{Slow Braised Caramel Pork Belly}

The time has come for soups and slow braises, saturday nights with an open fire crackling and a bottle of red sitting warm on the mantle, time for cosy beds and warm socks.  Lovely.  

I've already made a few soups this chilly season, Jay is just overjoyed with the idea of soup for dinner, he just can't get enough of it.  Not.  So this recipe is a more substantial and amazingly delicious slow braise, it is adapted from the last season of MKR, I wasn't about to crack and juice 2 young coconuts, that sounded like way too much effort for a Tuesday.

So anyway its pretty much my idea of the perfect way to spend a cold and windy afternoon at home, while I was making this it actually hailed, and right at school pick up time, don't you just love that! bbbrrrrrrrrrrr.  At least when I returned home I was greeted by the smell of my delicious dinner.

...the pork
1.5kg boneless pork belly
4 tbs caster sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 cups coconut water

3 cups water
1 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp white pepper
1 star anise

...caramel sauce
220g caster sugar
145ml light soy
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 tbsp malt vinegar

...the salad
1 cup shredded chinese cabbage
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
½ cup vietnamese mint leaves
½ cup coriander leaves
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Slice the pork belly into thick rectangles.

Pop the sugar into a large ovenproof and lidded pot over medium heat, cook until it becomes a dark golden caramel, add pork stir until well coated in the caramel, next put in the garlic, give it a quick stir then add the coconut water, and the tap water, ensuring pork is submerged. 

Bring to a boil then add salt, pepper and star anise, simmer for 5 minutes then transfer to your oven preheated to 140 and cook for 3 hours.  Check half way thru that there is still plenty of braising liquid.  After the 3 hours is up remove from oven, take off the lid and simmer on the stove top for 15 minutes.

To make the warming gingery caramel sauce, bring all ingredients to a boil over a low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 10 minutes.

To make salad, place all ingredients in a bowl, toss.  Serve the pork, sauce and salad with rice.  This is enough for 4.


  1. It's freezing here in Perth this past week too. My hubby would love it if I made him braised meat instead of soup too... :-)

  2. yum! you had me at Pork Belly! perhaps you and I should do a Soup Lunch date...boo to our men who turn up their noses to a good soup.. x


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