Five Spice Slow roasted Pork Belly

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I Couldn’t wait to share this with you. A great change from all things turkey.
I think Asian is pretty much the opposite of turkey and I really needed that. I love the holidays and everything about them, but it’s time for something completely different.
This five spice slow roasted pork belly is going to drive you mad with delight once you’ve tasted it.
Tender as can be with and a super crispy skin, aka crackling!
And best of all, this piece cost me around € 6, 50 is weighs around 1.3 kg. / 2.8 lbs and you could easily serve six people from this piece. Hallelujah to that.
It’s important that you dry the skin very very well, then make cuts in it with a Stanley knife but not all the way thru to the meat, just the fat.
I’ve marinated it overnight in a plastic zip lock bag, skin side facing up so that that part is not in the marinade.
Then the next day, bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes, then on slow for 2 1/2 hours. This may seem like a long time and it is, but you want to render away as much fat as possible.

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Ingredients;
1 pork belly, without bone  about 1.3 kg / 2.8 lbs.
1″grated fresh ginger, (don’t bother peeling it first)
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1 tsp. Chinese Five Spice
1 tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil
2 tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
1 tbsp. Honey
1 1/2 tbsp. Soy Sauce or tamari  (gluten free)
1 tbsp. Conimex Ketjap Manis

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Method;

Mix the marinade in a bowl.

Place the pork in a zip lock bag, skin side down , pour and rub all the marinade over the meat, close the bag and carefully turn the skin side up.
Place the bag on a plate and leave to marinade for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.

The next day,  Pre heat the oven to 220°C / 430°F

Remove the pork from the fridge an hour before cooking.

Remove the meat from marinade and discard the bag and juices.
Dry thoroughly with kitchen paper.

Take a sharp Stanley knife and make cuts all over the skin side of the belly diagonally, a third of an inch apart if you can.  All the way thru the fat but not yet touching the meat. This is important!

Rub with some salt and place in a roasting tin that has been lined with a double layer of foil.
Place in the hot oven and cook for about 20 minutes.
Lower the heat to 160°C / 320°F and cook for an other 2 1/2 hours. Cover loosely with some foil if the skin gets to dark, the foil does have to be tented to keep the crispyness.

Remove from oven. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with rice noodles, Bok Choy and some hoisin sauce. Or any other vegetable of choice. Leftovers are heavenly and it also freezes well, but you do have to remove the skin because this can get a little chewy after freezing.

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog  on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Sticky Shrimp & Pineapple with Jasmin Rice.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin over creamy Polenta with Sherry gravy and crispy fried Sage leafs.

Serves  2           

This is a recipe that I have been making for years, at least 15 or so. I always make it for informal dinner parties for friends and family when you want something different but not too complicated or fancy.

To be honest with you, I don’t even remember how I came up with this recipe but I do know that guests have always loved it. It is an unusual combination of ingredients but that’s what makes it work. I guess you’ll just have to try for yourself.

You have to stuff the tenderloin first. Then you can cook the polenta and the prepared tenderloin at the same time,  since the cooking time is about the same.

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Ingredients Tenderloin;

1 Pork Tenderloin weighing about 12 – 14 oz

1 thin slice Serrano ham or Parma ham

1 tbsp. Ketjap Manis

1 tbsp. Apricot Jam

1 spring onion

Salt and Pepper

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 glass dry Sherry

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Ingredients Polenta;

1 C. Polenta

2 C. milk

1 1/2 C. Chicken stock, good quality

3 tbsp. butter

1/3 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated

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Method;

Start by preparing the tenderloin. Lay it out on a chopping board and make a deep cut lengthwise but not all the way thru, about halfway. Open up and flatten with the palm of your hand.

In a little bowl combine the apricot preserve and the ketjap and spread all of it in the middle of the tenderloin. Cover with the ham and put the spring onion on top. Now close the tenderloin and fasten with kitchen twine.

Meanwhile bring to a boil the milk with the chicken stock. Add the polenta and stirring now and then cook for about 18 to 20 minutes. Just before the end add the butter and half the parmesan cheese. Taste the polenta and add salt and pepper (if necessary).  Reserve the other half for serving.

Heat a frying pan on the stove and add butter and olive oil. Cook the tenderloin, browning it all over and turning every few minutes. Give the polenta a stir now and then.

The tenderloin will take about 18 minutes, remove to  cutting board and cover loosely with tin foil. Remove the twine and slice.

Add the sherry to the pan with the meat juices and scrape to loosen  the crusty bits.

To serve, place a good amount of polenta on a plate, serve with a few slices of the tenderloin and the sherry gravy, Serve with more parmesan cheese on the side. Place a few crispy sage leafs on the polenta.

To make the crispy sage leafs, just fry them in the the pan alongside the tenderloin,frying a few leafs at a time just for two minutes or so, place them on kitchen paper until ready to use.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Pollo al Ajillo, Chicken in Garlic Sauce .

My Grandmothers Meat Balls

There is something very comforting about meat balls. I always have a batch in the freezer for When I don’t know what to make for dinner. This recipe is how my grandmother used to make them. They have to simmer for quit a while, but then you end up with really juicy meat balls. The great thing about meat balls is that they are so versatile. You can put them in sandwiches, serve them over pasta with tomato sauce, have them as a snack. Or even slices them and top them with melted cheese, put them in a bun and pretend it’s a hamburger.  This is a pretty classic recipe, but I also like making variations like Italian meatballs with parmesan cheese, or Indonesian with cumin, coriander and sate sauce. The possibilities are endless. I hope you enjoy these.

I recommend you use half pork half beef for the meat balls to get a juicier result. Only beef could end up a bit dry. If you do want to use only beef I suggest you add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the ground beef.

Serves 4.IMG_6215

Ingredients;

1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. ground pork

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, peeled and diced very small

1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated or chopped very fine

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. coriander

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. black pepper, or a few twists of the mill

1/4 tsp. marjoram

1/8 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. cardamom

1/8 tsp. allspice

a pinch of cayenne

1 egg, beaten

1/4 C. dried breadcrumbs*

1/2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp honey

a few splashed of Worcestershire sauce

1 C. beef stock (from a cube if you like)

Method;

Start of by gently cooking the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over low heat until just beginning to brown. Remove from heat and let cool. In a bowl mix all the remaining ingredients and shape into about 8 meat balls.

Heat a frying pan with the remaining oil and brown the meat balls all over, now lower the heat and sprinkle the meat balls with the flour, add the tomato paste, 1 tbsp honey, the Worcestershire sauce and a cup of beef stock. Stir everything and set the heat to very low. Partially cover with a lid and let simmer for an hour.

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