Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Sous-vide: pork belly in 42 hours

With very few exceptions, we nowadays prefer meat that is no longer raw, but more or less cooked, i.e. denatured, in various forms of preparation. Apart from cultural-historical backgrounds, the essential aspect for this clear preference is to be found in the solid protein strands of the collagen. In other words, raw meat cannot be chewed in most cases, or only with great difficulty, because the connective tissue simply holds it together far too well. Which is a good thing in principle, of course – after all, you want your own connective tissue to be firmer rather than softer…

However, meat behaves quite differently during this cooking process depending on the animal or body region, in direct relation to the amount of collagens to be melted. The higher their percentage, the longer the cooking time should be. At the same time, it is important not to stress the muscle meat too much, i.e. not to expose it to too high temperatures.

For more background on this topic, the Aurant cooking guide is highly recommended at this point.

So with this theoretical underpinning in mind, my pork brook was vacuumed along with some garlic, pounded cumin, star anise and some soy sauce and then cooked for 42 hours in the Fusion Chef at exactly 64 degrees (very roughly based on these notes from Harald Wohlfahrt). I suspect a few hours more or less wouldn’t have quite the effect. The constant temperature, on the other hand, is very important, as I would like to stay below the limit in which the collagens dissolve completely and, of course, one would like to avoid that all the fat diffuses out of the abdomen.

After about 42 hours, I removed the meat from the vacuum bag and first trimmed it all around until it reached the desired size and visually already made a much better impression.

Of course, you can certainly eat the rind. However, I decided to remove them as well, down to a few millimeters. Then the pieces prepared in this way go under the grill set to maximum temperature for a few more minutes. Before doing so, briefly coat with a boiled down syrupy varnish of ketjap manis, soy sauce, honey, flavored mustard and again cumin and star anise.

As a result, you get two small, very tender pieces of pork belly, in which the layers of fat are still present, but slightly melted. The crispy roasted remains of the rind, together with the many spices from the vacuum as well as the varnish, give a very intense aroma that permeates the entire meat.


Certainly not for the quick hunger or the slim line. Likewise, there are certainly dishes with a much better environmental balance. But – and this is the knowledge gained: With a little effort and effort in the preparation, can be conjured up even from now rather unloved parts of the animals that we slaughter every day, something quite sophisticated.

Tip: The SousVide Supreme Demi

Exact temperature between 30 and 999 degrees, accurate to 0.5 degrees. High quality workmanship and also suitable for smaller kitchens. Clear instructions and very easy to use. Already from 280€.

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Au Quai, Hamburg

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