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beer brine

Stout Brined Crispy Chili Brown Sugar Pork Belly

Stout Brined Crispy Chili Brown Sugar Pork Belly P

Pork belly is a bit of a trade secret. It’s rich, delicious, and if you can get your hands on it, fairly cheap. It’s like shallots and Maldon salt, these little touches that turn a home-cooked meal into something that rivals a commercial kitchen. Pork belly is a favorite among chefs, and it’s easy to see why.

This gorgeous, fatty, melt-in-your-mouth cut of the pig is actually bacon, before it’s baconed. It’s hard to come by, but not impossible. Don’t plan to just pick this up at Safeway, you’ll have to call around to local butcher shops.

Stout Brined Crispy Chili Brown Sugar Pork Belly_The great news is, once you find it, it’ll probably be less than $4 a pound. One thing to keep in mind is how differently the meat and the fat need to be cooked. The meat itself needs the slow and low treatment or it’ll dry out, a good brine will help with this as well.

The fat, on the other hand, needs an intensely high heat. Finishing these little bites of meat candy on a hot grill is also a great idea. Adding some sugar to the skin will help with a beautifully caramelized crackle.

It’s also perfect with beer. Fancy, slow-cooked bacon was just made for a beautiful, balanced IPA, one with extra hops but a strong malt backbone. Beer and pig, it’s hard to go wrong.

Stout Brined Crispy Chili Brown Sugar Pork Belly 2

Stout Brined Crispy Chili Brown Sugar Pork Belly


  • 1 cup very hot water
  • 3 tbs kosher salt
  • 1 tbs white sugar
  • 1 tbs whole cloves
  • 1 tbs whole allspice berries
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 24 ounces stout
  • 4.5 lbs pork belly
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbs rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp red chili sauce such as Sriracha


  • In a large bowl or baking dish stir together the hot water, salt and sugar until the salt and sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the cloves, allspice and peppercorns. Stir in the beer, test to make sure the brine is cold (if not, chill until cooled).
  • Add the pork belly, cover and chill for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Remove from the brine (reserve brine), rinse the pork belly well.
  • Place a wire rack over a baking sheet (alternately, a baking pan will work), pour about 1 cup of the brine in the baking sheet making sure the wire rack is not submerged.
  • Place the pork belly on the rack, bake at 275 until pork is fork tender, about 4 hours.
  • Remove the pork from the oven, raise the oven temperature to 500.
  • Stir together the brown sugar, vinegar, chili flakes, and chili sauce.
  • Brush the pork belly with the sugar mixture.
  • Roast for ten minutes, re-brush with sugar mixture, roast again until pork is golden brown and the top is crispy.


Beer Brined Roast Chicken

Why do I cook with beer? What is it about this fantastic beverage that drives me to create recipe after recipe with beer as a star ingredients? Flavor. Beautiful and complex flavors that take months, even years to perfect by brewers. Aside from that, beer is a natural meat tenderizer, making it the perfect choice for a brining liquid and explaining that Beer Can Chicken recipe you keep seeing at tailgate parties. Due in no small part to the beer in the brine, it’s flavors and tendering properties, this recipe gives you a juicy bird, crispy skin and the perfect level of beer taste. That’s why I can’t stop cooking with beer, it’s just so perfect.

 For this recipe I used Alaskan Brewing Company White Ale due to the flavors of citrus, coriander, and a slight sweetness, this beer is a fantastic choice. Choose a beer with similar flavors and low hops, please no IPA’s.

Beer Brined Roast Chicken

5 lb whole roasting chicken

4 cups water

3, 12 oz Alaskan White (or similar white ale with citrus notes, and low hops)

1 tsp whole cloves

1 tbs whole black peppercorns

1/2 cup kosher or sea salt

1/2 red onion

1 whole lemon

1 tsp black pepper

In a pot over medium heat, combine the water, beer, cloves, peppercorn and salt. Cook until the salt has dissolved, and the liquid starts steaming, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool, adding a raw chicken to hot brine will start to cook it prematurely.

Rinse the raw chicken, removing anything that is in the cavity. Place in a large stock pot, bucket or dutch oven that is just taller than the top of the chicken. Pour the cooled brine over the chicken until submerged. Place in the fridge and allow to soak for 12 hours. If the chicken isn’t fully submerge, turn every 4-6 hours to re-distribute the brine.

After 12 hours, remove from brine and rinse thoroughly, pat dry. Place in a roasting rack in a roasting pan and allow to sit, uncovered in the refrigerator until the skin has dried, about 12 to 24 hours. This final step will allow the skin to become crispy during cooking, while the meat is juicy.

Preheat oven to 450.

Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the chicken, place the spent lemons inside the chicken cavity along with 1/2 an onion. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with pepper.

Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees, or the breast meat is at 180 degrees. If the chicken starts to brown too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.