Pork rub

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - The Cut Food -

Makes 300g

— 25g curry pow­der

— 40g chilli pow­der

— 30g smoked pa­prika

— 80g soft dark-brown sugar — 40g flaked sea salt

— 35g caster sugar

— 20g gar­lic gran­ules or

pow­der

— 10g ground cumin

— ¼ tsp ground fen­nel seeds — 1 tsp cayenne pep­per

Blitz all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether in a food pro­ces­sor or spice grinder, to a fine pow­der, then trans­fer to an air­tight con­tainer and store for up to two weeks.

Honeyed bar­be­cue pork belly with pineap­ple salsa

Serves 12

This recipe uses a com­bi­na­tion of tech­niques, slow-brais­ing the belly un­til it’s melt­ingly ten­der and then fin­ish­ing it on the grill. It needs to be started two days be­fore you’re hav­ing your bar­be­cue.

For the brine

— 600g ta­ble salt — 400g caster sugar — 1 x 4-4.5kg pork belly,

boned

For the pork belly

— 200g pork rub (see above) — 4-5 Turk­ish chilli pep­pers — 2 large onions, sliced into

2cm rounds — 150ml runny honey — 100ml white wine

— 2 dried bay leaves

— 3 tbsp harissa

— ½ bunch of thyme sprigs

For the pineap­ple salsa

— 1 pineap­ple, peeled, cored and cut into wedges or slices

— olive oil

— 100g sugar

— 80ml cider vine­gar

— 2 tbsp or­ange juice

— 1 star anise

— 1 cin­na­mon stick

— 1 tsp cayenne pep­per — 1½ tsp ground cumin — 4-5 spring onions, green

parts only, chopped

— 2 tbsp roughly chopped

co­rian­der

In a con­tainer large enough to hold the pork belly (a saucepan works well), add the salt to 500ml of just-boiled wa­ter and stir to dis­solve, form­ing a sludge­like con­sis­tency. Top up with eight litres of tap wa­ter, then add the sugar and stir to com­bine. Sub­merge the pork belly in the brine and leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day, pre­heat the oven to 130C/gas mark ¾.

Re­move the pork belly from the brine and pat dry. Score both sides of the belly with a sharp knife in a cross­hatch pat­tern, up to ½cm deep. Gen­er­ously mas­sage the pork all over with the rub.

Scat­ter the chilli pep­pers in a roast­ing tray or casse­role dish large enough to ac­com­mo­date the pork belly, and lay the onion slices as a bed upon which the pork will sit. Trans­fer the pork, skin-side down, to on top of the onion and driz­zle half the honey di­rectly over it and the re­main­ing half into the tray or dish. Add 300ml wa­ter and the white wine, fol­lowed by the bay leaves, harissa and thyme.

Cover tightly with a dou­ble layer of tin­foil, mak­ing sure to crimp the foil along the edges of the tray or dish. Trans­fer to the oven and cook for two hours, bast­ing pe­ri­od­i­cally with the juices, be­fore turn­ing the pork over to cook for a fur­ther three hours, un­til ten­der and all but pulling apart with the light­est of pres­sure.

Once cooked, care­fully lift the pork from the tray or dish and trans­fer it to rest on a cool­ing rack. Strain the cook­ing liquor through a fine sieve into a heavy-based saucepan. Place the pan over a high heat and sim­mer to re­duce to a sauce with a glaze-like con­sis­tency – thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Cool and re­frig­er­ate.

Wrap the pork in cling film be­fore re­turn­ing it to the cool­ing rack, set over a shal­low tray, pressed with a heavy weight, overnight in the fridge. I use a roast­ing tray filled with wa­ter as a press, but heavy tins should also work just fine.

The next day, take the pork belly out of the fridge and al­low it to come back to room tem­per­a­ture. Set up a bar­be­cue for sin­gle-zone di­rect grilling (see box) over a medium-high heat.

Roll the pineap­ple in olive oil and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Grill the pineap­ple di­rectly over hot em­bers, un­til well charred all over. Re­move from the grill and hack into rough pieces.

Com­bine the sugar, vine­gar and or­ange juice in a small saucepan and place over a medium-high heat to dis­solve the sugar. Add the star anise, cin­na­mon stick, cayenne pep­per and ground cumin as well as the pineap­ple chunks, and con­tinue to cook over a low heat for 12-15 min­utes, un­til the liq­uid has thick­ened. The salsa should be quite dry. Sea­son with salt to taste and leave to cool a lit­tle. Fold the spring-onion greens and co­rian­der through the mix­ture once it is nearly cool.

Slice the pork into 2.5cmthick slabs. Re­heat the glaze. Grill the pork-belly slices on both sides, brush­ing con­tin­u­ally and gen­er­ously with the glaze un­til well charred and warmed through.

Serve the pork with the pineap­ple salsa.

Charred car­rots with spiced nuts and lime yo­gurt

Serves 4-6

For the lime yo­gurt

— 100g full-fat nat­u­ral yo­gurt — grated zest of 1 lime, plus

juice of ½

— 1½ tbsp ex­tra-vir­gin

olive oil

For the spiced nuts — ½ tbsp co­rian­der seeds — ¼ tbsp fen­nel seeds

— 1 star anise

— ¼ tbsp ground cin­na­mon — pinch of ground nut­meg — 20g wal­nuts, toasted — 20g al­monds, toasted

— 5g pump­kin seeds, toasted —oliveoil

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