Fresh pork belly is pan-seared, then braised until tender in a rich stock with fresh herbs and vegetables..
Serves 2 (adapted from a recipe by Tom Colicchio)
2 6-7 oz pieces fresh, skin-on pork belly, at least 2 inches thick
2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons unroasted organic peanut oil
1 stalk celery plus a little extra, sliced
1 small carrot plus a little extra, sliced
1 large green bulb onion plus a little extra, chopped
1/4 cup arugula chiffonade
1 teaspoon dried red tomatoes, crumbled
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon savory
1 teaspoon raw cider vinegar
coarse sea salt
smoked black pepper
thick slices of wild yeast sourdough
homemade coarse mustard
raw cheddar cheese
Heat the oil in a large small skillet over medium heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and put in the skillet fat side down. Cook until the skin is browned (about 15 minutes), then transfer to a plate.
Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat and add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender and slightly brown, about 20 minutes.
Return the pork belly to the skillet, fat side up, and add about 1 1/2 cups of stock (it should surround but not cover the meat). Bring the stock to a simmer, then transfer the skillet to a 350 degree oven. Gently simmer the pork, uncovered, for 1 hour, then add another 1/2 cup of stock. Continue cooking until tender, about 1 hour longer.
Allow the pork to cool in the braising liquid. Remove the pork from the liquid, then gently lift off and discard the skin. Score the fat, making a crosshatch pattern.
Turn up the oven to 400°F. Strain the braising liquid, discarding the solids. Return the liquid to the skillet, bring it to a simmer, and skim off the fat. Return pork, fat side up, to the skillet. Add vinegar, dried tomatoes, herbs and freshly chopped vegetables, then transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the pork is heated through and the fat nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Add arugula and serve hot with thick slices of toasted sourdough thinly-spread with coarse mustard and topped with melted asiago or raw cheddar cheese and fresh rosemary.
Fresh pork belly is cured for 24 hours with sea salt, chilies and spices before being braised in stock, white wine, cinnamon and garlic. Chilled overnight en confit, then pan-fried with green garlic, fresh ginger and tangerines..
(adapted from recipes by Michael Symon and Emeril Lagasse)
2 pounds fresh pork belly (Prairie Pride Farm of Minnesota)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon dried red chiles, crushed
grated zest of 1 tangerine
1 red onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
4 garlic cloves, bruised
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick
juice of 2 tangerines
2 bulbs green garlic, thinly-sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, julienned
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon wildflower honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon safflower threads
1 teaspoon roasted paprika
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
Skin, trim and rinse the pork belly and pat it dry.
Combine salt, coriander, chilies and tangerine zest in a small bowl. Coat the pork belly with the mixture, cover and refrigerate 24 hours.
Place the pork belly in a Dutch oven and cover with red onion, carrot, garlic, bay, stock and wine. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and braise in a 275 degree oven until tender, about 5 hours depending on size.
Refrigerate cooled pork belly its the poaching liquid overnight.
Combine tangerine juice, safflower, paprika and cider vinegar in a small, non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in honey and cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut pork belly into 2 inch by 4 inch slabs and fry in a tablespoon of rendered pork fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown on all sides. Drain briefly on a napkin or clean kitchen towel, then place on a dinner plate and spoon tangerine mixture over the top.
A slightly different take on a classic dish, these Potatoes Gratiné forgo the usual cheese and cream in favour of bacon, onions and fresh tri-color sage..
Serves 2-3 as a side dish
approx. 18-20 fingerling potatoes, quartered
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 pound un-cured bacon or fresh pork belly, diced
1 small bunch tri-color sage (Salvia officinalis Tricolor)
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground smoked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 pieces of stale bread
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Sauté bacon or pork belly in a heavy skillet until about half cooked, then add potatoes. Cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender and the bacon is nearly crisp. Add onions, garlic and sage and cook until onions are translucent. Pour of excess fat then season potatoes to taste with sea salt and smoked pepper. Transfer to a small casserole and set aside.
Cut or tear stale bread into small pieces and combine with chopped parsley and melted butter. Scatter the gratin over the top of the potatoes then place the casserole 8 inches under the broiler until toasted.
Oven-roasted pumpkin, fried pork belly, fresh & dried chiles, onions, toasted corn, cumin and oregano..
1-2 small pie pumpkins, roasted
3-4 dried chiles such as Ancho, Pasilla, New Mexico and Chipotle
1 fresh poblano pepper, chopped
1 Serrano or 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/4 pound pork belly, diced (can eliminate if vegetarian)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup black beans, cooked (optional)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
salt & pepper
Split the pumpkins lengthwise through the stem and scrape out the seeds and stringy material. Season with salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven until softened, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool, then scrape out the flesh with the edge of a spoon.
