Recipe Submitted By:

Braised pork belly

     

I love pork belly, and there is not too much better than beautifully prepared pork belly. The effort that goes into making this pork belly is truly rewarded. You must try this.

Ingredients

1.5kg pork belly, skin removed

brine
1.4 litres water
1 onion peeled and sliced
200g salt
175g caster sugar
6 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 small piece of nutmeg
1 red chilli

for braising
1 onion peeled and chopped
4 celery sticks chopped
2 carrots chopped
2.5 litres of chicken stock

glaze
5 tbsp of soft brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

for sauce
100ml dry cider
100 ml chicken stock
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Method

brine
Take a pot / pan that is large enough for the pork and add in the water, onion and sugar

Bring to the boil and stir until salt and sugar has dissolved.

Take off the heat and add the remaining brine ingredients and allow to completely cool

When brine is completely cold add the pork. Cover and leave in the fridge for 10 hrs or over night.

braising
Remove the pork, discard the liquid and pat dry

Preheat over to 160C

In an oven proof pot, add the onions, celery, carrots, and chicken stock and pork. Bring to the boil over a medium heat.

Cover and place in oven. Leave to braise for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Pork is ready when it is soft to touch.

Remove pork from liquid and place in clean roasting tin or other container to cool

Strain the remaining liquid though fine strainer. Reserve 100ml for the sauce and the rest can be frozen

When pork is cold cover it with cling film and rest a heavy chopping board on top. Place weights on top and leave in the fridge overnight.

When ready to serve, remove pork from fridge and cut into 5 – 10 cm rectangles scoring a criss cross pattern on the fatty top using a sharp knife

serving
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Heat an ovenproof frying pan to a medium heat.

Place the pork pieces skin side down until the fat starts to render out of them

Repeat on the remaining five edges of the pieces until the majority of the fat has been released

Add the glaze ingredients to the pan and as they melt paint the glaze on to the pork using a heatproof pastry brush.

The glaze will be thin at first but will thicken; continue to baste the pork until the glaze has the consistency of sticky ribs and is sticking to the pork.

Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, continuing to baste frequently.

sauce
To make the sauce, take a clean pan and place it on a high heat. Add the cider and boil. When it has reduced by half, add the reserved braising liquid and reduce by half once more.

Season with salt and pepper

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