Braised Pork Belly

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recipe_DryCreekKitchen_Pork-Belly_Credit-Bill-Milne-(2).jpgBraised Pork Belly
Caraway Sauerkraut & Potatoes

Wine Pairing: Dry Creek Kitchen Sommelier Drew Menro recommends the 2009 Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.  Freeman strives to make wines of elegance and is able to achieve wines with body and concentrated fruit flavors without high alcohol levels. Their 09 Sonoma Coast Pinot displays brooding flavors of black cherry, plums, and roasted strawberries with hints of mushroom and tobacco. Plus, it has the firm acidity that is needed to match up with the tangy sauerkraut.

In celebration of Epicurean Winter in Healdsburg and the annual Pigs & Pinot event, try this delicious braised pork belly recipe for dinner!

If you are planning a trip to Healdsburg in the next few months (and we encourage you to plan one!), then be sure to take advantage of the Pigs & Pinot Connoisseur Package offered by Hotel Healdsburg. For lovers of Pigs & Pinot that couldn't make Charlie's big event this year, Hotel Healdsburg has created a package for people with a passion for both.

This one-of-a-kind package includes:
  • Two nights in a Hotel Healdsburg premium king or double queen guest room.
  • Private tastings at esteemed Pigs and Pinot wineries - Williams Seylem and Merry Edwards. Tastings are extremely limited and subject to availability.
  • Pigs & Pinot Inspired Dining at Dry Creek Kitchen
  • Pigs & Pinot welcome amenity.

CLICK HERE for more details and to make reservations!

For Curing the Pork

  • 4 lb     fresh pork belly
  • 2 ½ c    kosher salt
  • 1 c     granulated sugar
  • Handful of Italian parsley, washed and roughly chopped
  • 5     cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 T    red pepper flakes
*** The pork belly should cure for 24 hours before you cook it.

For Braising the Pork

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1      large white onion, quartered and sliced
  • 1 T   caraway seeds
  • 1 lb  sauerkraut, rinsed and squeezed dry
  • 2      branches fresh rosemary, bruised with the back of a chef's knife
  • 3 c   white wine
  • 4     large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into thick rounds
  • High quality whole grain mustard 

To Cure the Pork
Remove the skin from the pork belly (if the butcher hasn't done this for you). Using a sharp knife, score the fat side in a criss¬cross pattern, making cuts about ¼ inch deep.

Stir together the salt, sugar, parsley, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Rub the mixture all over the pork, especially into the scored fat. Place half the remaining cure mixture in a large shallow pan or baking dish and press the pork into it, bone-side down. Press the remaining mixture over the pork, cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours. 

To Braise the Belly
Brush as much of the cure mixture from the pork as possible. Pour just enough oil into a large, heavy sauté pan to cover the bottom and place the pan over low heat. Put the pork in the pan fat-side down and slowly render until golden brown, about10 minutes. Turn the pork and brown the side with the bones.

Remove the pork to a platter and carefully pour off about half of the rendered fat from the pan. Add the onions and caraway seeds to the pan and cook for 5 minutes: The onions should be limp but not fully tender, and the caraway aromatic. Stir the sauerkraut into the pan and heat it through. Nestle the pork belly in the pan and tuck in the rosemary as well. Pour in the wine, cover the pan, and slowly braise the pork until fork-tender, about 2 ½ hours. Check about every 45 minutes to make sure there is enough liquid in the pan, add¬ing water if necessary.

About 20 minutes before the pork is done, add the potatoes; cook until they are fork-tender but still have the slightest touch of a bite to them.

Slice the pork into 4 thick slabs and serve on a platter over the potatoes and sauer¬kraut. Accompany the pork with a dish or a dollop of mustard.

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*Photographer Credit: Bill Milne

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