Chef News

Chef James Fox's Braised Pork Belly

We've been talking with Chef James Fox this week, and today he's going to share one of his favorite recipes from the Big Earl's BBQ menu.

Is there any one thing you've changed on the menu that you feel is distinctly "you"?

Definitely the pork belly - I'm a huge fan of it. Pork is amazing. I've never done BBQ before, so I'm still learning...I'm still tweaking. I mean, you can't just be like "oh ok, I'm going to change these ribs and they're going to be perfect" because, I mean, you don't know. Slowly but surely fine tuning all the smoked items is a challenge, but I love it. If you're not challenged then you're not doing it right. Because if you're not learning, you're dead.

Get the recipe after the jump.

Braised Pork Belly with Peach Chutney

Peach Chutney


3 peaches cut into ¼ in slices
½ red onion minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 basil leaves chiffonade
2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar

Add vinegar and sugar to small sauce pot turn on high till boiling then turn to low and let simmer till liquid becomes syrupy then let cool to room temperature (It should resemble honey in texture). While liquid is reducing place peaches flesh side down in a hot nonstick sauté pan or a griddle, and lightly brown all sides of peach. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, and balance out the sweetness.

Braised Pork Belly


5 lb Pork Belly
2 Gallons of Brine (2 gallons water, 2 cups of kosher salt)
2 Onions
3 Celery Stalks
1 Carrot
4 Sprigs Thyme
4 Cloves Garlic
2 T Black Peppercorns
½ Gal Apple Juice
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
4 cups Big Earl's Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
Water to cover

Place Pork Belly in saltwater brine overnight, or 24 hours. Remove Pork Belly from the brine and towel dry. Start your smoker with soaked pecan wood chips. Once your smoker has reached an internal temperature of 225oF place Pork Belly in smoker, and smoke for 3 hours. After three hours set Pork Belly aside to cool
In a large roasting pan or Dutch oven sauté the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and thyme just until you start to see a little color on the vegetables.
While your vegetables are caramelizing preheat oven to 250oF. Once vegetables are slightly brown add in Pork Belly, peppercorns, apple cider vinegar and apple juice, BBQ sauce, water to cover Pork Belly. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer. Cover tightly with lid or aluminum foil. Remove Pork Belly, place on sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours - overnight is ideal.
Reduce the remaining liquid on the stove until thick. Strain sauce through a mesh colander to remove vegetables and thyme springs. Reserve liquid and keep chilled.
To finish, portion Pork Belly in to 5 ounce pieces, and cut into three equal planks. Sear off planks in a nonstick sauté pan add a little bit of your reduced liquid, just to coat the pieces of pork belly.

Serve with peach chutney and a little bit of more of (heated) reduced liquid.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria