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Braised Pork Belly with Fennel Gravy

Braised Pork Belly with Fennel Gravy
Recipe Date:
December 2, 2022
Serving Size:
Cook Time:
Imperial (US)
Seasons Greetings Bayernmoor Friends! I’ve been struggling to answer the all too common post Thanksgiving questions: what will I be giving and what will I be cooking for this upcoming December holiday. As I’m not keen on shopping malls, and I insist on eating anyone else's food but my own whenever I get the chance, I begin my deep dive into finding solutions. My research journey starts (and promptly ends) by watching Jim Carry’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My first question is answered when the young Grinch gives a homemade tree topper angel to his crush, Martha May, and she loves it. It sparks an idea, something homemade, a gift that keeps giving: a favorite recipe. My next solution is presented when the Grinch is stealing Christmas, which of course, includes the Christmas feast of roast beast. Now, “beast” can be interpreted in many different ways, the movie depicts what looks like a goose and Google insists on correcting my recipe search to roast beef, but who doesn’t love a baked ham during this special season. Which has led me to where I am now, writing this, ready to gift the recipe for the fan favorite dish from my fall/winter menu and what I will personally be bringing to the feast this year. Please enjoy… Particularly with our Bayernmoor 2017 Estate Pinot Noir.
  • 4 lbs pork belly, scored
  • 1 1/2 large fennel bulb, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 large Walla Walla onion, sliced thin
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 bottle of Bayernmoor Estate Pinot Noir
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


The night before you’re ready to serve, score the fat of the pork about a ¼ inch deep. Mix salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, and cumin, and thoroughly rub into the pork, being sure to get the mixture into the crevices of your score. Wrap well in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight. 

    The next day, unwrap the pork and place on paper towels, drying the meat, and gently brushing off any excess salt. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and put a large pan with vegetable oil over high heat. Once the oil is very hot, sear both sides of your pork, fat side down first, until golden brown. Set aside. With the heat still high, immediately saute your fennel, onion, and garlic with the rendered pork fat until they just begin to brown. About 5 to 10 minutes. Place in a high sided baking sheet and place your pork on top, fat side up. Finally, add wine to deglaze the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour over the pork and fennel mixture. If needed, add water to the baking sheet in order for the amount of liquid to just reach underneath the fat line of the pork. Do not fully submerge. Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours. After the pork is cooked, remove from the pan, and set aside on a separate baking sheet. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Using a slotted spoon, put fennel, onion, and garlic in a blender. With a fat separator, separate the liquid from the pork fat. Add the liquid to the blender. While blending on high, slowly drizzle in the pork fat to emulsify to make gravy.  

When ready to serve the pork belly, cut appropriately into individual serving sizes and quickly roast in the oven, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 15 minutes until the fat becomes golden.