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Sunday, 6 January 2013

PORK BELLY WITH FONDANT POTATO


Here's our belly of pork and it was delicious. We are a bit critical of the fondant potato because we looked up a few recipes and realised they were ALL cooked differently to our previous attempt. We then realised our previous attempt had actually been cooked incorrectly! But, to be honest, previously the potato was more moist and utterly devine. The potato today (cooked ... um properly)... was ... a bit dry. But it was still a lovely tasting potato!
To cook the pork, place the belly of pork (minus the ribs) in a large stockpot filled with our favourite stock vegetables (or whatever you have to hand).  We used: carrot, onion, celery, garlic, leek, bayleaf, thyme and rosemary (no salt and pepper).  Ensure meat is covered with the stock or water.  If you have the ribs, throw them in too. The more flavours you have at this stage, the tastier the dish.  We like to use beef stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer for as long as you can - the longer the better (we simmered ours for 5 hours). 
When cooked, remove and place meat on a flat baking tray.  Place another flat baking tray on top and add some weight to press the meat together.  After the long cooking, a lot of the fat has disappeared and this 'pressing' stage helps the meat stick back together and looks very neat.  
Leave for a couple of hours until ready to serve.
We cooked the pork skin separately in the oven - scored and sprinkled with salt. A very nice accompaniment. 
To serve:  Cut into squares and simply fry in a pan containing a little oil/butter.  Season as you go along!  Cook until the meat is heated through and the outside is nice and crispy.  
This is an economical dish as it can serve a large number of people at a small cost. When we made ours, there was around 8 large portions - some of which were frozen.
Belly of pork cooked this way is not as fatty as you might think, as the slow braising renders out a lot of the fat while all the flavour remains. We ESTIMATE around 700 calories for this meal - including the pork scratchings. But we can have a FULL calorie allowance today!
If you would like to know more about how we have achieved over 6.5 stone weight loss eating all this wonderful food - see OUR IDEA
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