For our sliders, we cook Snake River Farms pork belly low and slow and then top each slice with house made Syrah BBQ sauce. It may be a small sandwich but the flavor is big. Big enough to hold up to the long finish our Syrah.
Recipe makes approximately 18 appetizer-sized sandwiches
For the Pork Belly Sliders:
1 ounce dried tea leaves (we use Lipton’s)
½ gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
2 cups granulated sugar
½ gallon ice
4 lbs. pork belly
Easy Pickles (recipe below)
Syrah Hoisin BBQ sauce (recipe below)
9 hog dog buns (top and bottom crusts removed), cut in half
Wrap the tea leaves in cheesecloth and secure with butcher’s twine. In a large pot, combine water, tea leaves sachet, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour. Transfer to a non-reactive container and add ice. Cool brine to below 40°F. Add pork and let brine for at least 72 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 425º F. Remove pork from brine and pat dry.
Place pork on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 275ºF and cook for 2 hours more. Check for doneness. Remove from oven and let cool. Cover the pork belly with parchment paper and top with another sheet pan. Weigh down the top sheet pan and refrigerate overnight.
The following day, slice the pork into small (3 x ¾ -inch) medallions. Any extra can be frozen at this point.
To serve: Crisp up the pork in a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat, approximately 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Remove pork belly from pan and toast the buns. (If there is not enough fat left in the pan, you can add a little butter to toast the buns). Assemble each sandwich with a piece of pork, two pickles and 1 teaspoon of barbecue sauce.
For the Syrah Hoisin BBQ Sauce:
1 cup Kendall-Jackson Syrah
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 cup barbecue sauce
Place the Syrah in a sauce pot and cook over medium-high heat. Once the wine has reduced by half, add the hoisin and barbecue sauces. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from the heat and reserve for the sliders. Extra sauce may be cooled and refrigerated for up to 1 week. This sauce also tastes great on chicken.
For the Easy Pickles:
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
2 English cucumbers (sliced ¼-inch thick)
In a bowl, add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix well and allow the salt and sugar to dissolve.
Add the cucumber slices and let them marinate in the pickling liquid for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately for a crisp vegetable texture or allow them to marinate longer for a softer pickle.