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.