Pork belly glazed with honey wheat beer, with spring wheat salad

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • For brushing: vegetable oil
  • 345 ml honey wheat beer (see note)
  • 250 ml mead (see note)
  • 1 tbsp green peppercorn mustard (see note)
  • 230 gm brown sugar
  •  
  • Brined pork belly
  • 300 gm coarse sea salt
  • 250 gm caster sugar
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 kg piece of pork belly, bone in, skin scored
  •  
  • Spring wheat salad
  • 200 gm freekeh (see note)
  • 2 English cucumbers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, unpeeled, diced
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, diced
  • 2 golden shallots, diced
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) each flat-leaf parsley and mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp baby salted capers, rinsed
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
01   For brined pork belly, stir salt, sugar, peppercorns and 2 litres water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until dissolved (2 minutes), then cool completely. Place pork in a non-reactive container, cover with brine and refrigerate until lightly cured (6 hours). Drain pork, rinse under cold running water, pat dry and set aside.
02   Preheat oven to 200C. Place pork skin-side up in a deep ovenproof frying pan, brush with a little oil and roast until skin is golden (20-30 minutes), then add beer, mead, mustard and brown sugar. Reduce oven to 150C and braise, basting and turning occasionally, until very tender (1¼-1½ hours). Remove from oven, cover with foil and set aside to rest (30 minutes), then transfer pork to a tray and drain pan juices into a jug. Stand until fat rises to surface (5-10 minutes), then skim and discard as much fat as possible. Return juices to pan and simmer over medium-high heat until a glaze forms (8-10 minutes), then return pork to pan. Keep warm.
03   Meanwhile, for spring wheat salad, cook freekeh in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (8-10 minutes), drain well and cool. Combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients, season to taste and toss to combine. Thickly slice pork and serve drizzled with pan juices, with spring wheat salad.
Note Mead and honey wheat beer are available from select bottle shops, including Dan Murphy’s. Green peppercorn mustard is available from select delicatessens. Freekeh, roasted green wheat, is available from select delicatessens and health-food shops.

This recipe is from the October 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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