Braised Pork Belly with Ham and Cracklings

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Slow-cooked crispy pork belly with the flavors of ham? That will certainly hit all the right spots.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Serves 5

INGREDIENTS
450 grams leftover Chinese ham (or any smoked ham)
1 kilogram whole pork belly, skin on, boneless
80 grams onions, roughly chopped
100 grams carrots, roughly chopped
100 grams shitake mushrooms, dried
2 to 3 pieces star anise
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 cups white wine
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

PROCEDURE
1 Preheat the oven at 400º F
2 Prepare the belly by scoring the skin diagonally with a very sharp knife.
3 Season both the skin and belly with salt and pepper in between the scoring. Set aside.
4 Place a deep baking pan on a stove. Sauté the vegetables with the ham, ham fat will be rendered into oil. Once vegetables are sautéed, add the mushrooms.
5 Add garlic and sauté until vegetables are translucent.
6 Add the star anise, cumin seeds, and chili flakes.
7 Add the pork, meat side down to your ham and vegetable mixture. Sear until brown, and deglaze with white wine.
8 Add stock, not covering the skin so it can crisp up.
9 Cook in the oven for 2 to 3 hours.
10 Serve hot and slice thick, best served with pan juices.

This recipe was originally published in the December 2015 – January 2016 issue of Breakfast Magazine.