Crisp Pork Belly with Caramel Vinegar
- 1 (3 1/2 pound) pork belly
- 2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more as needed
- Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Caramel Vinegar, recipe follows
- Bok Choy with Sweet Soy and Lime, recipe follows
- Freshly chopped red chile, for garnish
- Serving suggestion: steamed rice
- Caramel Vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Juice of 1 orange and 4 wide strips of orange peel
- Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bok Choy with Sweet Soy and Lime
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar (superfine)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 bunches baby bok choy (pak choy)
Score the skin of the pork belly in a criss-cross pattern using a sharp knife. Rub the sea salt into the pork skin, and set the meat aside for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Wipe the salt from the pork skin with a paper towel and dry well. Drizzle a large roasting pan with enough olive oil. Place the pork belly in the pan, skin-side down, and drizzle with additional olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sear the pork in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue roasting for another 1 1/2 hours. At this point, carefully turn the pork over and roast for another 20 minutes, or until the skin is crisp.
Remove the pork from the oven, tent the meat loosely in foil and set it aside to rest for at least 15 minutes. Slice the pork belly and drizzle it with some caramel vinegar. Serve with steamed rice, Bok Choy, and freshly chopped red chile.
Put the sugar, vinegar, star anise and cinnamon in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is syrupy.
Stir in the chicken stock and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Add the orange juice and peel, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until thick and syrupy. Season to taste.
Put the soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Simmer until the soy sauce has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
Blanch or steam the bok choy until it is bright green and tender crisp. Drizzle with the sweet soy and lime and serve immediately.