The Perfect Pork Belly
The Perfect Pork Belly

Here is a delicious recipe to warm you up in this cold and wintery weather! You will notice the overall time required is very high however the preparation is very short and straight forward. This recipe requires precise and low temperatures (although variance won’t harm, don’t worry!), being cooked using this method means the meat will remain both tender and moist. We brine the pork belly for 12hours, overnight, to improve the flavour and texture of the meat, to ensure that the dish is delicious!

Prep Time 30mins
Brining the Meat 12hrs
Cooking Time 8hrs 30mins

Serves 6

Ingredients;

1KG Pork Belly

For the Brine;
2ltr Cold Water
250g Salt
1 Staranise
3tsp Coriander Seeds
3 Juniper Berries
1 Orange Zested
1 Lemon Zested
1 Sprig of Rosemary
2 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Garlic Cloves
3 Bay Leaves

For the Braising Liquid;
1 Carrot peeled and chopped
1 Onion peeled and chopped
1 Leek cleaned and sliced
0.5ltr Chicken Stock

Method;
Remove the skin from the meat of the pork belly in one piece being careful not to pierce the skin (using a very sharp knife).

To make the brining liquid toast all spices in the oven for 8-10minutes.

Blend the spices in a herb grinder/mortel and pestle/coffee grinder then place all herbs in to a muslin cloth with the zest and garlic.

Add the salt and herb parcel to 2ltr of cold water and bring to the boil stirring to dissolve the salt then bring off the heat. Let the herb parcel infuse in the water for an hour.

Once the brine is cool add the pork belly and leave to brine for 12 hours.

12 Hours Later…
Remove the pork from the brine and soak in cold water changing every 15minutes.

Preheat the oven to 90℃.

For the braising liquid; add the vegetables, stock and pork belly to a casserole pot with a tightly fitting lid.

Gently bring the mixture to the boil on the hob once it reaches the boil place the pot in the oven for 8hours.

To prepare the pork belly skin; slice it into 2cm wide strips, season, then place on a wire rack. When the pork belly has been in the oven for 2 hours add the belly skin and allow both to cook for the following 6 hours.

6 Hours Later …
Remove the items from the oven leaving the pork belly in the braising liquid with the lid on to retain the heat.

Now turn the oven up to 240℃ and place a pan of boiling water in the oven and place the pork belly skin on top of the pan (making sure the gaps between the rails on the cooling rack are quite narrow) cook for 10minutes or until the skin has puffed up.

Back to the pork belly … remove from the braising liquid and carefully portion. You can always sear the top of the meat just before you serve to crisp the fat.

And Bon Apetit!

A great accompaniment to braised pork belly is mash potato and braised red cabbage with a cider jus. If you would like to try this fabulous combination follow this link … http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/confit-pork-belly-recipe

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