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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


We recently hosted a dinner party, with fabulous friends
It was wonderful sitting around the table, the glow of the fire in the background, and great conversation in the foreground, enjoying the great company and the amazing French wines that one of our guests had personally carried back from France, aged to perfection, and was generous enough to share with us.

We paired the wines, that were so incredible, I couldn't even believe we were drinking them, with Beer Braised Pork Belly, hay smoked chicken thighs with truffled new potatoes, and a breakfast themed "muse from the chef" - tiny sausage pattie and a dollop of grits topped off with a quails egg, finishing off the meal with homemade white peppercorn ice cream.
It was truly a night to remember, and savor.


3 pounds of pork belly
1 tablespoons crushed red chile flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
16 ounces of beer
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 pickled sweet cherry peppers, seeded
2 pears, thinly sliced
2 cups baby arugula

Rub pork with chile flakes, salt and pepper on a baking sheet, chill for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 325F. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat. Pat pork dry with paper towels, cook until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add beer, cook until reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Add stock, boil.
Place in oven and bake, covered, until pork is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Place under broiler to crisp the skin. Let pork cool, slice.
Puree 1/2 cup pan drippings, with the sherry vinegar, maple syrup and peppers, in a blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, cook pears until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer pears to plates topped with arugula.
Add vinegar mixture to pan, cook until sauce is thick, 2 to 3 minutes, drizzle over the pear-arugula mixture, top with sliced pork.

Recipe adapted from Saveur‎

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