Friday, 24 February 2012

chocolate roast pork belly with a caramelised onion and cocoa gravy

alarmingly blackened crackling... tasted of dark chocolate!

... one of the many things i've 'learnt' from living with a person born and bred in Lincolnshire is that sweet and savoury don't go... as far as The Viking is concerned pudding and main course should never be served on the same plate... and this goes for everything from the humble cheese served with jam... through to the molecular salted caramel... although strangely he will make an exception for Yorkshire Pudding with jam...

... so I knew that when dear delightful Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog chose 'savoury' as the theme for this months we should cocoa, it wouldn't be something The Viking would partake in... which is especially frustrating seeing that the secondary requirement for the challenge was to make the dish vegetarian...

... don't worry I will be getting to the point... as it happens The Viking is off down to London this week so I needn't worry, plus it gives me the added bonus of being able to eat meat without the guilt... but then I got stuck on the whole vegetarian aspect... and as the weeks have passed and all the other wonderful entries have come rolling in i've got myself into a spot of bother over it... until I spied two things...
one was a recipe for honey roast pork belly I saw on the BBC website and the other was for a cocoa onion gravy, which I know I saw on someone's blog but I cannot for the life of me remember where, so do claim the idea if it's yours... anyway... little explosions went off in my mind and here's the result...

chocolate roast pork belly with a caramelised onion and cocoa gravy
something for me and something for you Choclette...

for the pork belly
1 large slab of pork belly (don't ask me... I didn't weigh it)
1 tablespoon of Mexican Orange Blossom Honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder - I used Green and Blacks
plenty of sea salt

for the gravy
2 medium onions -very finely sliced
1 teaspoon of Mexican Orange Blossom Honey
1 teaspoon plain flour
1 glass white wine
1 teaspoons dark cocoa powder - I used Green and Blacks

- pre heat the oven to at least 220C

- mix the ingredients for the pork belly sauce in a bowl and then pour it onto the pork belly which is sitting in a roasting dish... rub it in to the fat and then bung it into the oven

- after 20 mins turn the heat down to 160C and let it roast for at least 2 hours... don't worry, it will go very black but this is the honey and chocolate, it still tastes amazing!

- meanwhile heat some butter and olive oil in a pan and very gently caramelise your sliced onions... this can take anywhere up to 30 mins during which time you should add the honey to the pan

- once the onions have reduced by half and are darkly golden add the flour and stir until it has gone, then turn the heat up and add he white wine which should bubble away and then reduce by half

- sprinkle in the cocoa powder and I always cheat a little by adding a pinch of Marigold Bouillon 

... both the pork belly and the gravy were very rich and darkly divine... the crackling was alarmingly blackened by the honey but it actually tasted of very very dark chocolate... but I must say that the gravy won out just slightly for its more subtle chocolate depth... nice one Choclette!



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