Tender Pork Belly with Habanero Chili, Apricot Jam, and Parmesan Grits

Source: Goran Basarov, Balboa Cafe

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on November 16, 2019.

Serves 4 to 6

Slow Roasted Pork Belly


2 ½ pounds pork belly
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves
2 star anise
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 apples, chopped
1 ½ cups white wine
4 cups pork stock
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Score the pork belly skin diagonally in a diamond pattern at 1½ centimeter intervals. Season generously with salt and pepper, rubbing it well into the belly.

Place the fennel, bay leaves, garlic, apples, star anise and half the fennel seeds into a hot roasting pan on the stove with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and heat for about 2 minutes until spices become aromatic. Push to the side of the tray, then add the pork, fat side down, and cook for at least 5 minutes until turning golden brown. Turn the pork over and add the wine to deglaze the pan (be careful not to get the top of the pork belly wet).

Bring the wine to a gentle boil, then pour in enough stock to come up ¾ of the way around the pork belly and bring back up to a gentle boil.

Transfer the tray to the preheated oven and cook for 2 ½ hours.




1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup grits
3 cups pork stock
½ cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste


Dice the shallot and mince the garlic cloves. Saute in a heavy bottomed pot with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.                                    

Add pork stock (recipe below), milk, heavy cream, pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and slowly stir in grits, bit by bit, this way it won’t create lumps. Bring to a simmer and stir frequently for 5 to 7 minutes, or until grits are thick and creamy.

Reduce heat to low and add butter and parmesan cheese. Stir until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve immediately.


Habanero Chili and Apricot Jam


12 ½ cups dried apricots
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 habanero peppers
1 tablespoon fruit pectin
7 cups sugar


Chop the dried apricots, place in a sauce pot, and add the lemon juice. Seed the habaneros and bled them together with a small amount of the apricot mixture.

Add habanero to the pan. Stir in the pectin and bring to a boil; add sugar, bring back to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes and remove from heat.

Place in an air tight container, cool down immediately.

Photo by Kora Vandervall.

Farmers Market Ingredients