Fun with Pork! Or, should I say Belly Dancing?
I got an 8-1/2 pound pork belly through the pork purveyor we use at work. Carlton Farms.
Why a belly? Because it's delicious! Because I wanted to play with it. It came skin on, which is cool because most of the things I want to do have a crispy skin component.
I'm trying as many Belly recipes as I can. In the past five days, I've made about six preparations. Belly rubbed with five spice powder and braised in Coke. I also made a belly with a crispy skin.
Yesterday morning I fried thin slices like they were bacon, and I have a batch simmering in soy, garlic, honey, ginger, star anise.
.....Three days and 6 pounds of pork belly later....
Of all the preparations, I like soy and star anise belly the best. As a matter of fact, when I tried it, I immediately texted the Manfriend Spike with the following: "LOFL I nailed the belly!!" Which, if taken out of context, sounds somewhat dirty and, well, nasty. Anyhoo,
Here's the recipe, adapted from the BBC Food site:
Soy and Star Anise belly
1 lb pork belly rind on
1 large carrot, rough chop
2 celery sticks, rough chop
1 onion, rough chop
3 cups of water, weak chicken stock or boil water from a previous batch of bellies.
2 oz dark soy sauce
1.5 oz Chinese rice wine
splash rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 inch piece root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
3 star anise
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 dried red chilli, whole
12 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
Cut the belly into 1x2 inch strips. Bring carrot, celery onion and water or stock to a boil. Add belles. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Combine all braise ingredients in a shallow baking dish. When belly strips are boiled, place in the braising liquid. The liquid should cover the bellies, if it doesn't, add the boiling liquid. Cover tightly. Braise at 350 degrees for two hours or until meltingly soft. Check every half hour and if necessary, add some of the belly boiling liquid (or water) so the pieces are never dry. Remove bellies. Simmer the braising liquid, reducing by half or until a rich, sweet flavor is achieved. Strain liquid and serve drizzled over the belly slices. I love it over jasmine rice. Garnish with green onions.
The resulting belly was sweet and savory, both elemets accentuating the pure fattiness of the belly. This is a dish I'd make again and again.
I also re-cooked it in a saute pan and served it for breakfast (with seared Brussels sprouts and poached eggs). Completely yummy with a crispy crust.
Oh, and I put some in a batch of faux ramen soup made with pork broth, chicken stock and buckwheat soba noodles. I garnished it with shrimp, green onions, a poached egg, and slices of belly.
The Coke belly was boring. I rubbed the pork with five-spice powder, cut it and braised it in straight Coke.
Crispy skin belly was worthy of it's own post so I'll save it for another day.
I (heart) bellies.