Pork Belly Glazed with Pine Tree Honey, Green Bean Puree, Vanilla Shallots and White Wine Pears

Similarly to the green bean soup, this dish builds on the traditional combination of the three ingredients: beans, pears and bacon. Due to several modifications, my reinterpretation is pretty far away from the classical way of cooking everything layered in a single pot. Here each component received a unique role on the plate, and I also brought the fourth hidden component, the onions more into the foreground.

Pork Belly Glazed with Pine Tree Honey, Green Bean Puree, Vanilla Shallots and White Wine Pears

Instead of using bacon, I braised the pork belly for several hours. During this cooking process the belly shrinks significantly and gets very soft, so always use a cake shovel or something similar to lift the belly from its broth. While chilling in the refrigerator, the fat hardens the belly, so when cold the belly can be trimmed to the desired shape. Braised pork belly is usually shortly grilled and often glazed with honey. Based on this, my idea was to use pine tree honey, which added a nice freshness to the sauce. It also worked well with the white wine and star anise poached pears and the silky green bean puree. Next to the pine tree honey and the star anise I used a third hidden component. I braised the shallots as a whole with some vanilla, which pairs really well with the onion flavor.

Pork Belly Glazed with Pine Tree Honey, Green Bean Puree, Vanilla Shallots and White Wine Pears

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 18 hours

Yield: 2 portions

Pork Belly Glazed with Pine Tree Honey, Green Bean Puree, Vanilla Shallots and White Wine Pears

Ingredients

  • 400 g pork belly
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small parsley root (or parsnip)
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp pine tree honey
  • 2 small pears
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 10 g fresh ginger
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 shallots
  • 1/4 vanilla pod
  • 250 g green beans
  • 2-4 sprigs summer savory
  • 1 tbsp créme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt

Instructions

For the pork belly
Start preparing the pork belly the day before serving it.
Place the pork belly in a pot. Wash and dice the carrot, parsley root, onion and celery. Mix the vegetables with 2-3 cloves garlic, thyme, rosemary and 2-3 bay leaves. Add the vegetables to the pork belly and season with 1 tbsp sea salt and 1/2 tbsp whole black pepper corns. Add as much water that it just covers the pork belly. Cover the pot with a lid and slowly bring to a boil. Place in the oven at 90°C / 200 F for 4-5 hours. Occasionally turn around the pork belly in its cooking liquid.
After 4-5 hours remove the belly from its liquid. Be careful not to tear apart the soft belly. Wrap tightly in kitchen foil to a brick-like shape and refrigerate overnight.
Strain the cooking liquid, remove the fat and reserve. Measure 200 ml from the broth and use the remainder for another purpose. Reduce the 200 ml broth to half at low temperature. Take 40 ml of the reduction and add the pine tree honey. Reserve the rest (60 ml) for the vanilla shallots.
For the vanilla shallots
Wash and peel the shallots. Melt 1 tsp butter in a small pan and shortly sweat the shallots in the butter without getting any color. Halve the vanilla pod lengthwise, scrape off the seeds and add it along with the pod to the shallots. Add the reserved and reduced pork belly cooking liquid (about 60 ml) and season with salt. Braise at low temperature half covered for 30 minutes. Occasionally move the shallots so they don't get browned marks. If all liquid happens to evaporate, add 1-2 tbsp water.
For the green bean puree
Wash the green beans, discard the ends and chop coarsely. Boil about 750 ml water in a pot and add some salt. Add the summer savory, 1 garlic clove and the green beans. Cook without a lid until the beans turn soft but are still bright green. Drain the water and put the solid parts back on the hot stove to remove further water from the beans. Stir in 1 tbsp butter and remove the summer savory stalks. Remove the beans from the heat, add 1 tbsp créme fraiche and blend to a fine puree. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine sieve and keep the puree warm.
For the white wine pears
Bring the white wine to a boil in a small pot without a lid so the alcohol can evaporate. Add 1 bay leaf, 3 black peppercorns, a slice of fresh ginger and 4 star anise. Bring again to a boil, then remove from the heat, and leave covered for some minutes. Wash and peel the pears, quarter and discard the seeds. Add the pears to the white wine and cook at low temperature for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and steep covered for 10 minutes.
To serve
Unwrap the pork belly and cut into precise cubes. Melt the reserved pork fat in a small hot pan and roast the belly cubes from all sides. Before serving, glaze with the reserved pine tree honey stock and season with salt and pepper.
Add 2-3 tbsp green bean puree on a warm plate, place 3 pears and 2 shallots on it. Add 1 pork belly cube with its skin side up and glaze with some sauce from the pan.
http://mybites.de/2011/10/pork-belly-pine-tree-honey-green-bean-puree-vanilla-shallot-pear/