Bourbon and Peppercorn–Glazed Pork Belly

Jeremy Ashby

AZUR Restaurant & Patio - Lexington, KY

Jeremy Ashby served this glazed pork belly at the Beard House. The sweet glaze creates a flavorful, crispy skin on the pork.


  • 3 pounds pork belly
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons mixed peppercorns (such as black, pink, and white peppercorns)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Season the pork belly with salt, pepper, and cumin. Sear, fat side down, until evenly browned, about 7 minutes on each side. Remove the pork from the skillet. Add the celery, carrots, onions, and garlic, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the stock and stir to incorporate ingredients. Bring to a simmer and add bay leaves and thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Place pork belly back into skillet, fat side up, cover loosely with foil and place in the oven for 1 hour. Add more stock to the pan and continue to cook pork belly until fork tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 more hours. Allow pork to cool with the liquid in the skillet. Remove 3 cups of the stock and vegetables. Bring the 3 cups to a boil and reduce by half, about 10 minutes.

To make the glaze, toast the peppercorns and cloves in a medium pan. Cool the peppercorns, then grind them with the cloves and cinnamon to a fine powder. Mix the spices with the bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce, orange juice, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and reduce until thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.

When the pork has cooled, cut into 8 square portions. Brush the glaze on the fat side of the pork belly and roast in the oven until the top is crispy and the center is hot, about 15 minutes. Place reduced stock and vegetables on a small plate, top with pork belly, and drizzle dish with additional glaze.


8 servings