Asian Braised Pork Belly

Asian Braised Pork Belly

We had a pound of cubed pork belly in the freezer that I wanted to cook. I looked around at a number of different recipes and combined them into this. It turned out great!  Pork belly is bacon without the smoke or salt cure.

This recipe is for pork belly that been slowly braised in a salty-sweet liquid for hours and hours, until both the fat and the meat melt in your mouth.

We served it with brown rice, steamed broccoli and Sauerkraut.  My husband was skeptical, but he loved it too.

1 lb pork belly

2 tablespoons Organic sugar or rapadura

½ organic Onion peeled and roughly chopped

1 cinnamon stick

1 Organic Orange, quartered (with peel on)

1 large piece of fresh ginger

1 star anise

3 tablespoons Organic soy sauce (wheat free for Gluten Free)

2 tablespoons sake

2 cups of homemade beef or chicken broth or water

Cut the pork into cubes about 1 inch or so square. If the skin is still on, leave it on. Heat up a large pot with a heavy bottom. Sauté the pork belly cubes, without any added fat (you don’t need it…) until browned.

When the meat is browned, scrape it to one side and put the sugar in the fat that’s accumulated on the bottom, and stir around until it’s a bit caramelized. Stir and toss so the meat gets coated by the sugar.

Add the rest of the ingredients, you can chop the orange into four quarters.  I peeled a bit of the rind off one quarter and also squeeze the juice out of the same one and added it all to the pot. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat. Put a lid on and let it simmer gently for about 3 hours, turning occasionally.

To serve, dredge the pieces carefully out of the oily cooking liquid, and peel off the thick layer of fat that’s on the skin side of the meat, or just the skin. Drizzle a little bit of the cooking liquid over the cubes.

Serve with very steamed vegetables, like broccoli, steamed rice and a fermented vegetable like pickles or Sauerkraut would be great too.  To eat, take a small piece and put it on top of your hot rice, and let the sauce and fat sort of melt in. A little goes a long way.  Enjoy!

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