Smoked Pork Belly LT Sandwich


pork belly lettuce tomato sandwich

Leveling up a classic sandwich is just what I do. In fact, I’ve made a career out of it, and I’m not stopping now. I’m bringing you this insane Pork Belly LT sandwich – think of the most epic BLT sandwich you’ve ever had in your life. Bacon is made from pork belly, but is cured before it’s smoked. I’m sure you’re used to having bacon in pretty thin strips, or even ‘thick cut’ bacon is only about half an inch thick, at most. For this sandwich, instead of your usual, thin cut bacon, we’re doing the whole belly, uncut and uncured.


Making your pork belly is a low and slow process, so you have to be patient, but it is so worth the wait. I made sure to cut some small slits in the top fatty portion of the pork belly, drizzled it with some canola oil and sprinkled it with cornstarch. The cornstarch helps that fat crisp up. I then seasoned it with a lemon pepper rub and put it in the smoker at 275F. The pork belly needs to smoke for about two hours to cook through and help render down the fat. I then pulled it out at that two hour mark and wrapped it first in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil and got it back into the smoker for another hour. Wrapping the pork belly helps keep the meat moist and tender for that last hour of cooking. When the pork belly is done, remove from the smoker and unwrap it. I cut my piece in about half and put that half on the plancha, fat side down to sear. Give it a good couple of minutes on there for the fat to crisp up and bubble. Then sear the other sides for a couple of minutes.


To build this monster of a sandwich, I used kewpie mayo on the outside of my sourdough bread. I recommend not skipping this step, it really helps toast the bread and gives it a nice golden colour and crunch. I also used the kewpie mayo in the sandwich with slices of hot house tomato, shredded lettuce and that half of smoked pork belly. Yes, I used that entire half piece for one sandwich, and didn’t cut it up at all. The pork belly is so tender that with every bite of that sandwich, it just pulls apart and you get that fatty, salty pork, with the fresh tomato and lettuce, and the crunchy sourdough bread. It is one insane sandwich. Keep reading to find out how to make the Pork Belly LT Sandwich or jump to the full recipe.


poking holes in the pork belly with a knife

Using a sharp knife, make small cuts in the top of the pork belly, puncturing the fat.


seasoning pork belly with lemon pepper

Drizzle the pork belly with canola oil and sprinkle with corn starch. Rub the corn starch and oil so it creates a thin layer on the pork belly. Season with lemon pepper rub on all sides. Place in the smoker and allow to smoke for two hours, unwrapped.


smoked pork belly

After the two hours, remove the pork belly from the smoker.


rolling smoked pork belly in parchment paper then tin foil

Double wrap the smoked pork belly, first in a layer of parchment paper, then in aluminum foil. Place back in the smoker for another hour.


sliced pork belly

Remove your pork belly from the smoker, unwrap it and cut in half.


pork belly searing on the plancha

Place the piece of pork belly, fat side down on the plancha to sear. You want to let the fat crisp up and bubble, about 3-4 minutes. Sear on all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Then remove from the grill.


toasted sourdough bread on a cutting board

Cut two thick slices of sourdough bread. Spread a layer of kewpie mayo on one side of the bread and place on the plancha, mayo side down to toast. Once toasted and golden, remove from the grill.


sourdough bread with sliced tomato, lettuce and smoked pork belly

To build, slice your tomato and shred your lettuce. Once toasted and golden, remove from the grill. Spread a layer of kewpie mayo on the inside of your bread. On one half, place three slices of tomato, on the other side, place your shredded lettuce. Place your pork belly on the side with the tomato.


smoked pork belly lettuce tomato sandwich cut in half

Close your sandwich. Cut in half and enjoy!


And now for the full recipe...


Pork belly LT sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, plus 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes


Ingredients:

3 lbs pork belly, skin on Lemon pepper rub 1-2 tbsp cornstarch Canola oil 2 thick slices sourdough bread 1 large hot house tomato 1/4 head lettuce, shredded Kewpie mayo


How to Make It:


Preheat your smoker to 275F.


Using a sharp knife, make small cuts in the top of the pork belly, puncturing the fat. Drizzle the pork belly with canola oil and sprinkle with corn starch. Rub the corn starch and oil so it creates a thin layer on the pork belly. Season with lemon pepper rub on all sides. Place in the smoker and allow to smoke for two hours, unwrapped.


After the two hours, remove the pork belly from the smoker and double wrap, first in a layer of parchment paper, then in aluminum foil. Place back in the smoker for another hour.


Remove from the smoker and cut in half. Place the piece of pork belly fat side down on the plancha to sear. You want to let the fat crisp up and bubble, about 3-4 minutes. Sear on all other sides, about 1-2 minutes. Then remove from the grill.


To build, slice your tomato and shred your lettuce. Cut two thick slices of sourdough bread. Spread a layer of kewpie mayo on one side of the bread and place on the plancha, mayo side down to toast. Once toasted and golden, remove from the grill. Spread a layer of kewpie mayo on the inside of your bread. On one piece, place three slices of tomato, on the other side, place your shredded lettuce. Place your pork belly on the side with the tomato and close your sandwich. Cut in half and enjoy!


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Matt Basile

MEET THE CHEF

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Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!