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Braised Pork Belly Sandwich with Pesto Mayo

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 2 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 (8-ounce) square portions pork belly

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Grapeseed oil, to coat bottom of pan

4 whole cloves garlic

1 onion, diced

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 sprig rosemary

1/4 cup dry portobello mushrooms

2 Scotch bonnet peppers or jalapenos, optional

2 cups beef broth

2 cups chicken broth

4 small ciabatta rolls, split and toasted

8 ounces smoked mozzarella, sliced

Pesto Mayo:

1/2 cup prepared pesto

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Dash lemon juice

Pinch kosher salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Score the pork belly several times on fatty side. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Coat a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, with oil. Add the pork belly, 1 piece at a time, scored side down, to the pot. Sear slowly to render the fat on all sides for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain off the excess fat leaving 3 to 4 tablespoons and add the garlic. Brown the garlic, then add the onions and cook until slightly colored, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the brown sugar and balsamic and cook until syrupy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Dijon and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rosemary, mushrooms, peppers and broths and bring to a boil. Return the pork belly to the pan, cover and put in the oven. Braise until fork tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from oven and transfer the pork belly to a platter.
  5. Pesto mayo:
  6. Mix all the ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl and set aside.
  7. To assemble sandwiches:
  8. Spread pesto mayonnaise liberally on each side of the toasted rolls. Put a piece of pork belly and several slices of smoked mozzarella on the bottom halves. Arrange the bottom halves of assembled sandwich on a sheet pan and put back in the oven until cheese melts and browns, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with the roll tops and serve.