I never had anything like this before and it might be years before I eat it again, but man, oh man, this dish is a pork lover's ambrosia.
4 lbs pork belly, cut into pieces 2"x4"
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsley chopped
1 celery ribs, coarsley chopped
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 springs fresh thyme
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
Set oven to broil. Score fat side of belly, diagonally, and rub salt and pepper into all sides. Place onion, carrots and celery in a large roasting pan and put the pork belly (scored side up) on top.
Broil until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
Turn pork flesh side up and broil for 5-8 more minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and turn pork back to scored side up. Add chicken stock, orange juice, light brown sugar, thyme, cloves and allspice to roasting pan.
Cover with foil and bake for 2 hours. After two hours, loosen the foil to make a little steam vent and bake for another two hours or until the meat is very tender. Here it is after the first two hours, I peeked when I made the steam vent:
During the last hour, prepare the glaze.
Strain any pulp out of remaining 2 cups orange juice. Combine juice and 3/4 cup sugar in medium saucepan and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to gentle boil and cook until glaze is thick and syrupy, about 30-40 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven and let pork cool slightly in the braising liquid.
Adjust oven setting to broil. Remove pieces of pork belly from braising liquid and pat dry. Place pork on baking sheet lined with foil. Using a pastry brush, baste the pork belly on all sides with the glaze.
Broil for 4-6 minutes, until crispy around the edges and golden brown. Drizzle generously with remaining glaze and serve immediately!!
I hardly have another word to say about this pork belly, I think the pictures speak for themselves. If the fat content of this dish takes a couple of years off my life, I can live with that. Trust me, it's worth the fat grams. I also made savory polenta, which turned out wonderfully. I will post that recipe soon. Until then, my dreams will be filled with visions of braised pork belly...and the eggs.