This week is all about candy. Yep, meat and candy are my task at hand. When I first read this on our editorial calendar, my nose turned up, my lips made a frown and I had a bewildered look on my face. Then I pondered about it for a few days and remembered a recipe that I made a few years ago in honor of one of Anthony Bourdains’ faves, braised pork belly with caramel sauce.
This particular recipe is completely different. Don’t get me wrong– the original recipe is outstanding, but I wanted to do things differently this time. I wanted more flavor, not just sweet caramel mixed with pork fat.
Traditionally pork belly is used for this dish but instead, I used pork butt. I seasoned the meat with lime zest, salt and pepper, then I seared a golden crust over all the sides to lock in the juices. To add moisture for the slow braise, I used chicken stock and coconut milk. Let me just say, this recipe smells amazing while it is cooking. It was hard to not sneak little tastes of the broth during the cooking process.
Wondering where the caramel comes in? Thirty minutes before serving I made a caramel glaze, which I drizzled all over the top of the meat and mixed through the broth, then I let it continue braising for thirty minutes. The meat came out ultra moist and full of flavor. I really loved this recipe. I mean I am really excited about it. The essence will gently linger, leaving you craving more. Trust me, it is really good.
I served this recipe a couple different ways. Simply served with plain rice noodles or brown rice. I also tossed the warm noodles with the remaining broth that was left from braising, along with some mint and Thai basil, then I laid slices of the pork over the top. Amazing!
Denise believes anything can be made at home as long as you have a little patience, and time. All of her recipes are made using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her recipes have been featured on Eat Boutique, the Mushroom Channel, Saveur.com, Foodies of the World, PBS and Fine Cooking.
She, also creates the recipes on the popular food blog Chez Us. Saveur has featured Chez Us as one of 50 Food Blogs You Should Be Reading as well as one of the Sites They Love. Be sure to read more about what they are cooking up over at Chez Us.