Springtime gives you all sorts of scrumptious goodies to play with in the kitchen! Coleman Farms gives me just that! I love their beautiful greens and herbs, but their mulberries was a treat as well.
Today, I was inspired to pickle the mulberries. I knew that it would balance well with the pork belly and the brightness of the romesco sauce would give this dish an extra flare that would even satisfy a vegetarian! The smoky bbq flavor presents another dimension that creates a harmonious symphony to the dish.
Braised Pork Belly
- 1lb. pork belly
- 2 Tbs. BBQ spice
- 1-2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- Cloves of garlic, smashed
- 3 star anise
- 12 oz. red wine
- 4 bay leaves
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 Cup of your favorite bbq sauce
- 1 tbs butter
- 8oz mulberries or blackberries
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 sugar
- 2 tps. kosher salt
- 1 tbs. pickling spice
- 8 strips of orange peel
- 1 cup of water
- 6 oz Shishito peppers
- 1-2 heaping tsp. of Calabrian chili peppers, chopped
- 1/4 c hazelnut, toasted
- 1/4 c almond, toasted
- 1/2 c cilantro
- 1/2 c mint
- 1 tbs. bread crumbs
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 cup olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse the pork belly and dry with a paper towel.
- Season with bbq spice.
- Set in 9×13 roasting pan.
- In a 4 qt. sauce pan, heat olive oil at medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic.
- Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add ancho chili, star anise, and bay leaves.
- Add red wine and reduce by half.
- Finish with chicken stock.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour liquid mixture over pork belly.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours.
- Strain liquid into a 4 qt. sauce pan and reduce by half.
- Once the pork belly is cooled, press down with another pan.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 8 hrs or overnight.
- Once the braising has reduced, add barbecue sauce and set aside.
- Take out the pork belly. Save any rendered fat that falls in the pan.
- Cut into 2 ounce or 4 ounce portion sizes.
- In a saute pan, heat 2 tablesppons of the pork fat. Cook pork belly on all sides and heated through for 5 minutes.
- Baste the pork belly with the braising liquid and one tablespoon of butter.
- Place mulberries in a quart container.
- In a 2 qt. saucepan, Add vinegar, sugar, orange peel, salt, pickling spice, and water.
- Bring to boil until the sugar and salt has dissolved.
- Let the mixture cool.
- Strain over mulberries.
- Add the orange peel to the strained pickling liquid.
- Let the mulberries pickle from 4 hours to overnight.
- In a 350 degree oven, toast almonds and hazelnuts for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Set aside until cool.
- Toss the shishito peppers with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Blister the shishito peppers in a saute pan or grill.
- In a blender, add all ingredients and puree until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place ‘romesco’ down on a plate. Add seared pork belly. Finish with pickled mulberries.