Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Recipes

Recipe: Pork Belly, Apple and Vanilla Puree

Local Great British Menu star Chris Bell shares his favourite summer recipes to celebrate the Belfast Taste & Music Festival.

What you'll need

For the Pork Belly

1x belly from a sow, skinned and trimmed

For The Cure

100g salt

150g sugar

3g mustard powder

6 coriander seeds, crushed

6 white peppercorns, crushed

For the braising liquor

6 x garlic heads, halved

4 x carrots, 2cm dice

4 x onions, 2cm dice

750g chicken stock

20g thyme

For the apple and vanilla Puree

400g Granny Smith apples, peeled and fine sliced

20g sugar

4g salt

1 quarter of vanilla pod

Prepare the pork belly removing all skin, bone and gristle.

Mix up the cure and cover both sides of the belly with all the mixture, placing in a deep tray to catch the excess.

Leave this for 18 hours in the fridge, and then wash well for one hour under a cold tap.

Roll the belly across its shortest side (so it’s as long as it could be) with the fat side out (where the skin has been removed from).

Tie using a butcher’s slipknot every 3cm so the belly is very tight and won’t unroll. Cut it into two at the middle point between two knots. Dry well and seal in a little oil to get good caramelisation all over, and then chill.

For the braising liquor, roast the garlic, carrots and onions hard, with plenty of colour in an induction pan for five minutes. Add the stock then simmer for 15 minutes.

Finally, add the thyme and leave to cool to room temperature before passing through a fine sieve into two large vacuum-pack bags. Chill this braising liquor in the bags in the fridge until it has set.

Add the pork to the bags and vacuum pack fully. Place into a Clifton Water Bath filled with cold water and turn on to 82°C/180°F.

Cook for 48 hours and then turn off the bath and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool enough to hold, chill the bellies in the bags until cold through.

Remove the bellies, cut off the string and portion in to 110g pieces. Re-vac. These portions can be kept as ‘mise en place’ for up to seven days.

To serve, place into a 28l Clifton Water Bath set at 50°C/120°F to re-generate.

After 20 minutes the meat is ready to be finished, but can remain at this temperature for hours without spoiling. Remove from the bag and dry.

Season with sea salt and seal for 30 seconds-one minute to achieve a perfect roasted flavour and colour.

Serve immediately.

For the apple and vanilla puree, place the finely sliced apple, sugar, salt and vanilla into a vacuum bag.

Seal tight and place in a Clifton Water Bath set at 85°C/185°F for one hour, then remove the vanilla pod and puree immediately.

Pass through a fine sieve and chill.

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