If I knew braising pork belly for three hours would keep me awake to help me get over my jetlag, I would have cooked days ago! I was having this insane craving for Chinese food since I came back from Tanzania. It was very specific, too: I wanted that Dongpo’s Pork taste that’s pan-fried and then braised for several hours to thicken the sauce, but with limited use of the stove as much as possible. I think my body is still asking for all the calories I burnt while I was hiking Kilimanjaro for six days; all I can think about is rice, food, meat. I’m ravenous–nothing new–and always feeling hungry even more so now.
You can use a Dutch oven here to braise as usual, but I felt like using my clay tagine just because I haven’t used it in a while. It’s smaller than any of my Le Creusets and I felt like it kept the pork all jammed in with all that braised sauce. The quantity of liquids may deter you here, but you can always add rice wine during cooking if you think it’s too salty–nothing some pickles and white rice can’t tone down while eating.
2 pounds of pork belly
1 bunch of bok choy, thoroughly washed, separated
1 large ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 1/2 cups of rice wine
1/2 cup of soy sauce
6 tbsps of brown sugar
1. In a large pot, cook the pork belly with enough water to submerge them. After the water boils, time for two minutes and then turn off the heat. Remove the pork belly to a chopping block and slice in 1-inch thick pieces.
2. Layer the bottom of a medium-sized Dutch oven with the scallions and ginger. Top with the pork belly. The scallions will keep the pork from sticking to the bottom when braising. Pour in the liquids and sprinkle in the sugar.
3. Cover and simmer for at least two hours, checking every 30 minutes to move the pork around. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, layer in the bok choy–they will wilt quickly enough for every leaf to fit–and cover to cook. Turn off the heat, mix everything together and serve with rice.