Lunchbreak: Pork Belly and Heirloom Beans

Midday News
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Chef Gabriel Caliendo

There’s a new spring menu at Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, 1115 N Milwaukee Ave, Vernon Hills, IL 60061


Lazy Dog’s Pork Belly and Heirloom Beans


  • 2 T. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb Beeler’s Ranch Pork Belly (or other pork belly from grocer/farmer)
  • 1 T. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 large Onion, rough chopped
  • 1 head Garlic, cut in half
  • 5-6 Sprigs Thyme, fresh
  • 1 each Bay Leaf
  • 1 qt. Pork or Chicken Broth
  1. Add oil to a sauce pan over medium high heat.  Season pork belly and lay fat side down into oil.  Cook until golden brown and the fat is rendered out some.
  2. Flip the pork belly and sear the meat side for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf and thyme.  Stir until onions are softened.
  4. Add the broth and cover.  Simmer for 2-3 hours until very tender.
  5. Remove from broth and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Strain the broth and reserve for the sauce recipe.

Pork Belly Sauce

  • 3 cups Reserved Pork Belly Broth from braise
  • ½ cup BBQ Sauce, your favorite
  • 1 T. Garlic, freshly chopped
  • ½ tsp. Cumin, ground
  • ½ tsp. Smoked Paprika, ground
  • ¼ tsp. Oregano, ground
  • ½ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
  1. Stir all together and reserve for reheating beans.

Beans Prep

  • 1 cup Zürson Beans, Scarlet Runner (or other favorite heirloom beans)
  • 1 cup Zürson Beans, Snowcap (or other favorite heirloom beans)
  • 1 cup Zürson Beans,  Large Lima (or other favorite heirloom beans)
  • 1 cup Zürson Beans, Calypso (or other favorite heirloom beans)
  1. Soak each bean overnight separately in enough water to cover completely.
  2. Drain the next day and cook in fresh water to cover over medium heat.
  3. Average cook time is 30-45 minutes.  Taste each bean until tender.
  4. Once tender strain and cool down.
  5. Once cooled, toss together and reserve refrigerated until needed.

Pickled Mustard Seeds

  • ¼ cup Mustard seeds, yellow
  • ¾ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 T. Honey
  • ½ tsp. Tumeric
  1. Combine all ingredients in small sauce pot.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the vinegar is fully absorbed and the mustard seeds are plump.
  3. Remove from pot and refrigerate until needed.

Grilled Country Bread

  • Your Favorite Baguette, cut into ¾” slices
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Salt and Pepper, as needed
  • Chopped Parsley, fresh as needed
  1. Spray the bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill on each side until lightly charred and toasted.
  3. Sprinkle both sides with fresh parsley.

Green Onion Crumble

  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ½ cup Green Onions, top only
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  1. Place green onions, salt and olive oil in blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Mix green onion puree into bread crumbs.
  3. Over medium low heat place crumbs in a pan and stir to lightly toast.  Do not turn the crumble brown by overcooking.
  4. Reserve at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

Final Beeler’s Ranch Pork Belly and Zürson Heirloom Beans Dish 

  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 3 pieces Beeler’s Pork Belly, cooked and cut into 2” pieces
  • 1.5 cups Zürson Heirloom beans, cooked
  • 6 fl oz (3/4 cup) Pork Belly Sauce
  • 2 T. Onions, julienne cut and cooked
  • 1 T. Celery, diced and cooked
  • 1 T. Carrots, diced and cooked
  • 1 T. Tomatoes, diced and cooked
  • 1 T. Hatch Chilies, roasted and diced
  • 2 pieces Grilled Country Bread
  • 2 T. Green Onion crumble, toasted
  • 1 T. Pickled Mustard Seeds
  1. Cook pork belly in olive until crispy on outside and hot inside over medium high heat.  Rotate to crisp each side. About 10 minutes.
  2. Place cooked beans, pork belly sauce, and vegetables in a pan over medium high heat.  Cook until the beans are hot.  Do not over reduce the sauce.
  3. Pour the beans into a cast iron skillet.  Place the crispy hot pork belly stacked on one end of the skillet, leaving room for the bread.
  4. Place the bread on other side of skillet.
  5. Place the crumble on top of the pork belly and allow it to fall down naturally.
  6. Finish with a dollop of pickled mustard seeds.


Beeler’s Pork is available at Hy-Vee and Natural Grocers. Here’s a list of Hy-Vee stores.

Zursun heirloom beans are not sold in Illinois but can be purchase online.



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