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Braised Pork Belly with Carrot

Feb. 24th, 2012 | Comments 1 | Make a Comment   
Chefs Karen and Quinn Hatfield, of Hatfield’s Restaurant in Los Angeles, California, are a culinary force to be reckoned with. The couple met while working at the notable Spago Beverly Hills before moving to New York City where together, they continued to hone their unique culinary skill-set. Upon returning to California, the two realized their shared dream of opening their own restaurant in L.A. which has earned them several honors, including Bon Appetit’s 10 Best New Restaurants and a four-star rating in The Los Angeles Magazine.

Ingredients:
  • 4 lb. fresh pork belly, skin on
  • 1 ? C. pearl barley
  • 1 carrot, cut in 1” pieces
  • 6 ears corn, kernals cut off of cob
  • 1 stalk celery, cut in 1” pieces
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 1 onion, cut in 1” pieces
  • 2 Tbs. parsley, small chiffonade
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 large carrot, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 qt. chicken stock
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. vadouvan
  • 3 Tbs. butter
Procedure for the pork belly:
  • Preheat oven to 325˚F. Heat a large braising pot, big enough for the entire belly to lay flat in, over medium high heat
  • Season the belly on both sides with salt and pepper. Add 1-2 Tbs. of oil to the pot and sear the skin side of the pork belly for several minutes until golden and crispy
  • Remove from the pot and reserve. Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic to the pot with a pinch of salt and cook until the vegetables are tender and have caramelized slightly- about 8-10 minutes
  • Add the herbs and about 2 quarts of chicken stock and bring to a simmer
  • Return the belly to the pot; the liquid should come up the side of the belly and submerge everything except the skin
  • Place the pot, uncovered, in the oven and braise for about 1 ? hours, adding chicken stock as necessary to maintain the level of the cooking liquid
  • The belly should be tender and juicy and the skin crispy. Remove the pot from the oven and raise the temperature to 400˚F
  • Gently remove the belly from the braising liquid, reserving the liquid in the pot. With a long sharp knife, carefully remove the skin from the belly, being sure to remove as little fat as possible along with the skin. Return the belly to the pot and cooking liquid
  • Again, make sure the liquid is up the side of the belly, leaving about ? inch of fat exposed
  • Return the pot to the oven and cook about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the fat is golden and crispy
  • Remove the pot from the oven, allow the belly to cool slighty in the liquid, then remove it and transfer to a cutting board
  • The belly can rest in the liquid at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving
  • Portion the belly into 6 squares and serve immediately
Procedure for the barley and corn:
  • Put the barley in a 4 quart sauce pot with 1 teaspoon salt and cover by 3 inches with cold water
  • Put on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the barley is tender, about 30-45 minutes
  • Add water if necessary to keep the barley covered by a minimum of 1 inch
  • When cooked, drain the barley in a strainer and reserve. Barley can be cooked up to a day ahead and kept cold in the refrigerator
  • In a large sauté pan, heat 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat until hot and foamy
  • Add the corn kernels and season with salt. Cook the corn, stirring frequently, until it is tender and sweet and begins to caramelize slightly
  • Add the barley and heat through well. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add about 2 tablespoons butter, if desired, to create a creamier consistency
  • Add the parsley just before serving
Procedure for the carrot-vadouvan puree:
  • In a large, wide sauce pot or straight sided sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat
  • Add the vegetables and season with salt. Add the vadouvan and stir well. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have caramelized very gently and are completely tender
  • The carrots should be breaking apart. Be careful not to allow the pan to scorch — if the pan becomes too dry, add a tablespoon or so of water
  • When the vegetables are cooked, transfer to a blender and puree with a little water until very smooth but thick
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt to taste
To Finish:
  • Divide the carrot-vadouvan puree among six plates: a spoonful in the center, slightly spread
  • Place a heaping spoonful of the corn and barley mixture onto the puree
  • Put a portion of pork belly on the corn and barley, sprinkle with a little sea salt if desired, and serve immediately
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