Braised pork belly and minted rice

Braised pork belly, brown rice, and minted carrots and parsnips

Braised pork belly, brown rice, and minted carrots and parsnips

The flavors in the pork belly dish are leeks, crystallized ginger, star anise, rice wine, and tamari. I always make two pounds at a time, because I got the belly in one pound packages, and it’s such fatty meat, wind up needing a lot more of it than with a lean cut. Skin the belly, slice into one inch cubes. You could brown them, but I didn’t bother, just put it all in the crock pot with a little chicken stock and let it cook on high for six hours, until the meat was falling apart tender.

I was also in the mood for something bright tasting, so I started with this recipe for pan-roasted carrots with a mint and parsley gremolata, and used a mix of carrots and parsnips.

I made brown rice for the first time in what seems like months, because rice seemed the only desirable pairing with this braised pork belly. I can still make perfect brown rice on autopilot: three and a quarter cups of water, two cups of brown rice, rinsed. Bring the water to a boil, add the rice, turn the heat very low, put on the lid, and walk away from it for forty minutes. At the end, I added a little olive oil and some of the herbs I’d chopped for the gremolata. If I do that, we call it “fancy” rice.

 

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