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BRAISED PORK BELLY

Braised pork belly, black beluga lentils, leeks, fuji apple, grain mustard jus

Yield: 4 to 6 people

Ingredients:

For the pork belly:
#2 fresh pork belly
1 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 bay leaves
1 head garlic
1 bunch each fresh sage, rosemary, thyme
8 pcs. star anise
1 tbsp whole allspice
6 pcs. cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
6 pcs. whole black cardamom
2 tsp whole coriander
1 qt veal stock

For the lentils:
2 cups dried black beluga lentils
4 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch leeks
Sherry vinegar
For the sauce:
1 tbsp grain mustard
1 bunch tarragon
1 lemon

For the garnish:
1 fuji apple
1 head frisee lettuce
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
splash of black truffle oil ( optional )
banyuls vinegar ( use sherry if unavailable )

Method

For the pork belly:

  1. Lightly toast in saute pan the dried spices ( star anise, allspice, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, and coriander)
  2. Let cool and lightly crush, then add to salt/ sugar mixture.
  3. Rough chop the whole garlic, fresh sage, rosemary and thyme, and break apart the bay leaves. Add to salt /sugar mix.
  4. This is the curing mixture. Rub generously all over pork belly. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
  5. Once cured, rinse off aromatics under cool water, set aside.
  6. Place pork belly in pot, cover with water, bring to boil, and let simmer for 2 hours.
  7. Once done, remove belly, set aside. Strain the poaching liquid and remove any fat theat rises to surface.
  8. In a roasting pan, plcae the pork belly with the veal stock and add enough of the reserved poaching liquid to come up ¾ the sides of belly. Braise in 325 degree oven for an additional 1 to 1 ½ hours, being mindful to baste the pork throughout the cooking process.
  9. Once the pork in tender, and the skin has a golden caramelization and crispy, remove the belly and set aside. Strain the remaining liquid, reduce to sauce consistency and set aside.

For the lentils:

  1. Mince the garlic and shallot and lightly saute in pot with a splash of olive oil. Pick the thyme leaves and add to pan.
  2. Add lentils, stirring to coat, and then add approximately 4 cups of water. Bring to boil, then simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on doneness preference.
  3. When done, strain then lentils, then toss with olive oil and and sherry vinegar to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. For the leeks, rinse and finely dice. Blanch the leek in a separate pot of boiling, seasoned water. Once cooked and cooled, add into lentils.

For the sauce:

  1. Take the reduced cooking looking that was previously set aside, bring to boil and stir in the grain mustard, squeeze in the juice of the lemon to taste, season with salt and pepper, and finish with minced tarragon

For the garnish:

  1. Clean and cut frisee, leaving the only the yellow and white parts. Shave the apple and dress with the olive oil, truffle oil and banyuls vinegar.

To assemble

  1. Heat lentils and place in bowl.
  2. Cut the belly into equal portions, heat and place on top of lentils.
  3. Bring sauce to boil and pour over the pork belly.
  4. Place apple/ frisee salad on top.

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