In partnership with Duke’s Mayonnaise
At Lawrence Barbecue, pitmaster and chef Jake Wood is all about doing recipes the way his grandparents taught him how. While almost everything on the menu is made from scratch, one of the few exceptions is Duke’s Mayonnaise, which has been a staple ingredient in Wood’s kitchens for more than ten years. “Growing up, it was Duke’s or nothing,” says Wood, who learned to hunt, fish, and cook alongside his grandfather and mother. In his career, he makes sure that the condiment is always close by. After all, he reasons, “what can’t you do with Duke’s?”
For one customer-favorite recipe on game days, the smoky pork belly BLT, Wood dresses it up with a decadent avocado-Duke’s spread. It’s both bright and rich and a perfect balance to the sandwich’s juicy heirloom tomato and thick slices of smoked pork belly.
This recipe serves a crowd, so keep it handy for your tailgates or game day get-togethers. You can make the pork and spread in advance, making day-of assembly a breeze.
2 cups Duke’s Mayonnaise
2 ripe avocados, mashed
5 pounds pork belly
Ground black pepper
15-20 small brioche buns or rolls (depending on how big you want your sliders), halved and lightly toasted
Duke’s Avocado Spread
4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Salt and Pepper
5 pounds pork belly, smoked or grilled
Cilantro, for serving
Duke’s Avocado Spread
- Make the Duke’s-avocado spread: Using a whisk or an upright mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend Duke’s and avocado until smooth and well combined. Salt to taste. Use immediately or cover with cling wrap, pressing over the spread, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prepare pork belly: Season pork with equal part salt and pepper. Smoke at 350 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees. Transfer pork to a shallow pan and cover with wax or parchment paper. Sink identical shallow pan over pork to flatten it, weighing it down with a brick or large can of beans. Let pork compress overnight in refrigerator until internal temperature is below 45 degrees.
- Slicing lengthwise, cut pork belly like bacon into thick strips. Cut strips into halves or thirds, depending on desired portion size. Though the pork is technically cooked at this point, Wood recommends grilling slices before serving.
- Assemble: Starting with the bottom bun, spread a light amount of avocado-Duke’s spread, top with arugula and tomato slice. Season with salt and pepper and top with pork. On the top bun, spread generously with avocado-Duke’s spread and a pinch of fresh cilantro. Place top bun over pork, and secure with toothpicks or bamboo picks.
Recipe ByJake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue, Durham, North Carolina