Oh, here is a recipe...
Braised Smoked Pork Belly
2 cups rice vinegar, unseasoned
3 Star Anise
2 cloves garlic lightly pressed, not smashed
1 red pepper (red Serrano or red Fresno)
8 black peppercorns cracked in mortar and pestle once
3 red peppercorns cracked in mortar and pestle once
6 whole cloves
In heavy pot with lid, heat vinegar to just short of boiling, throw in all spices, garlic and pepper. Cover and let steep for at least 1 hour. A little heat once in a while helps. Do not boil or reduce, it changes the acidity if you do. This mix should taste aromatically spicey and sour.
1 medium chopped yellow onion
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
2 medium carrots, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, smashed
6 dried shiitake (soak in 1-1/2 cup very hot water until soft, reserve water)
4 to 6 green onions, chopped, greens and whites separated
2 cups very hot water
1.5 cups shoyu
1/4 cup sake
1/8 cup mirin (sweet cooking sake)
Saute all vegetables except green onion greens and mushrooms, which are not really vegetables anyways, until wilted and they are releasing their aroma. Add in all liquids, including one cup of the mushroom soaking water (do not dump carelessly as their is likely to be sand, in fact, filtering it is a good idea) and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Shiitake should be sliced and ready to go.
2 to 3 lbs skinless pork belly
kosher salt, cracked black pepper to coat
I like to apply the salt and pepper rub about 30 mins prior to smoking. I then put on smoker at 225F for 1 hour or so. I want some nice clean smoke, nothing too strong. Sure the meat is not really cooked, that will happen soon enough. It works really well if you use two smaller pieces of belly than one large on on the smoker.
Pork belly, smoked, cut into 1" to 1.5" chunks
3 coins of fresh ginger, quarter size, smack with back of knife a couple of times
1 teaspoon of sugar
Throw this all into a pan with a cover, I like a braising pan, but, a Dutch oven works as well. Black cast iron would be the traditional braising pot. So would a hole in the floor filled with embers, which I oddly do not have. Anyways, put this into the oven at 300F for 1 hour covered. Then remove cover and put on medium flame on stove and reduce braising liquid by half. Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, and reduce to start caramelizing. Just prior to serving, add vinegar mix to taste over low heat. The overall dish should have a thick sweet and sour sauce with dark rich pork belly chunks. I find that 1 cup works usually. This is intense, greasy, savory, sweet, salty and pretty
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."