Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Honey roasted pork belly with black pepper vinegar

The menu at Empress Tavern, an underground restaurant in part of a building that began life as a vaudeville palace in 1912, revolves around a massive rotisserie. Locally raised pork is among the options.

Chef Mike Thiemann
Mother and Empress Tavern, Sacramento

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2 lb. pork belly, rolled and tied
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. toasted cumin
1 tbsp. coarse salt
1/2 cup honey, warm
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. toasted crushed peppercorn


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, lime juice, cumin and salt. Rub pork evenly with mixture. Place pork in a pan with an oven rack and roast for 3 to 4 hours or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Stir together warm honey, vinegar and peppercorns in a small bowl until completely incorporated. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Brush honey mixture on pork, reserving some for drizzling, and return to oven for 15 minutes. Remove and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with a drizzle of the honey mixture.  

Serves 4 to 6

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