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updated: 9/4/2012 10:35 AM

Pork Belly Confit Sliders

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  • Chef Troy Tornabeni's pork belly confit sliders have replaced pulled pork sandwiches as a favorite at Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora.

      Chef Troy Tornabeni's pork belly confit sliders have replaced pulled pork sandwiches as a favorite at Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer


Pork Belly

5 pounds (1 piece) Berkshire pork belly

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

12 garlic cloves, crushed

3 tablespoons kosher salt

5 tablespoons porcini mushroom powder

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons onion powder

6 pounds pork lard


1 English cucumber, cut on a bias -inch thick slices

4 cloves garlic

1 yellow onion

5 cups white distilled vinegar

2 cups water

cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon dry dill

Buttermilk Onions

1 yellow onion, sliced

cup buttermilk

All-purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Alabama Barbecue Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

cup sour cream

2 tablespoons horseradish

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

teaspoons cayenne pepper

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

16 slider-sized pretzel buns

16 small slices Widmers 6-year-aged cheddar

For the pork: Combine the kosher salt, porcini mushroom powder, pepper, and onion powder to make a dry rub. Rub the pork belly with the dry rub then season with garlic and thyme, cover and allow to sit for 24 hours in a deep roasting pan in the refrigerator. Melt the pork lard, and cover the pork belly. Place into an oven set at 250 degrees for 6 hours or until for tender. Allow to cool in its own juices and lard.

For the pickles: Combine the vinegar, water, salt, pepper, and dill, allow the salt to dissolve then add the onion, garlic, and cucumber. Allow to sit for 24 hours.

For the onions: Heat a deep fryer or deep pot with oil to 350 degrees.

Soak onion slices in buttermilk for 10 minutes. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the soaked onions in flour making sure to shake off the excess. Deep fry until golden brown and crispy.

For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.

To serve: Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the cooked pork belly from the lard and reserve lard for later use, and cut pork belly into 1-inch squares. Heat 2 tablespoons pork belly in an oven proof saute pan, and brown on both sides; place pan into hot oven until pork reaches a temperature of 140 degrees.

Remove pork to a toasted bun; top with slice of cheese and allow to melt. Top with house-made pickles, sauce and buttermilk onions.

Serves eight.

Chef Troy Tornabeni, Stonebridge Country Club, Aurora

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