We got through the holidays in a really low-key manner—this is a good thing. We have a small family, so there was no drama, no Republicans and lots of open-mindedness about just what constitutes good Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners. This year’s Xmas dinner was caramelized pork belly and shrimp. And lo and behold, there was a pound of uncooked pork belly left over in the freezer, so I made what you see here.
I actually found this recipe by randomly searching the web for pork belly recipes, and this caught my eye. It was listed as a recipe by Jose Pizarro, who I had never heard of. After another quick search, it turns out he’s a famous London-based chef from Spain. Anyway, this is his recipe, and it’s really good—as is all pork belly.
The entire recipe includes making a salad, but I didn’t go that route. If you’re interested in that part just go here.
What you’ll need (I cut this in half for our needs):
- 2 pounds 3 ounces boneless piece pork belly, skin removed and fat scored
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil for frying
- 2 garlic cloves, bashed
- Few sprigs of lemon thyme
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 25 ounces fresh chicken stock
Season the pork belly all over and cut into six pieces. I’m not really sure what he was talking about here. My pork belly was in 1.5-inch wide strips. If yours is in strips, just cut them into 5- 6-inch lengths and cube then when they’re done. They will be much easier to brown this way. If your pork belly is not in strips, cut it into manageable pieces.
Heat a layer of oil in a frying pan and brown the pork belly all over. Really give it a good browning—just like you were cooking bacon. Don’t have the heat too high, though, it will get tough. Add the garlic, lemon thyme and fennel seeds, and cook for about a minute longer.
Add the stock, and bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and cook—covered—for 45 minutes. Remove the pieces from the broth and cut into cubes.
Serve with a salad or your other favorite side dish, perhaps some roasted baby potatoes with thyme.
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