Kurobuta Pork Belly & BBQ Baked Garbanzo Beans

By: Sarah Kelly

Rich Kurobuta pork belly pairs famously with garbanzo beans and a savory, lightly sweet sauce in this recipe from Chef Sarah Kelly. The preparation method for Snake River Farms pork belly  works great for other recipes or applications. 

Sarah says, "I probably eat some kind of pork/sausage/bean dish at least once a week, Sometimes twice a week, since it’s such a natural combination. I am a big fan of making “BBQ baked” style beans with different kinds of legumes - red lentils, garbanzos, cannellini, etc. I usually top mine off with pickled vegetables, crème Fraiche, or sour crème.

Pork belly is always a staple at our restaurant- no matter how we end up using the finished product, we always start with the same initial brine and cooking method below."

Sarah is a Boise native and self-taught chef with restaurant experience ranging from fine dining to barbeque. She was the executive chef at the Lodge at Cordillera in Vail where she met her husband, DK. They moved back to Boise, opened the local legend, Bleubird, and later launched Petite 4, a French-inspired bistro which is a key part of the local culinary scene.


Pork Belly

  • 1 Snake River Farms Kurobuta pork belly (about 7 lbs.) Buy Now
  • 16 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves

Baked Bean Style Garbanzos

  • 2 cups Snake River Farms Kurobuta bacon, diced Buy Now
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ fennel bulb, diced
  • 3 cups dried chickpeas- soaked overnight
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • Reserved liquid from soaking beans
  • Salt to taste
  • Water- as needed

Pork Belly

Place all the ingredients, except for the pork belly, in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Cut heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Unwrap pork belly and place fat side up in a container at least 4 inches deep. If you do not have a vessel large enough, cut pork belly on half and double stack, fat side up.
Pour cool brine over the pork belly. Place a lid or wrap and place in fridge. If there is room in the container weigh down the pork belly with a few plates so it is fully submerged. Let brine for 24 up to 48 hours (preferred).
Drain off marinade, pat dry. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place fat side up in an oven-safe baking dish (deeper than a sheet tray). Using a sharp knife, score a tic tac toe pattern into the fat cap, being sure not to pierce into the meat. Rub 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil into the fat cap.
Roast in oven, uncovered, for 1 hour at 400°F. Turn down oven to 325°F. Roast for an additional 30 minutes.
Allow to cool. If not using all at once, portion into 4 oz square pieces, individually wrap and freeze (up to 2 months) or refrigerate (up to 5 days). Pull for future use.
To serve: Portion pork belly into desired sizes. We prefer nice tile sized pieces about 3 to 4 ounces.
Heat a sauté pan on stove top, about 30 sec. When pan is hot adding a nub of SRF beef tallow or blended oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan- you will not need a lot of since the pork belly will generate a lot of fat.
Place pork belly fat side down in hot pan, turn heat to medium high and let belly cook about 1 minute before moving around. Cook on fat side until colored and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over to other side and cook just till heated through.
If you want to get fancy, brush a little bit of maple syrup or soy glaze over the top before serving.
Some serving ideas for the portioned pork belly: stir-fries, fried rice, glazed with maple syrup for a breakfast meat, fruit compotes, creamed corn.

Baked Bean Style Garbanzos

Soak 3 cups dried chickpeas in a container with water coming up 2 plus inches above the dried beans. Let soak overnight.
The next day, pour beans and the bean water into a 6 quart casserole dish.
Cook the bacon in a large pan or medium size pot, stirring occasionally. Once 75 % cooked add the fennel, onion and garlic to the pan and sweat for about 5 to 8 minutes.
Scrape all into the casserole dish. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir. Cover with foil. Bake at 350°F. Check after 2 hours, stir and add a bit more water if need be. Check after another 2 hours, stir, add more water. Test beans to see if they are soft. If they are still pretty firm, cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes.
You want the beans to hold their shape and be slightly firm as they are garbanzos. You do not want them to be too mushy. These can take up to 5 hours! Take out of oven, uncover, let cool slightly before serving. Plate beans and top with slices of SRF pork belly.