SLOW AND STEADY

CHOOSE AND COOK PORK WITH CARE AND YOU’LL REAP THE RE­WARDS WITH SUC­CU­LENT, CROWD-PLEAS­ING DISHES

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - FULL - WORDS : DAVID PUGH

The pig is a noble an­i­mal, highly in­tel­li­gent and in some cases, the fam­ily pet. The best pork is free-range or or­ganic meat from pigs that have both good feed­ing and liv­ing con­di­tions. In Queens­land, we have beau­ti­ful pork and if you are an afi­cionado like me, you will have your favourite haunt for buy­ing fresh and cured prod­ucts.

SLOW-COOKED PORK BELLY WITH BRUS­SELS SPROUTS, POTATO AND SMOKED HAM HOCK

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

2 pieces un­cooked pork belly, 600g each (see tip) Sea salt and pep­per 12 brus­sels sprouts, trimmed and scored Veg­etable oil 12 cloves gar­lic, peeled 9 de­siree pota­toes, quar­tered 12 es­hal­lots, peeled, halved 3 sprigs thyme 1 bay leaf 180g ham hock meat (re­served from parsnip soup recipe, op­po­site) Skin of 3 cumquats, sliced thinly 1tbs chopped pars­ley 1tbs chopped chives Ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 12-year-old bal­samic vine­gar

METHOD

If you are slow-cook­ing the pork bel­lies your­self, you will need a sous vide ma­chine. Salt the pork and leave wrapped in the fridge overnight. Re­move and rinse off salt. Place bel­lies in vac­uum-pack bags and seal on a vac­uum-seal ma­chine. Im­merse bags in a wa­ter bath heated to 65C. Drop to 62C and cook for 12 hours. Pre­heat oven to 180C. In a pot of boiling wa­ter, blanch the sprouts for 3-4 mins. Plunge into ice wa­ter for about 5 mins, then re­move and cut in half. In a wok or large saute pan, add 2tbs veg­etable oil be­fore adding gar­lic, potato, sprouts, es­hal­lots, thyme, bay leaf and hock meat and cook un­til pota­toes have good colour. Pre­heat a heavy-based fry pan to medium. Add 1tbs veg­etable oil and place the slow-cooked pork bel­lies in, skin side down, for 10-12 mins. Trans­fer to a roast­ing tray and cook in oven for 10 mins. Re­move. Place sprouts mix­ture into a bowl with cumquat peel, pars­ley and chives. Di­vide be­tween 6 plates. Cut bel­lies into 6 pieces and ar­range with sprouts. Driz­zle with olive oil and bal­samic.

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