Spanish Pork Belly with Apple Butter and Almond Jazz
- Two 12-ounce cans beer (any standard beer will do)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 pounds pork belly, skin removed
- 3 Granny Smith apples, cored and quartered
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons crushed roasted almonds
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoons honey
For the pork belly: Combine the beer, salt and 1 quart water in a large container with a cover to make the brine. Submerge the pork belly in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Remove the pork belly from the brine and rinse it under tap water. Place it fat-side up in a roasting pan and bake uncovered for 3 hours.
Press the pork belly: Place it between two heavy plates, boards or pans, set something heavy on top of it and cool in the refrigerator overnight.
Slice the pork belly in 1/2-inch-thick slices, and then cut into 2-inch segments. The pork belly is now ready to prepare. It can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days
For the apple butter: Preheat the oven to 150 degrees F.
Increase the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees F. and return the apple mixture to the oven to bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Puree the apple mixture in a blender until smooth. Let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
For the almonds: Mix the almonds with the oil and honey in a bowl. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
To serve: Slowly render the pork belly in a medium saute pan over medium heat until golden brown on both side.