Lacquered Pork Belly with Curried Beluga Lentils, Pickled Radish, Rutabaga, and Benitade
Chef Jeff O’Neill of The Mar-a-Lago Club – Palm Beach, FL
Adapted by
April 2008
Yield:6-8 Servings

Step 1: Remove pork belly from the brine and sear on plancha.
Step 2: Transfer pork to pan and cover with braising liquid.
Step 3: Place pork belly in CVap set to 180˚F, with 0 browning. Set the cooking time for 12 hours, and holding time of 4 hours.
Step 4: Remove and let cool until ready to serve.

CVap® Advantage

  • Increased moisture retention
  • Concentrated flavor retention
  • Precise cooking temperatures
  • Enhanced textural quality

Jeff O'Neill Technique Video
Please update your version of Flash Player to view this movie.


Jeff O'Neill Pork BellyBrine:
2 quarts Madeira
2 quarts mirin
1 pint low sodium soy sauce
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup peeled, crushed ginger
3 stalks lemongrass, sliced
10 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup green cardamom pods
½ cup yellow mustard seeds
¼ pound thyme
½ pound Thai basil
1 cup rice wine vinegar
4 pounds ice
1 (2-pound) Kurabuto pork belly, scored

Braising Liquid:
1½ gallons of the remaining brine
2 quarts brown pork stock
¼ pound whole butter, diced

Curried Beluga Lentils:
½ pound apple smoked bacon, julienne
1 cup shallots, minced
1 pound Beluga lentils, rinsed
2 bay leaves
2 rosemary sticks
1 gallon chicken stock
Sea salt
White pepper
1 cup brown pork stock
½ cup butter
1 cup carrot, brunoise
1 cup celery root, brunoise
1 cup onion, brunoise
1 rosemary stick
1 Tablespoon sugar
Sea salt
1 Tablespoon madras curry
¼ cup minced garlic chives
2 ounces sherry vinegar

Pickled Radish:
1 pound icicle radishes, tops removed
1 gallon water
1 pint grenadine
1 pint red wine vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
5 cloves
¼ cup fennel seed
2 bay leaves
¼ cup sugar
2 cups Thai basil leaves


For the Rutabaga:
½ pound whole butter
1 ounce water
Sea salt
2 limes, juiced
1 pound diced rutabaga
3 ounces chicken stock
1 Tablespoon whole butter

For the Brine:
Combine the first ten ingredients in a saucepot and bring to a boil. Add the thyme, basil, and vinegar, let steep 20 minutes. Add the ice, and stir until cool.  When brine becomes very cold, submerge the pork belly in the brine for 24 hours. Remove the pork belly, and pat dry. Gently sear both sides in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat, until caramelized, and set aside.

For the Braising Liquid:
Combine the brine with the stock, and bring to a boil, skimming well to remove all impurities. Lower to 180˚F. Place pork belly in a 6 inch deep hotel pan, on a wire rack. Cover the pork with the liquid, and press the belly under a wire rack pressed with 3 vacuum sealed bricks.

For the Pork Belly:
Place the hotel pan in the Winston CVap Cook and Hold oven which is set to 180˚F, with zero browning. Set the cooking time for 12 hours, and holding time of 4 hours. Remove the pan and let cool overnight, under weight, in the cooking liquid. Remove the pork from the liquid, and scrape the cooking liquid into a sauce pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer, skim well, strain and reduce to a light glaze. Remove from the heat, and whisk in cold butter until dissolved; reserve. Cut the pork into 6 ounce portions and place in a non-stick pan with whole butter, basting until crisp. To serve, brush the pork with ½ ounce of glaze, and place under salamander until lacquer develops.

For the Curried Beluga Lentils:
Slowly render the bacon julienne, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Drain the bacon, and transfer the grease to a heavy bottom sauce pan. Sweat the shallots in the bacon grease until translucent, add the lentils, and coat. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, and ½ of the stock, cook slowly, stirring often until the liquid absorbed. Add the remaining stock, stir until absorbed. Sweat vegetables, seasonings, and rosemary in ¼ cup butter for 2 minutes. Remove rosemary. To prepare for serving, heat the lentils with a touch of pork stock. Add the vegetables and season with vinegar and salt.  Just before plating, fold in the butter, garlic chives, and bacon julienne.

For the Pickled Radish:
Blanch the radishes for 30 seconds in boiling water. Strain the water, and add all of the ingredients minus the basil. Bring to 200˚F, and hold at this temperature for 45 minutes. Add the Thai basil, Let cool and refrigerate for 48 hours minimum. Strain off half of the liquid, reduce to syrup, and reserve for plating.

For the Rutabaga:
Melt the butter with the water, add rutabaga. Over medium heat, toss the rutabaga until butter froths. When butter becomes noisette, deglaze with lime juice, & reduce. Add chicken stock, reduce to glaze, remove from heat mount with remaining butter & season.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place a 3 ounce spoon of lentils in the center of a plate, and top with the lacquered pork belly. Lay the glazed rutabaga in a stripe to the side of the lentils. Lay 4 small pools of pickling liquid reduction to the sides of the rutabaga, and place a half of radish on each. Dress around the lentils with pork reduction, and garnish with micro benitade.