Braised pork belly and quick piccalilli vegetables

This is a great dish to chase away those rainy grey days. Keeping the veg whole and hot makes more for a wholesome meal. The pork is slowly braised and then crisped up in a frying pan to provide the best of both textures and taste. 

The pigs are all reared in a local Sevenoaks farm. The vegetables were grown on a allotment in Bromley. 

Local sourcing is very important to us and we try and buy local where we can. 

Serves 4

Market list

4 x 200g slices of pork belly each 

2 x carrots

4 x banana shallots

8 x baby cucumbers (just baton a large cucumber if unavailable)

Chicken stock

3 x tsp turmeric 

3 x tsp honey

3 x tbs cider vinegar

First place the pork belly in a large pan, that will allow the pork to sit in one layer and not overlap. Cover with water and bring to the boil. This helps remove any unwanted fats and salts (we will be using the braising liquor as a sauce so removing the impurities at this stage is essential) disregard the water and rinse pork under running cold water. 

Now add the stock to the pan and bring to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours constantly checking the pork is covered with liquid. 

After the 1 1/2 hour simmering add the pealed carrots and Bannana shallots. Cook until tender. Remove pan from heat and allow all ingredients to rest in the liquor for 1/2 an hour. This allows the meat to relax and absorb the liquid into the muscle and not dry out. Keep the stock. 

Place a frying pan on a medium to high heat and pat dry the pork slices. Add belly to the pan and cook until caramelised on both sides. (Be carful as the belly will spit occasionally) 

Once caramelised set aside and keep warm until serving. 

Now half the carrots and shallots and cucumbers. Lightly fry in the same pan and then add two cups of cooking liquid with the turmeric, honey and vinegar. Reduce until all ingredients are glazed and the liquid has thickened slightly. 

Plate up as you wish and for an extra treat serve with a glass of hot cider. 

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Happy cooking x