Ellis Scharfenaker, who's worked in the kitchen, deli and meat department of Marczyk's, did a five-course swine dinner a while back, and one of his courses was pork belly, the recipe of which is posted after the jump. "He's leaving us to go to school in New York, but perhaps this can be part of his Denver legacy," says Barb.
Apple cider-braised pork belly
2 pounds pork belly, cut into 4 equal squares 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped 1 cup celery, ½ in. chopped 1 cup carrot, ½ in. chopped 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 cups apple cider ½ cup bourbon, the higher the quality the better 2 cups veal stock* 1 sprig of thyme 1 sprig of parsley 2 whole garlic cloves 2 bay leaves Salt and pepper to taste
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1. Lightly oil the pork belly and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. 2. Heat a deep skillet to high heat and add olive oil. Sear all sides of the pork belly. Remove and set aside. When cooled, discard most of the fat. 3. Add onion, celery and carrot to the skillet and sweat for 5 minutes. Deglaze with apple cider vinegar, scraping up brown bits and simmer till reduced by half. 4. Add apple cider, bourbon, veal stock, thyme, parsley, garlic cloves and bay leaves and return pork belly to the skillet, submerging it in the liquid. Cover and place in oven at 250 degrees for 2½ to 3 hours. 5. Remove pork belly and strain sauce through a fine colander or cheesecloth. If you prefer a thicker sauce, return it to heat and reduce another 15 minutes. 6. Before serving, place squares of belly directly under the broiler and broil for about 1½ to 2 minutes on each side to crisp the belly.
*We suggest Culinarte Veal Stock.