This French inspired dish uses the ingredients and style typical of the Alsace region which borders Germany. Large generous servings and the use of pork and sauerkraut are characteristic. The pork belly is braised until soft and tender, and melts in your mouth.
Prepare the pork in a brine solution to impart flavour into the meat. Leave in the brine overnight if possible. A few hours will also suffice if you do not have enough time.
- 1/2 kg pork
- water to just cover the pork
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- star anise
- 4 small chillies
- 1 tsp mustard
- black pepper
- couple of splashes of cognac / gewurtztraminer if you have any is more typical of the region
- splash of apple juice / cider
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
After brining (do not throw away the brining liquid), slice up 1 stalk of celery, 1 apple and 1 onion. Leeks and or carrots may also be added in according to your taste. To a hot cast iron pot add some oil and fry the vegetables until translucent. Turn the heat up and making space for the pork, sear it on all sides. Give the skin side more time.
Once sufficiently seared, turn the heat down and add half the brining liquid. Make sure you add in the herbs from the brining liquid. Let it simmer for at least an hour, adding more liquid if you need to. Reduce until the consistency of a thick sauce.
Here the pork was served with a baked potato and some pasta aglio e olio, but traditionally would be served with sauerkraut.