Many of you will find rib-on belly in your cooler. This is a new cut we have sort of invented. The belly, which is not a “belly” at all, is the pork which hangs along the side of the pig attached to the rib cage. The belly is normally separated from the ribs and either made into bacon or left as a slab of pork for roasting, grilling or braising. The trimmed ribs are then provided separately as “spare” ribs or baby-backs. Our new cut leaves the rib bone attached and is packaged in 2-rib pieces. Why the change? Because the less you cut on meat and the closer it remains to the bone, the better the flavor.
So how do you cook this cut. First, refer to the JVF cooking book. It will cook no differently than the guidance given for boneless pork belly. But this is the important point to remember: This cut will withstand a lot of direct fire, so grilling is a perfect way to cook it. You always want to start it over direct heat and get it good and crispy outside. Then you can move it to a cooler part of the grill, allowing it to finish cooking on the inside. Or put it under the oven broiler and get both sides crusty, then lower your oven to 350 to finish it. A meat thermometer is a good tool to make sure it is cooked all the way to the bone.
The rib-on pork belly is a work of art. I know you will enjoy it.