Braised pork belly with SweeTango apple calvados sauce & sweet potato puree

October 12, 2012

Serves six


4 lbs. Berkshire pork belly
1.5 qt water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 small bunch thyme
2 pc bay leaf
4 pc allspice

Bring all of the above to a boil and let cool.

Gently score the pork belly with a knife and sear on medium-high heat in a saute pan. Let rest for ten minutes, and place in a baking / casserole dish.

Pour the cooled brine over the pork, put in the refrigerator and let stand for two days.

Pork belly braise:

3 stalks celery, medium diced
1 onion medium dice
2 carrots medium dice
2 oz fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups of dry white wine
2 qt chicken stock

Combine all ingredients together. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with a towel. Place in a braising pan and cover with braising liquid. Wrap the pork tightly with aluminum foil and braise in your oven at 250 for 8-10 hours, or until tender. Remove belly from the braising liquid and let cool at room temperature. Slice into desired portion sizes.

Strain the liquid and set aside; also set the strained vegetables aside for the apple calvados sauce (below).

Apple calvados sauce

5 oz good-quality calvados
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 bunch green onions
4 Sweetango apples medium diced
5 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Vegetables from braise
3 cups of braising liquid

In a sauce pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and saute with green onion and Sweetango apples until soft. Add calvados and cook down; add the braising vegetables and liquid and simmer for thirty minutes. Add the rest of butter.

Pour the sauce over the pork belly and garnish with chopped chives.

Sweet potato puree

3 lbs sweet potatoes
6 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs maple syrup
3 Tbs water
2 tsp chopped marjoram
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Lightly puncture sweet potatoes with a fork. Wrap tightly with tin foil, bake in oven at 350 for one to two hours.

Melt the butter with chopped marjoram.

Place half of the warm sweet potatoes in a blender with melted butter and water, and blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and blend second half of potatoes. Once all is blended, mix together, add maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

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