Tangerine-Glazed Pork Belly with Ginger and Green Garlic

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..

Tangerine-Glazed Pork Belly with Ginger and Green Garlic

(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.

Real Food WednesdaysThis post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!

Fig Jam with Vanilla and Brandy

Turkish figs, brandy, vanilla bean, fresh lemon and wildflower honey..

Fig Jam with Vanilla and Brandy

Makes 1 Pint

1 pound figs, stemmed and quartered (mission figs will produce a darker colored jam than Turkish figs)
4 oz brandy
1/4 cup raw wildflower honey
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Combine all ingredients except honey in a stainless steel pot.  Allow to macerate on the counter for 1 hour, then slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat.  Partially cover and boil gently, stirring often until figs are tender, about 40 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Add honey and a pinch of salt and mash all together with a flat-bottomed potato masher.  Taste and adjust flavor with lemon and/or honey if you think it needs it  (I prefer mine slightly more tart than sweet).

Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

To keep for up to 1 year, transfer jam to a glass jar leaving at least 1/2 inch headroom, then seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Pan-Roasted Duck Breast with Blackberry and Cranberry Chutney

Succulent, aged Moulard duck breast with thyme, bay and a hint of freshly-grated nutmeg is pan-seared, then quickly roasted to a perfect medium-rare.  Served with Armagnac-flamed pan juices, asparagus with garlic and parsley root, and gingered wild blackberry and cranberry chutney..

Pan-Roasted Moulard

Pan-Roasted Moulard with Blackberry/Cranberry Chutney

For the Chutney

1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon rendered duck fat
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly-grated ginger
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons wildflower honey
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup wild blackberries
salt and pepper

Sauté the onions in duck fat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger, vinegar, honey and cranberries. Lower heat, cover and simmer until all the cranberries have popped, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Adjust sweetness/tartness with a little vinegar or honey if you think it needs it, then season to taste with sea salt and cracked pepper. The finished mixture should be thick.

For the Duck (adapted from a recipe by Thomas Keller)

1/2 fresh Moulard duck breast (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup Armagnac

Use a sharp, thin knife to score a cross-hatch pattern into the fat side of the duck breast, taking care not to cut into the muscle.  Season on all sides with salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg, then lay bay leaves against the flesh, loosely wrap in butcher’s paper and refrigerate overnight.

Allow to duck breast to sit on the counter for 20 minutes while you pre-heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the duck breast skin-side down to the hot pan, then reduce heat to medium low and cook, moving often, until the skin is golden brown and much of the fat has been rendered out.

Flip the breast over and sauté for 1 minute, then pour off the fat and place the pan in a 375 degree oven until almost medium-rare, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the duck to a cutting board and allow to rest at least 5 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, de-glaze the pan with Armagnac, and add a small knob of butter.  Sauté diced parsley root until tender/crisp, then add garlic and thinly-sliced asparagus (a great way to use up leftover stalks) and sauté until the asparagus is tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice the duck breast on a 1/4-inch bias and arrange on a warmed plate.  Spoon asparagus and pan juices over the top and garnish with blackberry/cranberry chutney.

Marly’s Peachy Kéfir

This delicious beverage of cultured milk, fresh ginger, peaches, lemon and raw wildflower honey is powerfully pro-biotic, anti-inflammatory and warming..

Marly's Peachy Kéfir

For the Cultured Milk

1 quart fresh whole milk
5 grams kéfir starter

Slowly heat milk to 185 degrees (use a thermometer) then immediately remove from heat and allow to cool to between 73-77 degrees.  Dissolve 5 grams kéfir starter in 1 cup of the cooled milk then add back into the quart and stir to combine.

Pour the inoculated milk into a clean glass container, cover and let stand at room temperature until curd forms, about 24 hours.  Transfer to refrigerator and chill overnight.

For the Smoothies

2 cups cultured milk
1 1/2 cups frozen organic peaches (use fresh when in season)
2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger (substitute ginger powder)
1-2 tablespoons raw wildflower honey

Add all ingredients together in a blender and process until smooth.

Lemon Snaps

Lemon snap cookies made with sprouted flour, wildflower honey, pastured butter, hemp seeds, fresh lemon and ginger..

Lemon Snaps

Lemon Snaps

Makes about One Dozen 2-inch Cookies

1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached organic all-purpose wheat flour
2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
zest of 1 lemon (a micro-plane works best)
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup wildflower honey
5 tablespoons pastured butter, softened
1 pastured egg
coarse non-refined sugar

Stir together flour, hemp seeds, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.

Stir in the ginger, honey, egg, lemon zest and juice and mix until smooth.  Mix in the dry ingredients a third at a time. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.

Roll the chilled dough into the shape of a log, about 2 inches across. Cover and refrigerate another 15 minutes.

Slice the dough into 1/4-inch rounds and sprinkle with a little coarse, non-refined sugar.  Place cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until light golden-brown, about 10-12 minutes.