Hal Hartley Pork Belly Braised with Fennel and Pears

pork belly with cabbage and pears

Poor result with photos leads to a grittier feel and the shift from narrative to character driven food post.

Pork Belly: Porky! Fatty! Schoolyard taunts bounce off this delightful slice of meat. Trim the skin off for crisping later if braising. Chopped in to bite sized chunks and the bones left on, cut through with a heavy cleaver. Sealed in a frypan. Left to simmer for three hours, removed from broth briefy crisped up in the oven and glossed with venison stock and butter before serving. A kilogram.

Pork Crackle: Deeply cut into strips rubbed with salt and a little oil and crisped up in the oven. Chopped into small cubes and added to the cabbage.

Fennel: Suggested matching at time of wine purchase last year at Talijancich. As this dish was put into play, the aniseed flavour became a worry and with excess sweetness in the dish, would it taste of licorice? All other ingredients chosen with this in mind. Stalks removed and the bulb cut into small cubes. Two.

Cider: Substitute form of the ever-present matching of porks with apples. Dry dry dry to combat licorice effect, which it did. 500ml.

Venison Stock: No particular reason other than I’d made a reduction of it last weekend. Bold and meaty. 1 cup.

Finey chopped and sauteed. One

Rosemary, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves
First two from the herb garden and are common pork accompaniaments. Peppercorns for bite, and bay leaves for bitterness. A few sprigs, a few sprigs, 12, and two.

Pears: Taken from a recipe from ¡Delicioso! The man at the shop assured me the Beurré Bosc were firm for cooking and none too sweet, whipping out a slightly menacing pen-knife to slice me off a bit. Peeled, rubbed with lemon juice to prevent browning and left to simmer for twenty minutes in their height in red wine and two cinnamon sticks. Left to sit. Heated through in with the pork for the last 30 minutes but taken out and kept warm in the oven, sadly giving it a dry faded exterior. Two chopped up into small cubes and added in with the dish. The other four, trimmed at the base and placed on the plate. Six.

Walnuts, Garlic, Thyme:
Also cribbed and modified from ¡Delicioso! Brown the walnuts in the oven. Mince with the garlic and thyme. Added 30 minutes before finishing adding a somewhat murky effect to the broth. One cup, three, and two teaspoons.

Savoy Cabbage: Driven by the past. Chopped finely yet never finely enough. Blanched and then cooked in a little of the broth with the pork crackle. One.

Talijancich 2003 Viognier: A local. Clear and crisp but with a sweetness that reached the sweetness that the dish never made on its own. 750ml.

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  1. ejm’s avatar

    Damn! I guess it’s too late to come over for that dinner. (sounds fantastic!)

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    *that* dinner? Yes.

    You could always make it yourself, it’s just chopping and a bit of stirring.

  3. deborah’s avatar

    Thats what you said about the pasta. Well more like “all you need a rolling pin”. LOL

    Great dinner – mmm pork belly. I like how you’ve broken it into bites.

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    If it was tricky, I wouldn’t be doing it. Hardest thing is having a couple of things on the go towards the end. Work experience has clearly gone to my head and my friend pointed out me saying “I need those plates”. What a wanker I am.

    Bitey bone cleaning joy.

  5. Santos’s avatar

    i never took hal hartley for a gritty pork belly man.

    he once called me ‘tallulah’>swooon

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    I thought I’d get picked up on that and nicely done there Santos.

    You know I always imagine Hal Hartley as his grittier pork bellier lead actor Martin Donovan which kind of reflects the very personal nature of it all. I thought more on the end of Jim Jarmusch – Permanent Vaction but then they tend to be more situation driven or as he said himself, the bits that get left our of other films. So I could have just done a post on washing the dishes or something. Then I could have done Whit Stilman but nah.

    Anyhoo Tallulah. Gosh! [had to throw that in but secretly impressed, do tell]

  7. Santos’s avatar

    oh don’t get me started on martin donovan. i crush on him mightily. he is definitely poached pears with a hint of anise and a nice shiraz. me in honey.

    this is looks jarmuschy but smells hartley-ey née donovan-y. stilman is in the crackle.

  8. Santos’s avatar

    ta for the tallulah gorsh reference, also ‘talulah’ one of my favourite go-be’s albums….

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    “Ta lula”
    “Don’t mention it Sailor”

  10. Santos’s avatar

    aren’t i already there?

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    I hear Powermad’s playin’ at the Hurricane.

  12. Santos’s avatar

    stab it and steer.

  13. Anthony’s avatar

    [240 series wagon squeals off into distance]

  14. ejm’s avatar

    Oops, now it’s probably WAY WAY too late…. Yes, “that” dinner. It’s just not the same when I do the chopping and stirring (not to mention that I’m not even sure what pork belly looks like at the butcher shop)

    Smoked Pork shoulder for us tonight with broccoli, couscous dried apricots and preserved lemon….

  15. Anthony’s avatar

    Sounds lovely EJM, pork belly looks like this. Ask your butcher, that’s what they’re there for.

  16. ejm’s avatar

    Yes, of course that would be simplest – small language barrier though – our butcher is Polish. They do speak English in the shop but not necessarily the same English that we do. (if you know what I mean)

    But naturally, when I asked my husband (who is a knowitall) he told me it is what bacon is made from. Very bad for one. But very good to eat.

    Sudden change in direction last night with the starch. We decided to have mashed potatoes with freshly grated horseradish because there were fabulous looking roots at the vegetable store.

  17. Anthony’s avatar

    Know what you mean. It’s not always smooth sailing at the butchers, even our more fluent butchers will sometimes deny knowledge of it to save themselves having to go out the back and then there’s this.

    Yes it’s usually made into bacon and no it isn’t healthy but it’s a beter risk to take for pork belly than a few plastic pressed slices of processed disappointment.

    Yum for the freshly grated horseradish, sounds wonderful.

  18. ejm’s avatar

    Horseradish mashed potatoes are fantastic. A word of caution though – grate the horseradish rather than chopping finely with chef’s knife (I was perfectly willing to grate it but my husband wanted to show off his knife skills) The slightly larger pieces are a bit too much, even for horse radish lovers like us.

    Brr for processed disappointment. (I feel major carsickness coming on)

    Our butcher makes the most fantastic bacon – double smoked. He will slice it at whatever thickness we want.

  19. ejm’s avatar

    Oh my God!! Do you think maybe our butcher speaks mowa kinzizr (rehctub klat hsilop)?? Ai yai yai. We’re sunk.

  20. Anthony’s avatar

    The incomprehensible horror!

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