Aromatic Pork Belly Hot Pot

*Adapted from The River Cottage Meat Book, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

 Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs pork belly
  • 3 cups pork stock, or water
  • 6 green onions
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP Chinese rice wine
  • 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP light brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced in rounds
  • Pinch of dried chili flakes

Cut the pork belly into rectangular chunks, about 1 to 2 inches. Put them in a large pan, and pour stock (or water) over the pork to cover it. Cut the 3 of the green onions in half and add to the pan with the pork. At this time, add the soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sugar, star anise, ginger, and chili flakes. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly, and simmer very slowly for about 2 hours, turning the meat occasionally, until the pork is very tender.

Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside. Strain the cooking liquid into a clean pan. Skim off as much fat as you can (but don’t worry about leaving a little), then boil the stock hard to reduce and concentrate the flavors. It should be lightly syrupy and intensely aromatic, but don’t over reduce as the soy sauce may make it very salty.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the remaining green onions on the diagonal. Return pork to the sauce and heat through. Serve over plain rice noodles with plenty of broth ladled over and sliced green onions scattered on top of the meat.


Maple Sage Breakfast Sausage Patties

*A great way to use ground pork!*

 Makes 4 1/4 lb patties

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

 Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Form into 4 patties. Fry on the stovetop or bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the internal temperature of the pork reads 165 degrees.


Sweet and Sour Pork Hocks with Savoy Cabbage and Capers

*Adapted from Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal by Jennifer McLagan

 Serves 3 or 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs pork hocks
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 to 3 T lard
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • ⅓ cup sugar (or honey)
  • ⅓ cup vinegar
  • ½ savoy cabbage, cored and sliced, about 10 cups
  • ½ cup capers packed in vinegar, drained

Preheat the oven to 300F. Season hocks with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 T lard over medium-high heat. Brown the hocks and transfer to a plate. Add the remaining lard, if necessary, and the onion, carrot, celery, then lower the heat and continue to cook until the vegetables soften slightly. Stir in the sugar and vinegar and deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Stir until the sugar dissolves and bring to a boil. Add half the shredded cabbage and the capers and stir to mix. Add the hocks, then cover them with the remaining cabbage. Put the lid on and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours, stirring half-way. The dish is done when the meat falls off the bone. Check the seasoning and add a little more vinegar if necessary.