This holiday season, I was on the mood for doing the famous christmas dish “Porchetta”. But since the butcher had sent me a pork belly cut without the skin and I didn’t want to return it or complain about it, I had to get creative, hence this recipe!
I’ve cut off the edges of this square pork cut and split it in half while cooking it. But you can start by splitting the meat first before rubbing it and seasoning it, this way the handling would be easier and you would need a smaller tray.
The Apple Liqueur
I’m from an ancient village in Jbeil called “Akoura” (From my mother’s side), where apples are primary commodities in this agricultural ecosystem that is dominant in the area for decades. On christmas, the apple liqueur is a traditional alcoholic drink that is served as shots with coated almonds here in Lebanon.
A couple years ago, my uncle had sent a gallon of this liqueur to my mom at christmas. That is one of the things that he sends from “Akoura” during the year like fruits, vegetables, ketchup, tomato paste, Jam, cheeses and mollases (ohh the grape verjuice. The memory of its taste sends me back to a colorful and sweet, yet citric mood). So when I took a sip of this liqueur and let it take a roll on those taste buds that are trained on wine for years, I had to try it in my cooking! That road had led to this recipe and it’s magnificent! So here it is:
The Recipe: for 4-6 people.
order the package from this website in the products section, but if you insist here it is:
- 1KG Pork Belly
- 250 ml Apple liqueurs.
- 4 TBSP Natural Oak Honey.
- 2 spring onions. ( We only need the green part).
- 0.5 bunch of coriander.
- 2 TBSP of roasted sesame.
- 1 Onion.
- Crushed black pepper
- Himalayan salt.
Directions: when delivered raw. Scroll down for the “cooked” recipe.
total time: 1.5 hrs
1- Season the cut with salt and pepper on all sides.
2- Place the cut into a stainless steel, aluminum or cast iron tray that has a 3cm offset from the cut and place it in the oven for 1 hour at 180*C.
3- In a pan that fits the cut of meat, mix the honey and a bottle of liqueur (250ml) and put it on stand by. (cover if room temperature is low)
4- You can run any errands while checking on the cut from time to time, but now it’s waiting time for 1 hour. After it has elapsed,
5- Turn off the oven. Start with the glaze by turning a low heat on the pan. (Half hour remains for the cut to be ready, in a normal oven).
6- Let the glaze merge in a pan while stirring gently. Here you can taste it and check for sweetness/sourness level and adjust to your taste. (You can add salt) it will start to bubble that means that the honey is getting caramelized.
7- Place the Belly inside the pan and start basing ( Removing the glaze from the bottom of then pan and sprinkle on the top of the cut while flipping the cut every now and then.
8- Keep reducing the glaze until it’s condensed. (Similar to simple syrup).
9- Drag the cut around the pan to let it absorb as much glaze as possible from all sides using a kitchen tongue.
10- Place the cut on the plate that you wish to present it on, and poor the rest of the glaze on top.
9- Sprinkle the sesame, spring onion and coriander respectively.
Directions: if delivered cooked.
Total time: 20 minutes
1- Heat the oven on max temperature.
2- Place the cut fat side down in the tray than decrease the temperature to 180*C for 20 minutes.
3- Start for step 5 from the uncooked recipe and repeat the same process.
If you’ve reduced the glaze to a less desired quantity, you can add a cup of water to the mix and let the whole mix re-reduce in quantity while uncovered, by 25%.
Remember, stay hungry, stay foolish!
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