Monthly Archives: July 2013

crispy pork belly with sweet chili caramel sauce

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We’ve got Nana staying at the moment ** and we’re doing our best to spoil her rotten. In part this involves cooking things that she’ll love but would never cook for herself. So on Saturday I tried a recipe that my friend Fiona had told me about – I had a piece of pork belly in the freezer that was just begging to have something nice done to it.

When Fiona made this recipe she cooked the pork in her slow cooker, but my piece was the wrong size for that. So I put it – frozen, because I only decided to do this on Saturday morning! – in a roasting dish, poured a litre of chicken stock over the top, covered the dish with aluminium foil & sealed it as much as possible, & then put it in the oven at 120 degrees C. After 4 & 1/2 hours the meat was sooooo tender!

I decanted the stock (through a sieve, to catch the meaty bits) into a jug, skimmed off the fat (the birds in our garden were very happy about that, next morning 🙂 ), & put the jug in the fridge; it will be excellent in the risotto I’ve got planned for Tuesday. The meat went in a smaller dish, skin side up & with crumpled foil around it so only the skin was exposed. Using a sharp knife (what other kind is there?) I cut a series of lines through the skin, to make it easier to serve later, then brushed the skin with oil & sprinkled it with salt, before putting it aside to wait while the roast veges cooked.

And while they cooked, I made the sauce. Fiona had told me about its delectable nature but not what the actual ingredients were, so I decided to go the usual route & Make Stuff Up. Into a small saucepan went 1/2 sugar (I used white but Fiona told me this morning that brown also works well) & a couple of Tblsp of water. I cooked this over a low heat, stirring lots, until the sugar melted & went a light golden brown. At this point it came off the heat & I added the juice of 2 limes – we have an oversupply of these at the moment but apparently they freeze really well – followed by half a cup of sweet chilli sauce. You’ll need to be careful doing this as the caramel may spit!

The final step was to put the meat under the grill until the crackling was done, before serving the meal up to a very happy family. (The sauce was voted a ‘keeper’, & certainly the leftover sauce went very well with last night’s chicken burgers 😀 ) Nana said, perhaps she should stay longer 🙂

**  Poppa died a few weeks ago, after a mercifully short last illness. Hence the blogging hiatus; I’ve had other things on my mind & simply couldn’t get into writing. Hopefully we’re all moving onwards now.

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