Recipe: Organic Confit Pork Belly

Recipe - Organic Confit Pork Belly

Recipe: Organic Confit Pork Belly

by Chef Angus An

The organic pork comes from Qualicum Beach’s Sloping Hill Farm on Vancouver Island. It is prized by B.C. chefs for its high percentage of intramuscular fat, darker colour, exquisite marbling and superior taste. Serves 6

Ingredients:

Pork Belly
2 heads garlic, separated into cloves, peeled
4 bay leaves
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 Tbsp juniper berries
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp Guinea pepper (also known as Grains of Paradise)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups rock salt
1/4 slab of organic pork belly, about 2 lbs
12 cups of rendered duck fat or peanut oil or lard Quinoa
1 cup red quinoa
8 cups water
1 tsp butter
4 plums (any variety of red plum), halved and pitted
7 oz bacon lardons
8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced, discard stems
4 sprigs chocolate mint or peppermint or spicy globe basil

Directions:

Pork Belly
Start making this 2 days before serving. Chop half of the garlic in a food processor. Add bay leaves, thyme, juniper berries, peppercorns, Guinea pepper and sugar. Pulse for 30 seconds and slowly add rock salt until well incorporated. Do not overblend as the salt should be coarse for curing.

Rub salt mixture all over pork belly, place in a non-reactive pan, cover and cure for 12 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 225˚f. Wash the salt mixture off pork andpat dry with paper towels. Place pork in a roasting pan. Melt duck fat in a pot on low heat and pour over pork. Add the remaining garlic cloves. Roast pork in the oven for 4 hours, or until forktender. Remove from the oven and allow meat to cool in the fat for 2 hours. Remove meat from the fat and refrigerate until chilled. Reserve 1 Tbsp of duck fat to use later to finish the pork. (Melt duck fat, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pour into clean jars and freeze for your next batch of confit or use some of it to cook potatoes. Will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.)

Quinoa
Place quinoa and water in a pot on medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the white germ separates from the seed. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid, drain and allow to cool.

Heat butter in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add plums and sauté for 1 minute.

Place lardons and mushrooms in another frying pan on medium-high heat, then sauté for about 5 minutes, or until lardons are brown. Stir in cooked quinoa, then season with salt and pepper. Fold in cooked plums and chocolate mint. Keep warm. (May be made a day ahead and reheated before serving.)

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