Braised Pork Belly with Watermelon Mint Salad & Ponzu Sauce

Photo by Dieter Heinemann / Getty
Ingredients
  • FOR PORK
  • 2 pounds Berkshire pork belly
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • FOR WATERMELON MINT SALAD
  • 1 cup of ½-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons chiffonade of mint
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons saba (or balsamic vinegar)
Directions

TO PREPARE THE PORK
Rinse pork belly and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a pot with a bit of vegetable oil. Sear each side of pork belly and add remaining ingredients to pot. Cover with water completely and bring to a boil, then cover and turn off heat. Place pot in oven at 300°F for 4 hours. Remove pork belly from the pot with a slotted spoon and refrigerate for 24 hours or until completely cool and firm. Once firm, cut 1/3-inch slices from the skin side to the meat side in uniform strips and reserve.

TO MAKE THE WATERMELON SALAD:
Toss all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.

TO FINISH:
Lay sliced pork belly flat on a sheet pan. Brush the sweet Ponzu sauce on one side of the pork and cook in an oven at 400°F for 5–7 min. Remove from oven. Spoon a tablespoon of blueberry compote on one side of plate and drag spoon across. Place watermelon salad where spoon ended. Place hot pork belly on plate and garnish with a bit of cilantro; drizzle any remaining Ponzu sauce over pork.

Published on April 22, 2011