Tonight’s dinner was caramelised pork belly served with noodle and sambal oelek.
Last Monday, I left work a bit earlier to do some grocery. I went to Coles Supermarket in Sandy Bay, which is 5 minutes drive from where I parked my car. It was very, very cold and rainy. It was a quick 10 minutes grocery with some basic needs – some fruits and vegetables. I had no plan to buy any meat. But when I saw the pre-packed pork on display, I gasped and was drawn to the beautiful meat. I know some of you may disagree with me for buying my meat at a supermarket, rather than a local butcher. But, if you look carefully, you can some time pick up a good produce just looking at the meat and packet. I have never seen 4 big pieces of pork belly with bone still intact on the flesh and pre-packed for sale at the big supermarket. Next to the pork belly, there were a few pre-packed spare pork ribs! They were tempting as well. I was tossing between pork ribs and pork belly. In the end, I decided on pork belly.
Last night, I marinated the pork belly with 2 tablespoons caramalised thick sauce, 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, a sprinkle of salt and ground white pepper.
When I got home tonight after work, I removed the marinated pork from the fridge. Pre-heat the oven at 220 degrees. Next, I peeled 3 garlic cloves and smashed them lightly. Placed a cast iron frying pan on my induction stove on medium to high heat. Once the pan is almost hot, I seared the pork on both sides – approximately 5-10 minutes on each side. Tossed in smashed garlic cloves, 2 star anises, 2 cloves and 1 cinnamon stick. Add a bit of water or home cooked chicken stock, and turned the heat down to simmer slowly. Once the stock was bubbling gently, I removed the pan, placed in the pre-heated oven and cooked for 30-40 minutes at 180-200 degrees depending on the oven.
There you go – a simple recipe. Simple to prepare and simple to cook. The pork is well caramalised with the aromatic flavour of dried spices. The meat is soft, tender and delicious, and finger licking good with the remaining meat on the bone.