Father’s Day Pork Belly and Tomato Cobbler


Summertime is here, and tomatoes are ripening on the vine as we speak! This time of year, we love to make BLTs and tomato pies by the plenty, as well as occasionally sneak in a bite of a tomato warm from the sun as the juices run down our arms over the sink. But there’s nothing quite like our heirloom tomato cobbler perfectly seasoned with fresh basil and topped with blue cheese biscuits to bring out the freshness of a tomato’s flavor. The stand-alone biscuit recipe we’re sharing as part of the cobbler is one we turn to for everything from Sunday supper to lazy Saturday mornings at our house, but the blue cheese addition really gives the cobbler a wow factor.

Of course, what man wouldn’t agree that everything is better with bacon? So as an ode to all the dads out there, we’re sharing our secrets for pork belly just in time for Father’s Day, marinated with garlic, brown sugar, sherry and soy sauce, which we’ve found to be the perfect complement to the tomato cobbler.

Pork belly is likely something you’ve likely seen on restaurant menus these days, but perhaps you haven’t yet tried it at home. You can request this cut of meat from your local butcher or grocery to give this recipe a try. Unlike most meats that marinate, you’ll want to keep the top of the pork belly very dry throughout the process, patting it with a paper towel before cooking so you can create a crispy top that will almost remind you of the flavor profile of a pork rind – only better!

Recipes for the pork belly, tomato cobbler and biscuits can all be found below for a ready-to-go Father’s Day feast, or try them each on their own throughout the summer season – enjoy!

Pork Belly (Serves 6-8)

2 lbs of pork belly, thaw overnight

Small roasting pan with a rack

1 cup salt

2 beers

Marinade

1 cup soy sauce

1 1/3 cup dry sherry

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pat skin of pork belly until it is completely dry with a paper towel. Combine soy, sherry, brown sugar and minced garlic marinade ingredients in a bowl, and pour into a rectangular pan that is large enough to hold the pork belly. Place pork belly into the container, making sure only the meat touches the marinade and the skin stays completely dry. Place in fridge for several hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Lay the belly fat side up on the roasting rack. Pour beer into the bottom of the pan. The pork belly will cook above the liquid. Make sure the pork belly is level. Spread one cup of salt evenly across the pork belly skin. Place into top half of oven. Bake for 40 minutes.

Remove pork belly and increase oven temperature to 450F. The salt will have formed a crust which you can remove in one piece. Return pork belly to the oven. Bake for another 30 minutes until skin is completely bubbly and crisp. Let pork belly rest for ten minutes before cutting and serving.

Tomato Cobbler (Serves 6)

Tomato filling

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

2 large onions, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 pounds cherry heirloom tomatoes

1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Biscuits

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached Self-rising flour

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

Add olive oil and butter to a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook and brown onions, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 18 to 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute more. Remove pan from heat, add balsamic vinegar and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together clean whole cherry tomatoes, chopped basil and flour. Add caramelized onions and toss together until everything is evenly coated in flour. Season with salt and pepper.

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour the tomato and onion filling into a square 8×8-inch baking dish.  Place in the oven and bake tomatoes filling for 25 minutes.

Biscuits:

Mix flour and cream in a bowl with a fork until smooth and cohesive.  Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles and mix. Scoop 1-ounce balls of dough and pat into thin biscuits.

Remove the partially cooked filling from the oven and carefully place 6 biscuits atop the tomato filling in the pan.  Brush biscuit tops with whipping cream and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

 Return warm filling and biscuit dough to oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through, and the tomato mixture is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Tomato Cobbler is best served warm.  

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