Meanwhile, place the dried chiles in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes. Remove from water, split and remove stems and seeds. Process in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed., corn,
Cook pork belly over medium-low heat until crisp. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, then add the cumin seed and toast until fragrant.
Add the peppers and onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the corn, garlic, pumpkin and oregano and stir to combine.
Stir in the the chile paste, then thin with a little water (use the soaking water if you like). Add beans if using, then reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, then ladle into bowls and serve with fried corn tortillas.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!
Local, pastured pork belly, organic black beans, pan-roasted sweet potatoes, poblano peppers..
(click image to enlarge)
Makes about 4 large tacos
1/4 pound pork belly, cut into large dice
1 poblano pepper, cut into strips
1 aji mirasol or New Mexico dried chile, seeded and chopped
1 cup cooked black beans
1 large tomatillo, diced
1/4 cup bean cooking water
1 cup sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rendered fat, if needed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon epazote
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
freshly-made flour tortillas
sea salt and cracked pepper
Brown pork belly in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add additional rendered fat if needed, then add diced sweet potatoes, cumin and dried chiles and cook until browned on all sides.
Add onions, poblano peppers and garlic and cook until onions begin to brown.
Add tomatillos, oregano, epazote and just enough reserved bean cooking water to keep everything moist. Toss in the cilantro, season to taste with salt & pepper and give it one last stir before loading onto fresh tortillas straight off the comal.
I like to serve these tacos with lots of jalapeño Tabasco and Cholula hot sauce on the side.
Originally a pie made of numbles, or umbles—i.e. the liver, kidneys, etc., of a deer, humble pie was made to be eaten by servants and huntsmen, while the lord of the manor and his guests dined on venison. “The keeper hath the skin, head, umbles, chine, and shoulders.”—Holinshed: Chrouicle, i. 204.
Samuel Pepys makes many references to such pies in his diary, writing on the 5th of July 1662 “I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done” and on the 8th of July the next year “Mrs Turner came in and did bring us an Umble-pie hot out of her oven, extraordinarily good.”
While this isn’t medieval Europe and I don’t have a freshly-killed deer on hand, I do have some very nice pastured beef liver and a fair selection of herbs and root vegetables..
Minimally-processed whole foods, in a manner recognizable by our ancestors
For the pie dough (adapted from a recipe by Michael Ruhlman)
6 oz (by weight) sprouted whole wheat flour
4 oz (1 stick) pastured butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1 oz filtered ice water
1 pinch sea salt
Combine the flour and butter in a glass bowl, rubbing the butter between your fingers until pea-sized. Add the salt and ice water gradually and mix gently until just combined. Don’t over-work the dough, or it will become tough. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the filling
Set 1 1/2 cups beef stock, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon coarse mustard and 2 oz red wine to simmer on the back burner.
Chop such root vegetables as you have available. I’m using purple potatoes, leek, carrots, celery, garlic and a few just-dug field onions.
Mince fresh herbs such as thyme, sage, curly parsley and rosemary.
Dice a bit of pork belly or uncured bacon and put in a heavy skillet over medium heat and cook until browned. Add the potatoes and brown quickly.
Add the carrots, leeks and celery and allow to brown.
Add the garlic, onions and herbs and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
Cut partially-frozen beef liver into long strips, then cut the strips into bite-sized lengths. Dredge lightly in sprouted wheat flour season with sea salt and cracked pepper.
Melt pastured butter in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until slightly browned. Add the liver and sear quickly until browned but still rare on the inside.
Add the liver to the cooked vegetables and stir to combine.
Make a small amount roux from equal part sprouted wheat flour and butter, cooking out until the raw flour taste is gone (about 5 minutes of constant stirring).
Thicken the now-reduced beef stock by whisking in the roux. Allow to simmer a minute, then pour over the liver and vegetables. Stir to combine.
Roll out the pie dough until large enough to just fit inside the 1st skillet, then place it on top of the liver mixture and lightly press into place.
Brush the dough with a an egg beaten with a little water, then cut some vent holes to allow the steam to escape.
Place the pie in a 350 degree oven and bake until golden brown, maybe 30 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.
“Samuel Pepys, FRS (pronounced /ˈpiːps/ “peeps”; 23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament, who is now most famous for his diary. Although Pepys had no maritime experience, he rose by patronage, hard work and his talent for administration, to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and subsequently King James II. His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalization of the Royal Navy.
The detailed private diary he kept during 1660–1669 was first published in the nineteenth century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London.” –Wikipedia
This post is part of the Clean Your Plate August: Liver! Recipe Challenge
at The Nourished Kitchen