Lemon-cured Pork Belly with Balsamic Gel and Broad Beans

Kevin Dundon says this pork belly is like a little piece of heaven

Ingredients


  • for kevin’s brine:
  • 2 l water
  • 150 g salt
  • 12–14 peppercorns
  • 2–3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • for the pork belly:
  • 2 pieces of pork belly, about 1kg (2.lb) each
  • 4 tblsp salt
  • 80 g sugar
  • grated rind of 3 lemons
  • 1 tblsp finely chopped rosemary
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • for the balsamic gel:
  • 250 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 125ml water
  • 40 g butter
  • to serve
  • 300 g garden peas, blanched
  • 300 g broad (fava) beans, blanched
  • salt and black pepper
  • 200 ml warm chicken stock

Method

  1. To make the brine (salt solution), place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the liquid to cool. Store the brine in the refrigerator until required.
  2. Place the pork belly pieces in a dish and cover completely in brine. Leave the dish in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then drain off the water and pat the pork belly dry.
  3. Combine the salt and sugar in a small bowl and add the grated lemon rind and chopped rosemary. Rub the ingredients together with your fingers until the rind and rosemary are fully incorporated and the mixture is fragrant. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Place the pork belly into a clean dish, then rub the mixture into the pork belly.
  4. Cover the dish with cling film (plastic wrap) and place it in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
  5. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7. Place the pork belly into a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180oC/350oF/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30–40 minutes.
  6. To make the balsamic gel, place the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a handheld blender until thickened. Set aside.
  7. When the meat is cooked, cook the vegetables. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over a moderate heat. Add the peas and broad beans and season with salt. Add the chicken stock and let it reduce until it’s all absorbed and the mixture is glazed.
  8. Meanwhile, take the cooked pork belly out of the oven. You can either serve it as it is, cut into 4–6 portions, or slice it into thin slices and cook it in 1 tbsp pork fat or suet in a frying pan over a moderate heat for about 2–3 minutes on each side until caramelized.
  9. Divide the vegetables equally across 4–6 warmed plates and top with the pork belly slices or pieces. Drizzle with the balsamic gel and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.




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