Just a quick one because I am terribly behind in a lot of these posts. This was a pretty simply meal I thought up after coming across a great little Chinese butcher called Wing Hong, around the corner from where I work in Northbridge (the studious among you might be able to work out where that is now). They sell more parts of a pig than I knew existed, and so I eventually braved the language barrier, headed in, and managed to buy myself a pork belly. The fact that I was actually asking for chicken is irrevelant, and we’ll all pretend it was a great idea from the start.
Pork Belly is a pretty trendy cut of meat of late, or at least it was up until a year or so ago. So maybe I’m behind the times, but that’s never stopped me from jumping on the bandwagon. So what to do with it…I heard you whispering excitedly… thanks to the bugs I’ve installed in EVERYONES house ! Ahem…
Well, for some reason the words “roast pork belly with fennel” jumped into my head… perhaps from a recipe I’d seen before, perhaps from a dream (albeit a sad one) I had once… who knows… but the inspiration was secured.
So after scoring the top of the belly and rubbing a bunch of fennel seeds, salt, pepper, and olive oil into the top, it was time for oven. (oh and some sliced fennel to go with it, but don’t do what I do and leave it in there for 40 minutes to burn unmercifully into little fennel crunchy charcoal chips).
The next part was another dream like idea that came to me… Caramelised red cabbage, which had been sitting in the fridge for too long and needed to be given a good home. Fortunately cabbage is a good hardy vegetable, and can withstand the long periods of neglect that it is often forced to endure in the dark recesses of my fridge.
So sliced up into strips and sauteed in a little white wine vinegar and sugar, til nice and soft and caramelisedly looking.
The rest was pretty basic, a garlic mash made by crushing a couple of cloves of garlic into boiled potatoes and mashing with salt, pepper, and cream, for smooth texture and consistency.
Slice the pork belly up into thin pieces and layer daintily on top of the cabbage and mash.
Score one for breaking language barriers the world over. You never know what you might find.