Tender juicy melt in the mouth pork with crispy glossy crackling served on a bed of braised hazelnut laced cabbage!
With my new found love and appreciation for fat…crispy skinned pork belly had me at first site, hook line and sinker after the initial bite! Totally irresistible glossy crackling. I can’t help but have a little internal self snigger as I now delve in to such deliciousness. I would have literally run a mile had I been presented with such a “task” as to ingest what I would have deemed as empty calories in the past.
I’m certainly making up for my fat and meat free years, even more so the former of late. I discovered pork belly a couple of months back but hadn’t quite gotten to grips with cooking it. I now have it down. Soft tender melt in the mouth juicy pork meat, a proper crunch on top… it doesn’t require a whole lot of messing about with, though I’m sure I’ll find a way to jazz it up even more.
Simply baked and glazed with a little honey, I served my hunk of pork belly over a bed of braised cabbage. Not just any braised cabbage…hazelnut laced with a paprika twist, a recipe adapted from the wonderful Sonia! I opted out of the apple and bacon on this occasion but only because I whipped it up with the intention of having the devilishly glossy belly of pork sitting with pride on top.
Funny that…cabbage was most my HATED vegetable as a child. Granted I wasn’t a fan of too many of them unless cooked within an inch of their life and mashed to a pulp, side of ketchup for dunking and masking any residual taste. Now cabbage be it in the form of an awesome coleslaw or my new favourite side, a.k.a this braised beauty, is one of my favs!
I’ll tell you a little secret…even through all my years of being vegan and vegetarian before that I always appreciated the beauty of meat focused food photography. The natural animal fat, the crispy skin of a chicken, crackling of pork, crust of a steak…the natural sheen, depth of colour, the juices that ooze, was something that just couldn’t be recreated with a piece of tofu or tempeh no matter how hard one tried!
I guess in a sense it was one of the final nails in the coffin, pictures with corresponding recipes and nutritional and digestive success stories from those such as Leanne and Sonia drew me in and helped me turn the monumental corner. Truly life changing.
I’m still working my way through cuts of meats and playing around in the kitchen. The flavour combinations and cooking methods seem endless, such a wide berth of possibilities. This pork belly is up there with those short ribs from last week…two cuts of meat I’d never even tried before. I had no idea what I was missing!
What’s your favourite cut of meat that isn’t the most conventional?
Crispy Honey Glazed Pork Belly
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Keywords: roast entree gluten-free grain free low-carb paleo soy-free pork belly
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 454g (1lb) of pork belly, skin scored with a sharp blade
- 4 cloves of garlic smashed out of their skin
- 1 tbbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp Himilayan Rock Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper to taste
- Braised Hazelnut Cabbage to serve!
Preheat the oven to 220C (420F).
Pat the pork belly dry with kitchen paper and rub all over with salt.
Place on top of the cloves of garlic in the oven on a tray and cook for 20 minutes before turning the heat down to 180C and continue to cook for a further 2 hours, until the meat is tender and the skin crisp.
Mix the olive oil and honey. Pour over the pork, turn the oven up to 200C (400F) and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing in to thick slices or squares and serve over a bed of braised hazelnut cabbage. Drizzle with juices from the pan before digging in!