To the untrained eye, pork belly might appear to be just a chunk of fat and skin. However, once it is cut open, the layers of fat and meat reveal an entirely different story. Beneath that layer of fat is a layer of meat that is full of collagen to make it tender and juicy when cooked. To understand how this process works, we visited Dandy Lane Cafe’s butcher shop and warehouse to discover how pork belly becomes a part of their delicious dishes.
What is a Pork Belly?
A pork belly is the same thing as ‘bacon.’ Technically, bacon is made with pork bellies. The pork belly contains a large amount of fat and skin on the outside, a large amount of connective tissue, and a small amount of lean meat. The lean meat in a pork belly is semi-tender, but the fat and connective tissue are the main factors that determine the tenderness of a pork belly.
Why Pork Belly?
Pork belly is not just an ingredient. It is a way of life. It is a declaration that we will not settle for less than what is best. We love pork belly because it tastes amazing. It is tender and juicy and flavorful. But we love pork belly because it is a product of our love for the planet and its inhabitants. We love pork belly because it helps us make a difference in the lives of others and ourselves.
The Secret to the Tenderness of Pork Belly
The secret to tenderness comes from the collagen in the meat. Collagen is a protein that is broken down when the pork belly is cooked. This results in the pork becoming tender and juicy. The best way to achieve this is to cook the pork belly in a low-temperature, moist environment. The internal temperature of the pork should reach 82-85 degrees Celsius but never exceed 100 degrees Celsius. If the pork is cooked to 100 degrees Celsius, the collagen will be hydrolyzed and turned into gelatin. This will result in the pork losing its juicy texture and becoming rubbery.
Discovering Our Delicious Process Of Pork Belly
At Dandy Lane Cafe, we take pride in our deliciously crafted pork belly. We have perfected our process to create the most tender and succulent pork belly with a crunchy skin you will ever experience. Our signature dish starts with sourcing the highest quality pork belly available. We then slow-cook it at a low temperature for many hours, allowing the flavours to mingle and the fats to render. After that, we finish off the cooking process with a quick burst of high heat to give the pork belly a crunchy, golden brown skin. Once it comes out of the oven, we let the pork belly cool and rest overnight before slicing it up. The result is a tender, juicy pork belly with crunchy skin that is absolutely delicious. So come on by to Dandy Lane Cafe to experience our pork belly for yourself – you won’t regret it!