Tag Archives: pork belly

Pappardelle with braised pork belly

A slight variation on my usual pork belly in red wine, this just takes a few hours on the stove. I finished the sauce with a few nobs of butter to give it a silky texture that coats the pappardelle.

Ingredients for two

  1. 200g pork belly
  2. 1 onion, finely diced
  3. 1 small carrot, finely diced
  4. 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  5. 1 tomato, roughly diced
  6. 2 glasses red wine
  7. 2 cups chicken stock
  8. fresh thyme
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. couple of nobs butter
  11. Pappardelle pasta

Method

  1. Brown all edges of the pork belly in a hot pan. You want to get the natural sugars in the meat caramelising. Remove from pan and set aside
  2. In the same pan, add some oil and gently sweat the onions, carrots and celery until they are tender
  3. Add the pork belly back into the pan along with the wine, tomato, herbs and enough chicken stock to just cover the meat
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the temperature to a simmer. Let lightly bubble away for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce a bit so you may need to check now and then that the pork is still covered. I started to shred the pork after about an hour so that every bit of the pork gets to release its flavour, and also  take on the flavours in the pan. Season to taste
  5. After a couple of hours the liquid in the pan should have reduced by about a half and the pork tender enough to shred into meaty chunks.
  6. Cook pappardelle until just cooked in salted water. Reserve some of the cooking water before you drain the pasta – that starchy salty water helps to make the sauce loose and helps the pasta from sticking
  7. While the pasta is cooking, add a few nobs of cold butter to the sauce. It really gives another dimension to the sauce, making it silky and helping to coat the pasta
  8. Pop the pasta into the pan with the sauce, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking water to help the sauce really coat each ribbon of pasta
  9. Serve hot with a good handful of freshly grated parmesan

Christmas roast

Roasted pork belly

Last year I roasted a turkey for the first and last time. Not that I didn’t like the finished product, there was just so much of it leftover, and with just D and I, turkey leftovers get a little boring, no matter how you try to dress them up.

This year, D will have to do without turkey, as I have the special present of my parents visiting, and I’m reverting to a family tradition of making roast pork for my family.

I’m lucky to live in Singapore where I have easy access to lots and lots of pork belly, my favourite cut of pork to roast.  It’s such a tasty cut of meat, due to the layers of fat between the meat that seem to almost melt once roasted, just basting the meat in tasty goodness and keeping the meat tender and moist.

A little preparation can also give you brilliantly crispy crackling.  Simply pat the meat dry and score the skin every 1 cm (you can also ask your butcher to do this for you).  A great trick is to use a stanley knife – it’s a bit rudimentary, but it works a treat in giving you evenly deep cuts into the skin without any stress at all.

Coat the entire cut of meat in oil, and then rub a liberal amount of salt into the skin, making sure you get salt into the scores.  Then pop into the fridge, uncovered, for a few hours or overnight if you can.  Both the salt and the fridge draw the moisture out of the skin to ensure a really cracking crackling.

Bring the meat out of the oven an hour or two before roasting to bring it to room temperature.

Brush off the excess salt, and then season the entire cut on all sides, above and below with salt and pepper.

Pop onto a roasting tray, and into a hot oven at 230C for 30 minutes to get the crackling going.  Then lower the temperature to 180C for an hour – an hour and a half if you’ve got a huge piece of pork belly.  Because pork belly is a thin-ish cut of meat, it doesn’t take a long time in the oven, but also because of the layers of fat, it’s a forgiving meat to leave in the oven for longer at a low temperature.

Leave out to rest for at least 30 minutes before tucking in.  This will give you time to make gravy with the juices in the tray.

Haricot vert, potatoes roasted in duck fat, honey-glazed carrots

Serve with roasted potatoes (I’m doing mine in duck fat for a more festive touch – if only I could find goose fat !), roasted onions, garlic, leeks and any other vegetables that you can find in your fridge.