Slow Cooked Marinated Pork Belly
Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc. Click here to purchase book.
This is now a popular cut, and lends itself beautifully to slow cooking. This recipe, which we use at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, is just one of many different spice marinade combinations that you could use. At last in this country we are now celebrating rare breeds such as Tamworth, Middle White, Berkshire. So we have the choice – please, if possible, buy locally-reared pork.
Preparation: 30 mins, plus 2-12 hours marinating.
Cooking: 3 hours; 5 1/2 hours if using sous-vide.
Special equipment: Sous-vide (optional).
|For marinating the pork|
|1kg||Oven-ready pork belly, ribs removed|
|1||Lemongrass stalk, bruised and halved lengthways (*1)|
|2 pinches||Freshly ground white pepper|
|3 pinches||Chinese five-spice powder|
|15g||New season’s garlic, crushed|
|10g||Fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped|
|2||Red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped|
|For cooking the pork|
|400ml||Cold water (or 200ml if using a sous-vide)|
|2 pinches||Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|1 tbsp||Soy sauce (optional)|
|1 tsp||Toasted sesame oil (optional)|
|For caramelising the pork|
|2 tbsp||Rapeseed oil|
|For the cabbage|
|350g||Pointed spring cabbage|
|1 pinch||Sea salt|
|1 pinch||Freshly ground black pepper|
The pork belly can be marinated and cooked a day in advance, ready to caramelise prior to serving.
To marinate the pork.
Mix the marinade ingredients together and rub into the flesh side of the pork belly. Cover with cling film and set aside to marinate for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours in the fridge.
To cook the pork
Preheat the oven to 150ºC/Gas 2. Place the pork belly, skin side up, in a large flameproof roasting pot with a lid and spoon over the marinade. Add 200ml cold water and bring just to the boil over a medium-high heat (*2). Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 2½ hours or until tender. To check that it is cooked, push the blunt handle of a tablespoon through the belly; the meat should yield easily. Allow to cool.
Alternatively, if using a sous-vide, preheat the water bath to 85°C. Simply vacuum pack the pork belly with the marinade (no additional water is needed) and cook in the water bath for 5 hours. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool, then take out of the sous-vide bag. Once cooled, place the pork belly between two baking trays, place a weight on top and refrigeratem (*3). Strain and reserve the cooking juices.
To finish the cooking juices
Add 200ml water (*4) to the cooking juices. Bring the liquor to the boil, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. You can also add a little soy sauce and toasted sesame oil if you wish.
To caramelise the pork
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Cut the pork belly into portions. Heat the rapeseed oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and add the pork belly, skin side down. Crisp gently for 10–15 minutes, then turn the pork over and finish cooking in the oven for 10 minutes.
To cook the cabbage
While the pork is caramelising, slice the cabbage into 5mm strips, rinse and place in a large saucepan with the butter, water and seasoning. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5–7 minutes until tender. Drain off any excess liquor.
Put the cabbage into a warmed large bowl or the roasting pot, place the pork belly on top and pour over a ladleful of the cooking juices.
Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury.
Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.
Photograph © Jean Cazals 2011.