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Apple Juice and Shiraz Braised Pork Belly

January 5, 2010
Photos and Recipe By: Eric Ackerson

1.25 Pork Belly
4 Tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
½ Cup Onions Rough Chopped
¼ Cup Shallots Rough Chopped
4 Cups Beef or Veal Stock
1 Cup Shiraz
2 Cups Apple Juice or Cider
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Bay leaves
4 Garlic Cloves Unpeeled
1 cup Carrots cut round about ½ inch long
1 Cup Celery Sliced across grain about ½ inch thick
Salt and Pepper Blend (Coarse Ground 3-5 Pepper blended with Coarse Ground Sea Salt)
1 Tbsp Corn Starch (Absorb in cold water before use!)




Preheat Oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.


Step 1: Liberally coat Pork Belly with Salt and Pepper Blend patting into flesh.


Step 2: Heat Olive Oil to medium high in a frying pan without letting it smoke.


Step 3: Place Pork Belly in Hot Oil and brown for 3 minutes on each of its 4 sides. (Be careful on the skin side as it may pop and spit oil at you, use a cover if necessary)


Step 4: Remove Belly from Oil and place in Metal Oven Safe Dish (Dutch Oven is great)


Step 5: Place Carrots, Celery and Bay leaves in the pot with the Belly.


Step 6: Add Onions and shallots to the olive oil where you browned the Pork Belly; sauté till they begin to caramelize.


Step 7: Deglaze the pan with the Apple Cider Vinegar by whisking it in the pan until all the bits and brownness come off of the hot pan.


Step 8: Add the Stock, the Cider and the Wine to the pan and bring everything up to just below a boil.
Step 9: Pour Liquid over the Pork Belly and vegetables till liquid comes just to the top of the pork. Cover with snug lid and place in oven at 300 degrees farenheit for 3 hrs.


Step 10: When the Pork is finished in the oven, Remove the pot and place the pork in a foil lined baking dish then cover with more foil and place back in the oven on LOW!


Step 11: Strain the liquid through a chinois or cheesecloth. Place back in pan and set on cook top on medium. Allow to reduce to a demi (Half its original volume).


Step 12: Turn oven up to Broil and broil the pork belly till it is starting to crisp but not burning!


Finally: Whisk in 1 tbsp cornstarch in cold water to the sauce as it low boils till it begins to thicken(about 10 mins). Plate the Pork Belly and drizzle some of the sauce over the top and on the plate for effect and added flavor.
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