Delicious braised pork belly, sweet potatoes and perfectly cooked eggs make the ultimate breakfast!
A couple of weekends ago my bestie and I went on a little girls weekend. We didn't go far, just about an hour or so away, but it was wonderful to get away. We shopped, ate too much, walked the beach, took pictures, and just talked. A lot. We are so busy with our families and everyday lives that we don't often get time to hang out for hours and just catch up on life!
So part of our trip was spent walking around the wonderful farmers markets in Grand Rapids. I literally could live in the new Downtown Market. If I lived closer, I'd be there every. Single. Day. I'd go there and buy ingredients for that nights dinner. They have produce, meat, fish, coffee, ice cream, cheese, spices...and the list goes on.
One of the things I picked up while we were shopping was a gorgeous pork belly from Montello Meat Market. I've never cooked with pork belly, but I've been wanting to for a long time! I got it home and then thought, what am I going to do with this?? HA!
After browsing the web for inspiration I decided to go with a pork belly hash and man, am I glad I did. This recipe takes a little bit of time as you braise the pork belly first, but it is totally worth it. I actually braised it, then let it sit in the frig for a couple of days before making my dish. When I finally made the hash for breakfast the other day, my kids gobbled it up! I call that a win.
Cajun Pork Belly & Sweet Potato Hash
Recipe written by The Chef Next Door
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1 lb. pork belly
5 cloves garlic (3 for the braise, 2 for the hash)
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
3 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped and patted dry
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed and parboiled
4 large eggs
First, braise the pork belly. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Sprinkle both sides of the pork belly with salt and black pepper and place it in a Dutch oven. Peel three cloves of the garlic and gently smash them, then add them to the pot along with the broth and rosemary. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Let the pork belly braise until tender, about 3 hours. Uncover the pot and let it cool to room temperature. Remove the pork, pat it dry and wrap tightly in foil. Chill the pork belly for at least 8 hours.
Take the pork belly out of the refrigerator and remove the fat, then cut the meat into cubes. Sprinkle the meat with the Cajun seasoning and toss well to coat. Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the pork cubes and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the pork and set it aside.
Add the onion and roasted red peppers to the drippings in the pan and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Chop the remaining two cloves of garlic and add those to the pan, cooking for another couple of minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the potatoes until they are golden brown on the bottom. Turn the potatoes over and add the pork back to the pan. Cook until the other side of the potatoes are brown and the pork is heated through.
While the hash is finishing up, fry the eggs. Heat a couple of tablespoons of butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Fry until the edges begin to set. Cover the pan with a lid for 2 minutes to finish cooking the eggs; the yolk will still be runny. Divide the hash among 4 plates and top each with an egg.