Ballistic BBQ host Greg Mrvich’s recipes are known for their complex mix of flavors. And, his cherry glazed pork belly slider recipe featured in this Backyard Life video follows suit. It’s a sweet, savory dish that dishes out a little bit of heat.
Greg begins by dicing an eight-pound skinless pork belly into the two-inch squares needed to fit inside his Hawaiian sweet rolls. Once cut, Greg places them on a rack before cooking them, later.
Next, Greg creates a homemade rub made of black pepper, white sugar, brown sugar, kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, chili powder, ground allspice, paprika and celery seed. Greg combines these ingredients into a shaker and applies them liberally to the pork belly slider.
Once his pork belly’s been seasoned, onto Greg’s pellet grill they go. Greg’s using black-cherry wood pellets, and will cook his pork at 250 to 260 degrees for approximately three hours.
While the pork’s cooking, Greg begins creating his wild-cherry glaze. It consists of a pickling blend—Karo corn syrup, mustard seed, coriander, crushed red pepper, black pepper and whole bay leaves, and a cup of water that are boiled down and left to sit overnight—along with wild-cherry preserves, pork lard and, finally, cayenne pepper. The latter three ingredients create his dish’s signature sweet, salty and savory flavor profile.
Before applying his glaze, Greg concocts a bed of acidic coleslaw that’ll rest atop his pork belly, and offset its sweet glaze. To create it, Greg adds a mixture of apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon juice to a 14-ounce bag of pre-shredded coleslaw, then refrigerate it for a few hours to allow the juices to settle in. (Greg suggests making the slaw ahead of time.)
Greg’s rubbed pork belly’s been smoking for three hours, so now it’s time for him to apply his wild-cherry glaze. Before doing so, however, he’ll finalize it with a few ingredients: Brown sugar, agave nectar, a few dabs of butter and dehydrated, chopped onion.
Finally, Greg coats his pork with the cherry glaze, then transfers it into a new pan that’s placed back on the grill for a few more minutes of cook time. When the meat’s done, he lets it rest in the pan a bit before plating it.
Now, it’s time to finish off his sliders. He adds coleslaw and a pickle atop his pork, then tops things off with his Hawaiian bun.
Let’s get high on the hog, y’all!