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
- 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
- Remove the fat from the pork belly.
- 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.
- You’ll need a weight to keep it below the surface of the liquid, and it should be refrigerated the whole time.
- To braise, remove the belly from the brine and rub off any excess spices.
- Roll and tie with butcher’s string to hold the shape.
- Place in a large pot with the vegetables, aromatics, beer and water.
- Cover the pot with foil and a lid so no moisture escapes.
- Cook in an oven at 85°C for 12 hours.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the braising liquid.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat your oven to 160°C.
- Clean and blanch the carrots until tender, then toss them in the warm glaze to coat.
- 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.
- Slice a disk of pork belly, 2–3 cm thick and crisp it in a non-stick pan over a high heat.
- Serve with carrots and a drizzle of the reserved glaze.