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Pork Belly Burnt Ends with Spicy Cabbage Slaw

Pork Belly Burnt Ends with Spicy Cabbage Slaw

Chef Jermaine Little | Reinhart Milwaukee Division

What inspired you to create this dish?
“I absolutely love barbecue. I compete with my family professionally on the Kansas City BBQ Society tour (KCBS) as a professional team. We do roughly 18to 20 competitions annually, competing against nationally ranked teams from across the country. For each competition, we are judged on four meat: chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. Each entry is judged on appearance, taste and tenderness.”


  • 1 oz prime pork belly, skinless
  • 8 oz extra light honey, Amber Grade
  • 16 oz brown sugar, light cane
  • 16 oz butter, unsalted
  • 32 oz barbecue sauce, sweet and spicy
  • 2 oz maple bacon seasoning
  • 3 oz smoky mesquite seasoning

Spicy Cabbage Slaw

  • 2 oz jalapeno pepper
  • 16 oz green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 oz cilantro
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • 4 tsp cider apple vinegar
  • 4 oz mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Sriracha
  • 2 tsp
  • ¼ oz sea salt
  • ¼ oz black pepper


  1. Butcher the pork belly. Cut it into 1” x 1” cubes, then season it. Thoroughly coat all sides of the pork belly cubes with smoky mesquite and maple bacon seasonings. Allow rub to adhere on all sides for at least 15 minutes. Next, smoke the pork belly.
  2. Place pork belly in the smoker fat-side down. I prefer to do this on a wire rack. This method will take three hours. Spritz pork belly with apple juice every 45 minutes or whenever it starts to look dry. Using your digital temp probe, pull belly when the meat reaches an internal temperature of 195 F to 200 F.
  3. Finish the burnt ends. Place the cubes in an aluminum pan. Season and toss cubes with more mesquite and maple bacon rub. Cover cubes with BBQ sauce. Drizzle honey, brown sugar and butter across the top. Finally, toss cubes thoroughly to ensure they are completely covered. Return the pan (uncovered) to the smoker and cook for another hour or until all liquid has reduced and caramelized. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Spicy Cabbage Slaw

  1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, Sriracha, apple cider vinegar, lime juice and honey until smooth. Add chopped jalapenos and coleslaw mix to bowl and combine. This is a good time to adjust the sauce, if needed, as you will be able to see how saturated the coleslaw mix is. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  2. Too spicy? The acidity of the lime juice and sweetness of the honey will tone down the burn from the jalapenos and Sriracha, so keep this in mind when adjusting the heat to your preference.

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