FOR THE PORK BELLY
- 2-½ lbs. boneless skinless pork belly, cut into large chunks approx. 4 oz. each
- 1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 c. white distilled vinegar
- 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-2 Tbsp. annatto paste
- crushed red pepper (optional)
- salt & pepper
- vegetable oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center of the oven.
2. Lightly score the pork belly on the fat side by making a few 1/8″ deep cuts. Generously season the pork belly with salt and pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or flame-proof roasting dish over medium high heat until it shimmers. Lightly sear the pieces of pork belly on each side.
3. Drain the excess fat from the pan and position the pieces of belly with the fat side down. Add the orange juice, vinegar, garlic, annatto paste, and a pinch of crushed red pepper so that the liquid comes halfway up the pieces of meat. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the oven 1-1/2 to 2 hours until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.
4. While the pork is cooking, prepare the garnishes.
5. When the pork is cooked, let it rest covered in the cooking liquid for 5-10 minutes before pulling apart. Once it has rested, shred the meat with a pair of forks, or your fingers and mix it with just enough of the braising liquid to coat each morsel. Add salt to taste.
FOR THE WATERMELON SALSA
- 3 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
- Juice from 1 1/2 limes
- 1 cup peeled, diced jicama
- 1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons seeded, minced jalapeño
- 1/2large red onion, peeled/minced
- Salt, to taste