Curtis Stone's honey glazed pork belly with creamy polenta, caramelised apples and brussel sprouts
4 stars - based on 3 reviews
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/2 cup Coles white sugar
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1kg Coles butcher pork belly, skin (rind) removed
- 2 tbsp Coles olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2.5cm pieces
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 2.5cm pieces
- 1/2 leek, white part only, cut in half
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 1/4 litres Coles chicken stock
- 170g Coles Italian diced tinned tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves - dried
- 2 sprigs thyme
- For the apples & brussels sprouts:
- 400g medium Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 12 wedges
- 2 cups Coles chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf - dried
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1/2 cup finely ground polenta
- 20g Coles grated Parmigiano Reggiano Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Coles unsalted butter
- 150ml Coles pure Australian honey
- 3 tsp Coles soy sauce
- One 2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 2mm slices
- 4 star anise\
Mix all brine ingredients together in a large bowl and add 1 cup of very hot water. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Mix in 2 litres of room temperature water. Place pork belly in a deep baking dish and pour brine over. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 150°C. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Sweat carrots, celery, leek and garlic for 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium, add wine and cook for another 2 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme and bring to a simmer.
Remove pork belly from the brine, rinse with clean water and place in a deep casserole dish or Dutch oven. Pour over the hot stock and vegetables. Cover with a lid and cook in oven for 2 1/2 hours or until tender (taking care not to overcook and dry out the pork).
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook sprouts for 3-5 minutes or until just tender and bright green. Drain and cool in a large bowl of ice water. Dry on paper towels, cut in half and reserve.
Once pork is ready, remove from oven. Carefully remove from the braising liquid onto a flat tray. Place another flat tray on top of the pork with 4 or 5 heavy tins on top to press the pork into a flat, even shape.
Refrigerate in this position for at least 1 hour and completely cooled.
Score the pork
Remove and use a large sharp knife to lightly trim the edges of the pork into straight sides. Cut into 4 equal pieces and score the top of each piece into a 1cm-wide diamond pattern.
While the pork is cooling, make the polenta. Place stock, bay leaf and thyme in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove and discard herbs. Slowly pour in the polenta, whisking continuously. Reduce heat to medium and bring to a gentle simmer. Carefully whisk continuously for 7 – 10 minutes or until tender and thickened to the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes. Then add Parmesan and butter, mix well and season to taste. Remove from heat and cover.
Cook all ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan over a low heat for 5 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid and star anise and discarding other solids.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan over low heat and place pork into the pan, scored side down. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until the fat has rendered, skin is golden brown and starting to crisp. Transfer to a baking sheet, scored side up, and baste on top and sides with the glaze. Cook in oven for 15 minutes or until the glaze has caramelised and the pork is heated through.
Return the same frying pan with leftover fat to a medium-high heat and cook apples and sprouts for 3-5 minutes until they start to brown. Add remaining glaze and cook for another 6-8 minutes until tender, well glazed and heated through.
Heat the polenta over medium heat, with a little hot water if necessary, stirring until creamy.
Arrange the polenta, pork belly, sprouts and apples on 4 plates and drizzle with remaining glaze from the pan. Garnish with star anise and serve. (Do not eat the star anise.)
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