Monday, September 17, 2012

Beer Braised Pork Belly With Apples

Being Chinese, we are used to eating braised pork belly done by our mums and grandmums over the years, and it is indeed one of those classic family dishes that will evoke your earliest childhood food memories.

Yet, for all its tradition and history, I have never been entirely satisfied with the way it is made. And I was seeking how to improve this dish using some of the modern cooking techniques out there.

The standard way is to marinate the pork and braise it with chinese mushrooms and chestnuts, and throw in a bunch of garlic and soy sauce and let it cook for an hour or so until the meat is tender enough.

I decided to go a somewhat different route to make my own version of braised pork belly, and boy, is it good!

To begin, saute half a finely diced onion with a tinge of butter in a pot or large pan until they are well caramelized. Add in some chopped leeks and throw in a dash of white wine to flavor the vegetable base.

Cook until the leeks are soft and fully aromatic, but make sure not to burn the onions. The onions should be fragrant from the caramelization and incredibly soft.

Add in some chopped mushrooms (I use portobello but you can substitute with brown button) and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the earthy flavors are extracted.

Use half a can of beer (any beer will do, use the cheapest) and pour it in the mixture and let the alcohol burn for about a minute or two.

Next, chop about 200gms of pork belly into bite size chunks and add into the pot. Add in just enough chicken stock to almost cover the entire mixture.

Bring the pot to a boil and set it on low to medium heat, where there is just enough of a rolling boil.

Let it simmer and boil for at least 2 hours, but ideally it should simmer for 3 to be fully tender.

Every half hour or so, check to see there is enough liquid and add in either water or stock as and when necessary. Remember to constantly stir every half hour or so.

Just half an hour before serving, slice one green apple and add it to the mixture to give a nice citrus punch.

To serve, just plate the pork belly and vegetables/apples into a plate and it is best served either with plain rice or bread. You can also garnish the pork belly with some coriander or spring onion for some color and crunch.

The meat should be ideally tender and packed full of flavors from the braising of the vegetable base.

Again, this is another example of using some of the simplest and cheapest ingredients to make a truly wonderful dish that will taste better than anything they serve in the restaurants.


  1. That sounds delicious!
    What do you think about my latest creation, the "deluxe tacos" ?

  2. 3 made my mouth water….
    looks delicious
    and also love the designs variations