Braised Crispy Pork Belly
White Bean Flan, Brussels Sprout Chanterelle Mushroom Pork Cracklin Salad, Deep Fried Egg and Citrus Gastrique paired with a Extra Hoppy IPA (In this case Sculpin from Ballast Point)
When I saw the list of ingredients I had two initial thoughts. First was the classic bistro salad of frisee with bacon and a poached egg and the second was another bistro classic cassoulet. The salad was the basis for the Brussels sprouts portion of the dish and the white bean flan and crispy belly evolved from the cassoulet. As far as the beer pairing, I thought the flan and pork belly would require a beer with a crisp finish to cut through the creaminess and fat while the hops would stand up to the strong sprout flavors. The gastrique ties it all together and brings up the citrus flavors of the hops.
Marinate pork belly over night with kosher salt, sugar and anise seed. Rinse and braise in chicken stock for four hours in a 350 degree oven. Cool in braising liquid. Reserve braising liquid. Portion when cool and place in sauté pan over high heat, fat side down and sauté until fat is crisp. Place in oven to cook through.
White Bean Flan
Soak beans in water with a teaspoon of salt over night. Rinse, cover with cold water and place over high heat until water comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Coat 6 ramekins with butter. Puree 1 ½ C cooked white beans with 3 eggs and ¾ C heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper, strain through fine sieve and fill ramekins ¾ full. Place in baking dish and pour hot water into dish until it reaches half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Brussels Sprout Salad
Trim Brussels sprouts at the base and remove outer leaves. Blanch leaves briefly in boiling salted water and cool in ice bath. Sauté Chanterelle mushrooms in olive oil with chopped garlic, fresh thyme and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Heat diced crispy pork belly in oil, add mushrooms and a splash of champagne vinegar. Combine with sprout leaves and season with fresh ground pepper.
Deep Fried Egg
Cook egg in boiling water for 7 minutes and cool in ice bath. Peel and coat with unbleached flour, beaten egg and panko bread crumbs. Deep fry in 350 degree vegetable oil for two minutes drain on paper towel and season with salt.
Combine sugar, fresh orange juice and a splash of champagne vinegar in a sauce pan and reduce until mixture is thick. Add some of the pork braising liquid and reduce by half.