Braised Pork Belly with Kohlrabi Slaw and Lifeway Kefir

Tanya Baker

The Boarding House - Chicago

This recipe from 2015 Rising Star nominee Tanya Baker features succulent pork belly paired with a tangy and bright kohlrabi slaw. To get extra flavor from the pork-belly cure, toast your spices in a dry pan over low heat for about 5 minutes. 


  • Pork Belly:
  • 5 ounces Kosher salt
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons juniper berries, toasted and coarsely ground
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns, toasted and coarsely ground
  • One 10 to 15-pound slab boneless, skinless pork belly
  • Braising Liquid:
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • Kohlrabi Slaw:
  • 4 bulbs green kohlrabi, peeled and julienned, tops reserved
  • 3 Honeycrisp apples, julienned
  • 1 small red onion, shaved
  • 1 cup Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Kefir 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste


Cure the pork belly: in a bowl, combine the Kosher salt, garlic, rosemary, juniper berries, and black peppercorns. Generously rub the pork belly all over with the mixture. Set the pork belly on a sheet tray lined with parchment or plastic and let sit overnight. Before cooking, completely rinse off the cure from the belly.

Make the braising liquid: bring all ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Heat an oven to 325°F. Place the rinsed pork belly in a large hotel pan or roasting dish and pour the braising liquid over the belly. Cover with foil and cook for 2 hours. Once the belly is cooked, remove the foil and let cool in the liquid. Remove it from the braising liquid and place onto a sheet tray lined with parchment. Chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before portioning.

Make the kohlrabi slaw: in a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until chilled. 

Once pork belly is chilled, slice into 8-ounce rectangles or desired size. Sear fat side down on medium to high heat until golden brown color. Top each serving with kohlrabi slaw and serve. 


Thirty 8-ounce portions