Taste

Celebrate Winter the Right Way with a Pork Belly BLT

BLT, meet P. This recipe for Pork Belly BLTs (or PBLTs, if you will) takes the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich up a notch, replacing the standard strips of bacon with juicy, thick-cut pieces of pork belly coated in a decadent salty-sweet glaze. Need we say more? This dish will give you a new appreciation for what you can achieve between two slices of bread.

RECIPE TIPS

  • How to use the remaining tarragon? Roughly chop the leaves and mix into a salad dressing.
  • Starting bacon in a cold pan makes for a crispier, less greasy consistency, as the fat has more time to render, or melt away.
  • If your glaze thickens quickly and gets too sticky in the pan with the pork belly, try stirring in a little warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen it up.

INGREDIENTS
½ tablespoon butter
2 plum tomatoes
1 head butter lettuce
⅛ ounce tarragon
8 ounces green beans
1 lemon
1 clove garlic
10 ounces pork belly
1½ ounces mayonnaise
4 slices sourdough bread
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

YOU’LL NEED
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
10″ medium nonstick pan
12″ large pan

Method

01

Prepare Ingredients: Rinse all produce. Let butter soften at room temperature. Cut tomatoes into ¼- inch slices, place on a plate, and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Tear lettuce leaves into large pieces, discarding root. Finely chop enough tarragon leaves to yield 1 teaspoon, discarding stems; save remainder for another recipe (see Recipe Tip). Trim and discard ends of green beans. Halve lemon. Mince garlic.

02

Crisp Pork: Pat pork belly dry with paper towel and cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices. In a medium nonstick pan, arrange pork in a single layer, then place over medium high heat (see Recipe Tip). Cook, flipping occasionally, until fat is rendered and pork is browned on both sides, 8–10 minutes total. Transfer pork to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Let excess fat in pan cool slightly, then discard. Reserve pan for glazing pork.

03

Make Aioli and Toast Bread: While pork crisps, in a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, tarragon, and 1 squeeze lemon juice until fully combined. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper and set aside. Spread butter on 1 side of each bread slice. Place buttered-side down in a large pan over medium heat and toast, working in batches as needed, until golden on bottom, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean dry surface, toasted-side up.

04

Glaze Pork: Add balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ⅛ teaspoon salt to pan from pork, stir to combine, and return to medium heat. Stir in pork. Cook until liquid has mostly reduced and pork is coated and sticky with glaze, 3–5 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

05

Sauté Green Beans: While pork glazes, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan from bread over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add green beans and sauté, stirring, until softened, 4–5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1–2 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in juice of ½ lemon, and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Divide evenly between serving plates.

06

Assemble and Plate BLTs: Spread tarragon aioli on non-toasted sides of bread slices, then layer glazed pork belly, then tomato, then as much lettuce as desired (surrounding the juicy tomato with lettuce and pork belly keeps it from turning your perfectly toasted bread soggy!). Close BLTs, serve with green beans, and dig in. Save any remaining lettuce for another sandwich.

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