Hard Cider & Maple Brined Pork Belly
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 24 oz hard apple cider
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ - 2 lbs pork belly
  1. Place pork in the freezer while making brine (about 5 minutes, makes scoring fat easier).
  2. Combine all ingredients, except pork belly, in a pot over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring until salt dissolves. When brine begins to simmer, remove from heat. Allow to cool completely in refrigerator.
  3. Remove pork from freezer, using sharp knife, score fat in diamond pattern. Place pork in gallon-size sealable bag, pour cooled brine in bag, seal, place in large bowl. Allow to brine in refrigerator overnight or for 8 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Remove pork from brine, discard liquid. Place pork, fat cap up, on rack in roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour, 30 minutes. At the 1-hour mark, start checking pork every 10 minutes to make sure it is not overcooked.
  5. When finished roasting, turn broiler to low. Broil pork for 3-4 minutes (watch carefully) or until fat is browned and very crispy. Remove from oven, slice with serrated knife as soon as it is cool enough to handle. Serve warm.
I have not tried this substitute for the hard cider, but if you'd like to use a non-alcohol brine, I would experiment with roughly 2 cups water, ¾ cup apple juice, and ¼ cup apple cider vinegar.
Recipe by Autoimmune Wellness at https://autoimmunewellness.com/hard-cider-maple-brined-pork-belly/