... this is definitely the kind of dish I would order in a restaurant... you know I love pork belly and this kind of slow-cooked hot-pot is exactly what i'd go for as a treat... and its most definitely NOT the kind of dish I would ever cook at home, which is exactly why I love this challenge!
... this month dear Beatrice chose for me The River Cottage Meat Book by HFW... it's a giant tome of a book, mostly full of graphic photography showing you how to joint a camels heart... so I opened it with some trepidation worried i'd end up skinning a guinea pig or something.
I actually opened the page describing, in graphic detail, all the different pieces of offal, so I had to pick again and got this amazing, aromatic dish... so exciting... I had most of the ingredients anyway, so it was off to the butcher I went for my pork belly.
Aromatic Pork Belly Hot Pot
Hugh describes this dish as a fine example of the great versatility of pork belly and the slow-cooking technique, this time using aromatic oriental flavourings... and the house most definitely smells good...
1.5kg pork belly with the rind on
1.5L pork or chicken stock
12 spring onions
100ml light soy sauce
75ml Chinese rice wine
25ml rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
3 star anise
10cm piece of fresh ginger - peeled and chopped into chunks
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
- chop the pork belly into chunks and chuck them into a pan of boiling water, let them simmer for 5 mins or so whilst you skim off the scum
- drain the pork belly, clean the pan and then return the belly to the pan and cover in the stock, 5 of the spring onions which you've chopped in half, then the rest of the ingredients.
- bring to a boil then turn down the heat, cover and simmer gently for 2 and a half hours.
- you may have to turn the pork occasionally but you'll know when it's tender.
- remove the pork from the stock with a slotted spoon and set aside (at this stage I actually put it under the grill for a minute or two to crisp up, which it did gloriously and very quickly.)
- skim the stock if it needs it then turn the liquid up to a vigorous boil to reduce. It should be lightly syrupy and intense in flavour but not reduced too much as you don't want the soy sauce to become too salty.
- slice the remaining spring onion, add it to the pan along with the pork to heat through.
- serve with noodles
remember you have until the end of the month to take part... come on now, be brave... pick book number 18 and get cooking!
eat and of course enjoy!