Pork Belly Sliders With Syrah Barbeque Sauce

By Executive Chef Justin Wangler 
In: Recipes

Sunday January 29th Kendall-Jackson is going to be featured on the hit show Undercover Boss. Our company’s President, Rick Tigner, dressed up like a cowboy and went undercover to get a better understanding of the various positions within our company. I’m really looking forward to watching the show on Sunday evening – I hear it has both funny and touching moments.

Rick stopped by the Wine Center on Monday morning to shoot a segment for the morning show, Good Day Sacramento. The host had Rick play a game where he had to name all the items on our Wine & Food Pairings, which is a lot to remember as we have three pairing options (traditional, cheese and dessert).

As it turns out, it was a good thing Rick didn’t go undercover as a chef – he called our Passion Fruit French Macaroon a “mini-hamburger.” However, he did get a few items right, one being the Pork Belly Slider with Syrah Barbeque Sauce, which is one of his favorites. I’m going to make these delicious sliders on Sunday to enjoy during the show. Below is the recipe if you would like to make them as well. These sliders are wonderful paired with Kendall-Jackson Syrah.

Pork Belly Sliders with Syrah Barbeque Sauce

For our sliders, we cook Niman Ranch pork belly low and slow and then top each slice with house-made Syrah BBQ sauce. It may be a small sandwich, but the flavor is big. Big enough to hold up to the long finish of our Syrah.

Recipe makes approximately 36 appetizer-sized sandwiches

For the Pork Belly Sliders:

  • 1 ounce dried tea leaves (we use Lipton’s)
  • ½ gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 gallon ice
  • 4 lbs. pork belly
  • Easy Pickles (recipe below)
  • Syrah Hoisin BBQ sauce (recipe below)
  • 18 hog dog buns (top and bottom crusts removed), halved lengthwise


  1. Wrap the tea leaves in cheesecloth and secure with butcher’s twine. In a large pot, combine water, tea leaves sachet, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour. Transfer to a non-reactive container and add ice. Cool brine to below 40°F. Add pork and let brine for at least 72 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425⁰F. Remove pork from brine and pat dry.
  3. Place pork on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 275⁰F and cook for 2 hours more. Check for doneness. Remove from oven and let cool. Cover the pork belly with parchment paper and top with another sheet pan. Weight down the top sheet pan and refrigerate overnight.
  4. The following day, slice the pork into small (3-inch x ¾-inch) medallions. Any extra can be frozen at this point.

To serve: Crisp up the pork in a non-stick sauté pan, approximately 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Remove pork belly from pan and toast the buns. (If there is not enough fat left in the pan, you can add a little butter to toast the buns). Assemble each sandwich with two pieces of pork, two pickles and 1 teaspoon of barbeque sauce.

For the Syrah Hoisin BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 cup Kendall-Jackson Syrah
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce


  1. Place the Syrah in a sauce pot and cook over medium-high heat. Once the wine has reduced by half, add the hoisin and barbeque sauces. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from the heat and reserve for the sliders. Extra sauce may be cooled and refrigerated for up to 1 week. This sauce also tastes great on chicken.

For the Easy Pickles:

  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 English cucumbers (sliced ¼-inch thick)


  1. In a bowl, add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix well and allow the salt and sugar to dissolve.
    Add the cucumber slices and let them marinate in the pickling liquid for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately for a crisp vegetable texture or allow them to marinate longer for a softer pickle.