Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pork Belly

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Pork belly is a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. Pork belly is popular in Asian cuisine, and forms a part of many traditional European dishes. In the United States, bacon is most often made from pork bellies. A 100-gram serving of pork belly typically has about 520 calories — so this is not a health food! In Chinese cuisine, it is usually diced, browned then slowly braised with skin on, or sometimes marinated and cooked as a whole slab. Slow Roasted Pork Belly is something I don't usually eat, but it's really delicious and quite trendy. It's also easy and cheap and really tasty and Gabriella likes it.

1 lb pork belly
fresh thyme
chili flakes
1 onion
2 large carrots
handful garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 450F. Chop carrots and onion into big pieces. Place in a roasting pan with garlic. Chop up a about a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and combine with chili flakes, salt and pepper in a bowl. Any remaining thyme sprigs can be tossed in with the vegetables.

Place the pork belly on a cutting board skin side up. With a sharp knife make parallel lengthwise cuts about 1/2 inch away from each other through the skin and deep into the fat but not enough to penetrate the meat. Rub the spice mixture all over the meat, getting in between the cuts of fat and on the bottom. Place pork belly fat side up on the vegetables.Put in the oven for 30 minutes then turn the temperature down to 325F. Cook for another 30 minutes at 325F. Remove from the oven and pour off any excess fat. Add wine and return to the oven for another hour.

Baste the pork with the juices. Then remove the vegetables and wine to a tall container. Put the pork back in the oven for another hour or until crispy on the top and fork tender. Meanwhile skim the fat from the vegetables and wine mixture and put in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce until thickened. Sprinkle in ~1T flour and whisk together. Cook for another 15 minutes and then strain and discard all the vegetables, pressing them to get out all the juices. Keep warm, stirring occasionally until pork is ready. Pour sauce on pork and eat now!