A few months ago my brother called me with a proposition. “I think we should buy an organic, pasture fed cow…and maybe a pig.” Turns out he spoke to a guy he buys meat from at the Union Square Market and you can actually buy an entire animal….not living of course (some people ask). So, my brother, parents, and I decided to all go in on a cow and a pig.
I was thrilled to have some great meat to feed my family. However, I had a few things I had never cooked before. One being pork belly. What do I do with this? My mom was kind enough to send over a recipe for a Chinese-style pork called Dong Po. This was a meal that took a few hours to make, but very simple. And wow…truly the most delicious piece of meat I’ve ever made! It tasted like a giant spare rib!
I was also lucky enough to have some baby bok choi from my CSA this week. The farmer’s website had a delicious (and easy) recipe for the bok choi, which was prepared with sesame oil pairing wonderfully with the pork. http://www.goldenearthworm.com/recipes/2009/2/13/braised-baby-bok-choy.html I served everything with a side of rice. Yum!
My kids don’t like to eat their food too hot so this was a great meat to make during the day while they were in school. When all the food was cooked I made up 2 individual plates for the boys, stuck them in the fridge, and popped them in the microwave to get some of the chill off before serving it to them after school. They predictable ate the pork and rice but avoided the bok choi. Oh well….more for me!
Chinese Pork Belly
1 lb pork belly unsliced with skin trimmed off
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce or regular soy sauce
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 cloves minced garlic
½ tablespoon hoisin sauce
½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 tablespoons honey
1. In a large bowl, mix together the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, hoisin sauce, and five-spice powder. Rub the pork belly with the marinade mixture and marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven 325. Place the pork in a roasting pan. Brush the top with honey. Roast the pork for 2 ½ hours and halfway through cooking flip pork over and brush with honey on the other side. The pork is done when the outside begins to get crisp and blackened, and the center of the pork belly strip feels firm.
3. Remove from oven and let cook for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into thin slices. Arrange the slices on a plate and serve with rice or noodles.
Braised Baby Bok Choi
1 cup chicken or veg broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 lb baby bok choy, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange bok choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered. Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/4 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over bok choy.