My braised pork belly recipe is balanced with tart apple, sherry caramel, and a Spanish romesco sauce.
- 3 pounds Pork Belly, Boneless and Skinless
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
- 1 can (8 oz) peeled tomatoes
- 8 ounces high-quality Spanish piquillo peppers
- 1/2 cup Spanish olives, pitted
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 bunch parsley or cilantro, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided use
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups Sherry vinegar, divided use
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup clover honey
- 1/2 cup almonds, peeled and toasted
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
- 1 tablespoon whole cardamom
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup sugar
- Season pork belly aggressively with kosher salt on both sides. Place in a roasting pan and add all chopped celery, carrots, onion, apple, thyme, garlic, honey and white wine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 275 degrees F for 4-5 hrs.
- To prepare the sherry carmel: Add sugar and 2.5 cups sherry vinegar in saucepot. Stir until dissolved and simmer on low heat for 20 mins. Add cardamom, black peppercorn, fennel seed, coriander, bay leaves, garlic, and sugar. Reduce further for 10 mins.
- Add a pinch of salt. Remove from heat and strain the sauce.
- In a deep sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic and shallots. Sweat until shallots start to turn translucent, about 3 mins. Add tomatoes and piquillo peppers and simmer for 20-25 mins on low heat. Add olives, almonds and 1/2 cup sherry vinegar, stirring in. Add parsley or cilantro, and bread crumbs. Season with salt. Cool at room temperature.
- To serve: Glaze pork belly with Carmel Sauce and serve aside Romesco sauce.
Pair with Dry Riesling, be it German, Austrian or from Alsace is particularly good. Fruity young red Burgundy or Loire cabernet franc are also successful matches.
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