Pork Belly

Trish's Pork Belly

Trish Hooper is one of our most faithful members and brings the added value of teaching us enhancements of how to cook our meats.

"Basic out of the original JV recipe book -- Bruce Herzog recipe for Pork Belly but I keep experimenting. This one used onions (fennel too expensive for my taste, used to pull it up free in CA, grew wild and the best), lots of garlic, soy sauce rubbed into fat top; 1.5 hrs into roasting, brush with with a little honey.  Finish with some coarse grain mustard made from the drippings. What you do when you don't have a grill, LOL. " 

Thank you, Trish! Really like the way you scored the meat and brushing it with honey is a must-try for me.
 

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Rancho Gordo Cassoulet

Ingredients

  • 1 lb RG Cassoulet beans
  • 1 pound slab fresh pastured Berkshire pork belly, cut into 2 pieces
  • large turnip unless you can get young ones, then get 8 of those. cut into chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • Bunch, green onions, sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut into nice thick pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • Bulb of garlic, smashed
  • Brown mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt, pepper and Provence seasonings

Directions

The Mirepoix

In a large preferably iron skillet or Dutch oven, add a 1/2 stick of your best salted butter. Adding a bit of smashed garlic, saute the mushrooms until darkened. Set mushrooms aside.
In the butter, saute turnips and carrots, sprinkling with brown sugar. Cook on medium high heat so that a brown edge develops. Set aside.
Add all other vegetables including garlic to skillet and saute until slightly softened but still crisp. (Remember, this will all cook in the beans as well so you want to have everything with some life left in it to undergo the bean cooking process.)

The Beans

In a stock pot, add the beans and cover with water per package instructions. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, add all of the sauteed vegetables (except the mushrooms) and pork belly, reduce to simmer and cook uncovered until beans are almost as soft as you would want them for eating. Stir as little as possible but make sure nothing is caking on the bottom. Add reserved mushrooms at that point. Add a bit of water as needed in the cooking process.

The Finish

Before going into the oven, and using a metal serving spoon, smash the beans against the side of the pot to release even more flavor from the beans. NOT all of them, just the one layer that is against the sides of the pot. (I was taught this wonderful secret to better beans by a Mexican lady selling charro beans from her stand near the Alamo in San Antonio. If you don't know where that is, I can't help you.)
Now put your pot into a 425 preheated oven. When your beans are crusted on top, it's ready.

The Serve

Set the pot on the table with bowls and utensils and let the diners serve from the pot the way the french do it! If you wish, pull the pork belly onto a separate cutting board and let them slice off a chunk to go back into their beans.

Serve with a great bread, butter and cheap red wine. Candles in a darkened room never hurt either.

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Pork Belly

Ingredients:

Jolie Vue Farms — Pork Belly
  • 2-3 pound Jolie Vue Farms Pork Belly (Skin on if possible)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and roughly sliced
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods, bashed
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • Olive oil
  • 1.5 cups white wine
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock (depending on the size of your pan)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Score the pork belly skin diagonally in a diamond pattern at 1 inch intervals. Season generously with salt and pepper, rubbing it well into the skin.
  3. Put the fennel, bay leaves, garlic, cardamom, star anise and half the fennel seeds into a hot roasting tray on the stove top with a little oil and heat for about 2 minutes until aromatic. Push to the side of the tray, then add the pork, skin side down, and cook for at least 5 minutes until turning golden brown. Turn the pork over, season the skin again with salt and sprinkle with the remaining fennel seeds. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom (be careful not to get the skin of the pork wet). Bring to the boil, then pour in enough stock to come up to the layer of fat just below the skin and allow to boil again. Transfer the tray to the preheated oven and cook for 2½ hours.
  4. Transfer the meat to a warm plate and set aside to rest. Meanwhile, spoon off any excess fat in the roasting tray or drag a slice of bread along the surface of the cooking juices to absorb it. Heat the tray on the stove top, adding the mustard. Mix in with a whisk, then taste and adjust the flavors as necessary.
  5. Remove the star anise and cardamom pods and pour the sauce into a jug. Serve the rested pork with the sauce alongside.

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