If you still have some belated Christmas or perhaps New Year entertaining to do then here’s a recipe that I just love – Pork Belly with Chilli Caramel Sauce and Fresh Herbs. This is another one that you could recently find on a recipe card in store at Belmont Forum but for those that didn’t get a copy then here’s the recipe for you here 🙂
Now I probably need to take a break from cooking it again for a wee while because the first time I did I cooked up a kilo of pork belly for GG and I to power through and we did. And it was delicious, but I’m conscious that we probably should eat that much of it too frequently. So when I made it the second time I restrained myself to half a kilo, but ideally if you were having friends or family around this would be a very tasty starter to share.
You can make it as spicy as you like with the caramel sauce, just throw in a few more chillis for some extra kick.
But be careful! Because it is pretty addictive 🙂
Pork Belly with Chilli Caramel Sauce and Fresh Herbs
- 1kg boneless pork belly (skin on) – ask the butcher nicely to remove the ribs
- ½ cup of firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 star anise
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons salt or salt flakes
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup coriander leaves
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves (can be tricky to find, but amazing flavour)
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 3 long red chillies – 1 deseeded and sliced thinly and two others in chunky pieces (keeping as many seeds as you would like)
- Preheat your oven to 220C.
- Score the pork belly skin at approximately 1cm intervals on the diagonal and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub the salt generously into the skin.
- Pour water into the pan so the level sits just below the rack. Place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes (the skin should start to go crispy).
- Reduce the oven to 180C and continue to cook for 1 and a half hours. Make sure you keep an eye on the water level and top it up as required during the cooking time.
- When the pork has around half an hour left to cook, begin preparing the sauce by placing the brown sugar, red wine vinegar and star anise into a saucepan. Cook on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Add two of the roughly chopped chillies (with as many seeds as you like) and the chicken stock and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the mixture has roughly reduced by half. At this stage, add the juice from 1 lime and continue to reduce for another few minutes.
- Once the sauce is becoming syrupy, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Strain the syrup to remove the chillies, seeds and star anise and set the strained mixture aside.
- When the cooking time is complete, take the pork from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing into bite size cubes. Arrange the pieces onto a large serving plate or wooden paddle.
- Liberally drizzle the pork with the chilli caramel dressing and then scatter the plate with the fresh herbs, spring onion and remaining sliced chilli. Place lime wedges on plate and it is ready to serve!