April 17, 2012

Braised Pork Belly w/ Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Haricot Verts & Bourbon Apple Demi Glaze

Courtesy of Chef Eric Austin, Big E's Soul Food

Pork Belly
Ingredients:
5lb. pork belly
½ oz. fresh thyme
2 large garlic bulbs
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper

Method:
Preheat oven to 325 degree F
First score the pork belly by making crisscross cuts along the entire top surface of the meat. Next, cut the whole bulbs of garlic in half across its width and place each quarter (cut side up) at the corner of a pan large enough to house the pork belly. Place the fresh thyme sprigs in the center. Now lay the pork belly to rest on the garlic bulbs – they will act like table legs, raising the meat up from the pan. Pour in the wine and sprinkle the top of the belly with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil and braise in the oven for 2 hrs.

Once the pork belly is cooled, transfer it to a casserole dish large enough to house it – although at this point it may be cut to any size. You’ll need to weigh it down by placing another casserole dish directly on top of the pork belly so that it is sandwiched in between. Place a couple of soup cans or some weighted item on top of that so that it may press in your refrigerator overnight, or 24 hours.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients:
3 large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pinch salt

Method:
Start a pot of water to boil. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and add to boiling water. Remove when potatoes are fork tender. Place in a mixer and add all other ingredients and mix until smooth. Place in a piping bag and set aside until ready for use.

Haricot Verts or fresh green beans, have simply been blanched in salted hot water for about thirty seconds, remove immediately to an ice water bath until ready for sauté.

Bourbon Apple Demi – Glaze
Ingredients:
1/4 cup apple butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 shallot (fine dice)
*1 cup demi – glaze
Pinch of salt
1 shot bourbon
Fond from the pork belly pan

Method:
In a small sauce pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the shallots until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth, and let reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.
* Commercial demi glaze is fine for this recipe. In fact, for the home cook, I recommend it. For the die hard foodie – you can make it, but it's three days of your life you’ll never get back!

To Plate:
Preheat oven to 400. Remove covering from pork and place in oven until crispy golden on top. It is now ready to serve. Quickly sauté Haricot Verts in a small amount of olive oil, just enough to heat.

Using a pastry bag, pipe the mashed sweet potatoes in the center of the plate. Place a small portion of the haricot verts on the left side of the potatoes. Drizzle the bourbon demi around the potatoes. Place a portion of the pork belly on the right side of the potatoes; be sure to let the ridges stay visible. Garnish with a sprig of the fresh thyme and, voila!

Bon Appetit!

Lou

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