Inspired by Thomas Keller’s restaurant The French Laundry in California, Shaun Arantz uses the "sous-vide technique" at his own restaurant, Racine, when making this pork belly recipe.
- ½ side pork belly, bones removed
- olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 white onions, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, cleaned, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic bulb, cut horizontally
- 1 whole knob ginger
- 1 celery stalk, cleaned, roughly chopped
- 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp white peppercorns
- 5 litres cold water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink match Small Acres Norfolk Still 2010 (Medium Dry), Orange, NSW
"Shaun’s philosophy is to use as many ingredients as possible that are local to his Orange restaurant, so it makes sense to approach the drink match in the same way. Luckily, there’s a pretty amazing wine region on his doorstep, but I’m going to be a bit controversial here and choose another of the region’s burgeoning drinks categories – cider. Small Acres Cyder is a fantastic artisanal producer of highest quality, traditional ciders made from local apples. The brine and accompaniments to the dish are quite richly spiced, so I’ve chosen the full flavoured and immensely tasty Norfolk Still Medium Dry Cider. Being without bubbles and fairly complex, it almost behaves like a wine and has fantastic balance. The apple flavour perfectly complements the pork as well." - Dan Coward
Chilling time overnight
Combine the brine ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Once boiled, take the brine off the stove and let it cool to room temperature before cooling in the fridge for 3 hours, allowing the flavours to infuse.
Place the brine and pork belly in a vacuum pack bag and seal the bag in a vacuum pack machine. Place the bag in a steam oven at 75°C for 12 hours. Alternatively, place the pork in a deep casserole dish, covered and submerged in the brine, at 180°C for 3 hours.
Remove the pork belly from the bag or casserole dish and place a heavy weight on top of the pork belly to press it down and alleviate excess fat. Leave in the fridge overnight with the weight on top.
Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the pork belly, fat side down and cook until golden. Taste for seasoning.
Suggested accompaniments include: veal jus, compressed honeydew, pickled Japanese eggplant, squid ink dukkah, yoghurt foam, shiso cress or micro greens.