Mustard Braised Pork Belly

My friend who gave the rhubarb from her garden for the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, also raises some pigs to be butchered in order to have meat for the winter. She kindly asked if I would be  interested in a piece and if so, which cut would I like?

I thought about it, and asked if it would be possible to get a piece of pork belly as I’ve always wanted to try to make SOMETHING with it besides bacon!

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A few weeks go by and I get an email at work telling me there is a package in the freezer in the kitchen. I walk over to the kitchen and open the freezer. Sure enough, there was my package from the butcher. It was literally a plastic bag with a the belly of half a pig folded up. As in, at least 12-15 lbs of pork belly!

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I ended up cutting into 2 lbs portions and freezing some. Which is the reason for some of the browning on the meat.

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If you are a salty person, as in, you love salty food, especially with pork, this recipe is awesome!

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I had a party a few weeks ago and this was one of the best things on the table! All my guests loved it. I let mine sit for a bit before serving to allow the flavours to play with each other before diving in!

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Mustard Braised Pork Belly

Ingredients:

Dry rub

2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon sugar
1 lemon, zested
2 sprigs rosemary, picked and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2-3 pounds fresh pork belly, skin removed

Pork belly

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, julienned
2 ribs celery, sliced on the bias
1/2 fennel bulb, tough middle discarded and remaining bulb julienned
2 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
Thyme bundle
3 to 4 bay leaves

Directions:

Dry rub

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or ziploc bag. Massage the rub all over the pork belly, then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Pork belly

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the belly from the refrigerator. Coat a large straight-sided pan with olive oil and put over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, fennel, and garlic.

Season the vegetables with crushed red pepper and salt, to taste. Cook the vegetables until they start to soften and become very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the wine and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the mustard and 2 cups of the chicken stock. Taste to make sure it is delicious.

Add the pork belly and toss in the thyme and bay leaves. Cover and put in the preheated oven. Braise the belly for 6 hours, checking occasionally. If the liquid level goes down add the remaining stock.

When the belly is done it will be very tender and succulent. Remove the lid and set the oven to broil. Broil the pork belly until it turns golden, about 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the belly, from the braising liquid, to a cutting board. Cut the belly into 6 or 8 equal portions depending on your appetite. Arrange the pork on a serving platter and ladle the braising liquid on top.

{Recipe from Chef Anne Burrell}

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