in lettuce wraps. Eat with fried rice. The possibilities are endless!
This pulled pork recipe is also time-intensive but requires minimal prep work. After looking up a number of recipes for pulled pork, I came away with a few takeaways: pork shoulder is the best cut to use, a rub is a key to injecting flavor, and the pork pulls most easily at an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees, which can only be achieved by roasting the pork low and slow, allowing for all the collagen to break down tastily at that temperature .
First, the rub on a beautiful cut of pork shoulder (5 pounds here).
In the oven for 8.5 hours at 250 degrees until the pork hits that key internal temperature of 195-200 degrees. A meat thermometer works wonders.
Once out of the oven, cover the meat and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Then it’s go time! Pull, baby, pull – until you have enough shredded leftovers for a week.
What’s the best way to serve all this pork? You’ll definitely need some barbecue sauce. Use your favorite bottle or make it from scratch. I made some from scratch (using this recipe similar to Sweet Baby Ray’s), which is so much easier than I had expected; plus it eliminates the high fructose corn syrup.
To recreate the Melt sandwich, you’ll need a honey mustard recipe too (I picked another easy one to make from scratch). Then get your grilled cheese on: Melt some American cheese on a slice of thick, white toast. On another toasted slice, pile on the pulled pork and a few pieces of pork belly. Cover with a couple of spoonfuls of barbecue sauce. Drizzle with honey mustard. Place the other slice of toast on top, and you’ve got yourself a mega-grilled cheese sandwich.
For a more traditional serving, toast one slice of thick Texas toast, pile on the pulled pork with barbecue sauce. Top up with coleslaw.
Either way, you’ll receive multiple compliments from your adoring diners. And if you’re like me, these leftovers won’t go to waste.
If you make my Oven Pulled Pork and Grilled Pork Belly Recipe, be sure to take a photo and tag me @onlinefoodblog on Instagram or Twitter. I would love nothing more than to see your creations!
Pork Belly Ingredients Skinless pork belly (2-3 lbs) Pulled Pork Ingredients 1 shoulder pork roast (4-6 pounds) Pork belly Instructions Pulled pork Instructions Pork belly can be bought at many Asian grocery stores or your local butcher.
How to make Oven Pulled Pork and Grilled Pork Belly
2/3 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tbsp liquid smoke (optional)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp paprika (smoked paprika preferred)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dry mustard
3 tbsp kosher salt
To make the Melt sandwich recreation, toast two heavily-buttered slices of white toast on a griddle/pan. Melt cheese of choice on one slice of toast. Reserve the other to hold the pulled pork and pork belly. Drizzle meat with barbecue sauce and honey mustard. Top with toast slice with melted cheese and serve immediately.
Try out our Oven Pulled Pork and Grilled Pork Belly Recipe and post your results below in the comments…
Pork Belly Ingredients
Skinless pork belly (2-3 lbs)
Pulled Pork Ingredients
1 shoulder pork roast (4-6 pounds)
Pork belly Instructions
Pulled pork Instructions
Pork belly can be bought at many Asian grocery stores or your local butcher.