190 Sunset Recipe: Beer-Braised Pork Belly By Chef Skyler Gemar

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“Winter is when we’re all spending lots of time indoors, and focusing on family, traditions and good food,” says Skyler Gemar, Executive Chef at 190 Sunset. “I’m always thinking of cooking earthy, cozy meals at this time of year – the kind of comfort food that sticks to your ribs and has deep, rich flavors that warm the bones, leaving you feeling satiated and happy.”

Chef Skyler is a passionate food artiste who cooks from his heart rather than traditional culinary school textbooks that emphasize an obedience to procedures and systems rather than what people really want. “I teach the cooks I lead to be `thinking’ cooks who provide the guest with the best possible experience, regardless of standardized recipes,” says Chef Skyler. Ever since he took over the kitchen at 190 Sunset a few months ago, he has been winning accolades and praises for his amazing interpretation of American cuisine with fresh, seasonal, Northwest influences.

This Christmas season, Chef Skyler has accidentally stumbled upon a fabulous way to prepare pork belly, and he wants to share this recipe with all our customers. So if you’re a home cooking enthusiast who wants to surprise your family with something special, give this a try.

The beer-braised pork belly recipe, certainly took Chef Skyler by surprise. “My eyes almost popped out of my head when I ate pork belly this way, and I believe many of you will truly enjoy it,” he says.

Pork belly is the underbelly of the pig where bacon comes from. This boneless cut of fatty meat is not expensive, but it’s texture and taste is multifaceted. With a crispy skin and fat-infused juicy meat, many chefs consider pork belly to be far superior to cured and smoked bacon. And cooking it is not difficult, requiring only a handful of ingredients:

BEER BRAISED PORK BELLY

(2 pounds of Pork Belly)

CURE RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup - Brown Sugar

1/2 cup - Kosher Salt

2 Tbl. - Red Chili Flakes

Instructions:

- Score skin side of pork belly.

- Mix sugar, salt and chili flakes together and rub on both sides of the pork belly.

- Set in fridge overnight.

BEER BRAISING:

- Remove pork belly from fridge and rinse off with cold water.

- Place pork belly in a roasting pan.

- Add beer to fill pan so that it reaches half way up the pork belly. (I like an IPA.)

- Cover pan with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours.

- Uncover and turn oven up to 425 degrees. Cook for 10 minutes longer to caramelize the fat on top.

- Remove from oven. Gently remove pork belly from pan and set on a cutting board to rest. Reserve the braising liquid for later.

- Serve by cutting desired size serving or chill in fridge for later. Portions can be cut later and reheated using the braising liquid.

Not a home cook?

Come back to 190 Sunset soon, and let Chef Skyler prepare it for you: Beer Braised Pork belly with toasted faro, currants, mustard greens and cassis gastrique!

Nabanita Dutt