PORK BELLY WITH SWEET + SOUR CHERRY SAUCE
SERVES 4 | GLUTEN FREE | 24 HOURS PREP TIME | 1.5 HOURS COOK TIME
I created this recipe as a part of a festive-series for a client, but I feel confident in saying you could cook this all year round. My secret for perfect crispy, crackling is to prepare the skin the day before. I know it takes a little extra time, but trust me on this one - it’s well worth it! Pork belly is known for being rich and decadent, but combined with the sweetness and acidity from the cherry sauce, it’s perfectly balanced. Throw in some steamed rice and some simple Asian greens, and you’ve got yourself an impressive spread!
1.5kg boneless pork belly
4 tbsp salt flakes
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
300g fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
1 star anise
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
300ml beef stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp corn flour
Salt and pepper
For crispy skin, evenly score pork belly skin with a sharp knife. Place a wire rack over the sink or a deep dish. Place pork on top of rack and pour a kettle of boiling water over the skin to blanch. Dry well with paper towel. Rub half the salt into the skin. Place on a tray and leave uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
To cook the pork belly, preheat oven 220*C. Dry any excess moisture with paper towel. Rub remaining salt, Chinese five spice and oil into skin. Place pork on a wire rack inside a roasting dish and into the oven for 30-40 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 160*C. Cook for a further 30 minutes. Remove pork from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
To make the cherry sauce, place a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add cherries and star anise. Continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes until cherries begin to break down. Add red wine vinegar, stock, soy sauce and honey and bring to a simmer. Mix corn flour into 2-3 tbsp of water until smooth and add to saucepan. Stir constantly until sauce has thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve, slice pork belly into even portions. Drizzle with cherry sauce. Enjoy!