Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly Recipe

Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly at Nine-Ten Restaurant in La Jolla
Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly (courtesy photo)

Try your hand at this Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly recipe from the popular Nine-Ten restaurant in La Jolla, California.

From curing their own salmon, to the charcuterie, sauces, stocks, and pastas, to making their our own salami, cheeses, ice creams, and sorbets, NINE-TEN is a casually elegant and food-driven restaurant that seems to remain timeless. This is a restaurant where people come for great food and wine, whether wearing a coat and tie or jeans and a button-down shirt. The staff is exceptionally well trained and educated on the food and preparation methods, as well as wine selections and pairings.

Spending a great amount of time working on the line, doing the actual cooking and plating, Executive Chef Jason Knibb is a hands-on chef, with almost every dish that leaves the kitchen having something on it that he actually touched. “There is no pomp and circumstance for me, I just want to cook,” he says. “I don’t have a culinary degree, and am pretty much a self-taught chef who has spent years practicing and learning from all the great chefs I’ve had the privilege to work under.” -Maria Desiderata Montana

Read more about Nine-Ten in my award-winning book: San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City and San Diego Food Finds Best Local Eats 2018.

Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly with Black-Eyed Peas & Garnet Yam Puree

(SERVES 4)

For the jerk marinade:

3 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
1-1/2 cups finely chopped scallions
6 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
3 teaspoons kosher salt
3 teaspoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons allspice
1-1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons black pepper
3 whole scotch bonnet peppers or habaneros
9 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the jerk pork belly:

1 (5-pound) slab uncured pork belly
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 gallon chicken stock
2 quarts veal stock
For the garnet yam puree:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups peeled and diced yams
Salt
6 cups water

For the black-eyed peas:

1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
1 cup diced and fried plantains
6 baby carrots, braised and halved
1 tablespoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the jerk marinade: Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree. The mixture should be slightly chunky and smooth. Makes 1-1/2 quarts marinade.

To make the jerk pork belly: In a large, covered bowl, marinate pork over night with 4 cups jerk marinade. Remove the pork from marinade, scrape off excess marinade, and reserve. Cut pork belly in half and season with salt and pepper.

In a large sauté pan, sear pork on both sides until golden brown. Place the pork into a large roasting pan that is at least 3 inches deep. Add onions, carrots, and celery to the same sauté pan and caramelize. Add remaining jerk marinade and stocks, bring to a boil, and pour over pork.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Place a piece of parchment paper onto the pork and then cover with foil. Place pork in the oven and cook for 3 to 4 hours, until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Remove the pork from the braising liquid and strain the liquid into a large saucepan. Skim the fat from the liquid, place the pan on medium-high heat, and reduce liquid by half. Remove the pork belly from the liquid and reserve liquid for later. Place the pork belly into the refrigerator and let cool until firm. Once firm, cut the belly into sixteen 11/2 x 11/2-inch cubes. Set aside until ready to deep-fry.

When ready, deep-fry three cubes of pork belly in a deep-fryer until golden brown and crispy. Glaze the belly with some of the braising liquid.

To make garnet yam puree: In a medium sauté pan over high heat, add the oil and yams. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes and add the salt and water. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until yams are soft and the liquid is just about dry (add more water if yams are not cooked). Strain yams and place into an ice bath to cool. Once the yams are cool, add to a blender and puree until silky smooth. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

To make the black-eyed peas: In a large pan sauté the black-eyed peas, plantains, and carrots in the remaining braising liquid. Simmer liquid until it is reduced to a glaze. Season to taste with thyme, salt, and pepper. Warm the yam puree and, using square serving plates, dollop yam puree off-center of the bottom of the middle of each plate, creating a decorative “swoosh” by swiftly dragging the spoon across the plate to give the dollop puree a little “tail.” Place one pork belly cube at the left top of the swoosh, another in the center of the plate, and another at the bottom of the plate. Spoon the black-eyed pea mixture on top of each piece of pork.

Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly with Black-Eyed Peas & Garnet Yam Puree Recipe appears in the San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City