July 25, 2013 by seriousbacon
Pork belly is one the most delicious cuts from the pig that you can buy, in my opinion, after bacon ofc! and it is often underused within the world of catering. However its had a recent surge in popularity, whether that’s due to chef’s looking to experiment, or it’s to do with the current trends, i’m not sure, but it has found itself back on the British menu, which is only a good thing, as it tastes so good and readily available! It’s also fairly cheap in comparison to most over pork cuts, and you can pick a nice bit up from the butchers for around a fiver!
The best way to cook pork belly is to slowly braise it in the oven for around 3 hours, until its absorbed some of the juices from the poaching liquor and the meat just melts away, It’s defiantly better to slow cook it as the end results are so much better! The dish i have here is served with black pudding which is a great accompaniment to any pork dish, and also tastes amazing on a good full English breakfast! the dish is also served with a stuffed mushroom and a apple fritter, which is made from an apple and potato mixture, which is bread crumbed and afterwards deep fried until golden brown, it’s also served with a nice rich cider jus, which has been flavoured with the browned off pork trimmings and old English cider, to make a delicious sticky sauce to serve with!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post, If you want to experiment with pork belly, its defiantly worth giving it ago, as the hard work pays off in the end and you will have a delightful dinner! Pork belly also works well with various puree’s and flavoured mash potato’s! Here’s a recipe for braising!
- 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- few celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- sprig fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 500ml good-quality cider
- small splash cider vinegar, plus extra to season
- 1l fresh chicken stock
- 1.2kg piece unscored boneless pork belly
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- apple mash and Mustard cabbage
- Day 1: Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Place all the ingredients except the pork and sunflower oil in a flameproof pan that will fit the pork snugly – a casserole dish is ideal. Season, bring everything to the boil then turn down the heat and slide the pork into the pan. The pork should be totally submerged – if it isn’t, top up with water. Cover the dish with a lid or tight tent of foil and place it in the oven for 3 hrs undisturbed.
- When the pork is cooked, leave it to cool slightly in the stock. Line a flat baking tray with cling film. Carefully lift the pork into the tray and make sure you get rid of any bits of vegetables or herbs as they will end up pressed into the pork. Cover the pork with another sheet of cling film and cover with a flat tray or dish – the tray must be completely flat as any indentations will be pressed into the pork. Weigh the pork down with another dish or some cans and leave to cool in the fridge overnight. Strain the juices into a jug or small saucepan, cover and chill.
- Day 2: Unwrap the pork and place on a board. Trim the uneven edges so that you have a neat sheet of meat. Cut the meat into 4 equal pieces and set aside until ready to cook. Lift off any bits of fat from the braising juices and tip what will now be jelly into a saucepan, then bubble down by about two-thirds until starting to become slightly syrupy. Add a few more drops of vinegar, to taste.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan until hot, then turn the heat down. Add the pork to the pan, skin-side down – be careful as it has a tendency to spit. Sizzle the pork as you would bacon for 5 mins until the skin is crisp. Flip it over and cook for 3-4 mins until browned. Place a small pile of cabbage on the side of each plate and sit a piece of pork on top. Place a spoonful of mash on the other side of the plate, drizzle over the sauce and serve.