Asian Braised Belly of Pork

prep 20 mins, plus cooling and marinating cook 2½ hours 10 mins
  • 1.25 kg (2½ lb) piece of boned pork belly, skin removed and trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) rice vinegar
  • 100 g (3½ oz) palm or light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted black beans
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Put the piece of pork in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Leave to cool in the liquid, then drain, reserving the liquid. Score a crisscross pattern over the fatty side of the meat and cut into 6 portions. Place in a shallow glass or ceramic dish.

Mix together all the remaining ingredients and pour over the pork. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Transfer the pork and its marinade to a casserole dish (or leave in the same dish if it is suitable) and place on the lower rack of the halogen oven. Lift the fat off the reserved broth and pour enough over the pork to just cover it.

Set the temperature to 250°C (482°F) and cook the pork for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150°C (302°F) and cook for about 2 hours until the pork is completely tender. Drain the pork and keep warm while finishing the sauce.

Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook until reduced by about two-thirds. Serve with steamed rice and Asian greens.

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