Honey Glazed Pork Belly

"A Coles winter recipe by Curtis Stone. Takes a long time, but worth it!"
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  • DAY 1: Mix salt, sugar, peppercorns, 2 cloves garlic and 2 sprigs thyme 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 this brine mixture over. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • DAY 2: Preheat oven to 150°C Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Sweat carrots, celery, leek and 2 cloves of garlic for 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium, add wine and cook for another 2 minutes. Add 1 1/4 litres of stock, tomatoes, bay leaves and 2 sprigs 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 2½ 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.
  • To 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 remaining 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 honey, soy, ginger and star anise 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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I'm a Librarian from Brisbane, Australia - also juggling playing mummy to a 4 year old year old son (he and hubby constantly fight over who's man of the house!) and sweet baby girl who's just turned one!
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