South African Celebrity chef Bertus Basson, has compiled a delectable collection of his favourite recipes in his new book, Homegrown, R331, Jacana. As the title suggests, the recipes have a local-is-lekker character

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pork belly, whole

For the brine 

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup salt
  • 5l water
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1t coriander seeds
  • 1t cumin seeds
  • ½t cloves
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 dried chillies

For the braising liquid

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 3l beer
  • 1l water

For the ginger honey glaze

  • 100g honey
  • 50g butter
  • 20g chopped ginger
  • 24 baby heirloom carrots

METHOD

Step 1:

  1. Remove the fat from the pork belly.
  2. Make the brine by dissolving the salt and sugar in the water and add the herbs and spices. Submerge the belly in the brine for 48 hours.
  3. You’ll need a weight to keep it below the surface of the liquid, and it should be refrigerated the whole time.

Step 2:

  1. To braise, remove the belly from the brine and rub off any excess spices.
  2. Roll and tie with butcher’s string to hold the shape.
  3. Place in a large pot with the vegetables, aromatics, beer and water.
  4. Cover the pot with foil and a lid so no moisture escapes.
  5. Cook in an oven at 85°C for 12 hours.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool in the braising liquid.
  7. Remove the string and roll the belly in cling wrap to form a log shape. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours until the belly is firmly set.

Step 3:

  1. For the glaze, cook all the ingredients in a saucepan over a moderate heat until the butter is emulsified, and it starts to look syrupy. Remove from the heat.
  2. Preheat your oven to 160°C.
  3. Clean and blanch the carrots until tender, then toss them in the warm glaze to coat.
  4. Transfer the carrots to an ovenproof dish and reserve the glaze. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, being careful not to burn the honey.
  5. Slice a disk of pork belly, 2–3 cm thick and crisp it in a non-stick pan over a high heat.
  6. Serve with carrots and a drizzle of the reserved glaze.

Serves 6

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