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Who-Love-A-Da-Pork Vol. II (The Belly Of The Great White Beast)


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The Belly Of The Great White Beast

So pork belly is becoming huge these days in "haut cuisine" restaurants (a la North 44 etc.). Although this recipe may not be the best in the world, (I really don't know) it's F****N gooooooooood! In my opinion.

* 3 lb. slabs belly of pork, skin removed, about 1" thick

* 3 tbsp chopped thyme

* 1 piece of peeled ginger

* 1 clove garlic

* 1 tbsp whole cloves

* 6 cups apple, cider

* 6 cups water

* 3/4 cup coarse salt

* 1 cup brown sugar

* 1 tbsp coriander seeds

* 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns

* 4 piece star anise

* 3 heatproof Ziplock bag

* 1 cup rendered bacon, duck, fat

* 1/4 cup verjus

* 1/2 cup brown veal stock

* 1 tbsp maple syrup

* 1 tbsp chopped thyme

* 2 Granny Smith apple


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Make some small holes in the pork belly slabs and insert the whole cloves.

3. In a large stainless steel pot, combine the remaining ingredients and bring them to a boil. Once is have boiled, remove the pan from the heat and cool the brine down to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the brine to a large plastic container and submerge the pork belly in brine and cure it for 48 hours in the fridge.

4. Remove the pork from the brine and discard the brine. Cut the pork belly into 6 to 8 ounce squares and place 2 or 3 squares in each Ziplock bag. Add about 1/2 cup of rendered bacon fat to each, expel excess of air from bags and zip lock the bags.

5. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and poach the pork belly pieces en “ Sous-vide†for 1 ½ hours at a simmer over a medium-low heat. After this time, remove the pork pieces from the zip lock bags, discard the fat, and pick the cloves out from the meat.

6. Cut each pork belly square in half. In a stainless steel frying pan bring 2 tablespoons of peanut oil to a sizzle over a medium-high heat and place the pork belly pieces in it to caramelize. Cook until the meat is crisp on all sides, add ¼ cup of verjus to the pan to deglaze it, then reduce this by half. Add 1/2 cup of brown veal stock to the pan and transfer the pan to the oven to cook the belly for 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Remove the pan from the oven and set the pork belly pieces aside. Reduce the liquid over a high heat until reduced by 2/3. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped black truffles, season and add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of chopped thyme.

8. Serve the pork belly pieces on a bed of frissee lettuce tossed in walnut oil, garnish with sliced granny smith apple, and spoon the jus around the plate. Garnish with a few drops of walnut oil and fleur de sel.

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