Main Dish

Zinfandel and Cherry-Glazed Pork Belly Sliders

Ridge Lytton Springs

650 Lytton Springs Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2018
  • RECIPE BY: Jesse McQuarrie
  • YIELD: Serves 8
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: 2015 Lytton Springs

This delicious Asian-inspired bite emphasizes the spicy, soft fruit from the Zinfandel.

  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on pork belly, in a single piece
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (1/2-inch piece), peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 green onions, white part only, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons medium-sweet soy sauce
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons Zinfandel
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • Hawaiian buns for serving
  • Kewpie mayonnaise for serving
  • Arugula for serving


Using a sharp knife, score the fat side of the pork belly in a crosshatch pattern. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil until it begins to shimmer, about 1 minute. Add the ginger, garlic and green onions and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and sweet soy sauce and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to caramelize, about 1 minute.

Increase the heat to high, add the star anise and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the wine, light soy sauce and cherry juice and bring the mixture to a simmer, then cook for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce into a heatproof bowl.

Put the fennel and onions in a Dutch oven and place the pork belly, fat side up, on top. Pour the reserved sauce from the bowl over the top of the pork belly and add enough water to cover the pork. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and is dark brown and glossy, about 2 hours. If the liquid begins to dry out, add enough water to cover the meat and continue simmering. When the pork is fork-tender, transfer to a cutting board.

Strain the cooking liquid, discarding the solids, and transfer the liquid to a blender. Add the dried cherries and puree on low until a smooth, thick sauce forms. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve.

Wipe out the Dutch oven. Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Just as the oil begins to smoke, add the pork belly, fat side down, and cook until the fat is well caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer the pork belly to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Toast the buns and spread the cut sides with mayonnaise. Add the pork belly slices, drizzle with the chilled sauce, top with arugula and serve.

Ridge Lytton Springs

650 Lytton Springs Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448