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