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Braised Pork Belly With Fresh Shell Bean Ragoût

Chef Paul Kahan
Restaurant/Operation Blackbird, Chicago
Menupart Meats, Salads 
Daypart Lunch, Dinner

Braised Pork Belly
Yield: 6 servings
Pork belly 5 lb.
Coriander seed 1 Tbsp.
Fennel seed 1 Tbsp.
Cumin seed 1/2 tsp.
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grapeseed oil 1 Tbsp.
Garlic cloves, finely chopped 8
Onion, chopped 1
Celery, chopped 2 stalks
Carrots, chopped 2
White wine 1 cup
Chicken stock, heated to boil 3 cups
Thyme 1 sprig
Pancetta, medium dice 1/4 lb.
Olive oil 1 tsp.
Shallots, sliced thinly 5
Garlic cloves, sliced thinly 5
Fresh cranberry beans, shelled 2 1/2 cups
Braising juice (from pork belly) 2 cups
Herbes de Provence 1/2 tsp.
Red Cabbage and Parsley Salad (recipe follows)
1. The night before, trim all but 3/4-in. fat from pork. Score the layer that remains. Lightly toast and coarsely grind coriander, fennel and cumin seeds. Cover pork on top and bottom with seeds.
2. On following day, scrape seeds off fat side of pork. Season well with salt and pepper.
3. Heat large, heavy saucepan over medium heat; add grapeseed oil and pork, fat-side down. When fat is nicely browned, remove pork to roasting pan, fat-side up.
4. Pour off most fat from saucepan; add onion, celery and carrots. Sauté until just tender; add salt and pepper. Add wine; cook until pan is almost dry.
5. Pour vegetable mixture over pork, add hot chicken stock, thyme and salt to taste.
6. Cook, uncovered, in 325F oven for 21/2 to 3 hours, or until pork is extremely tender when pierced. Let cool in liquid.
7. When cool, remove pork, divide into 6 pieces and set aside. Skim fat from braising liquid; strain through fine-mesh strainer, pushing gently.
8. To make shell bean ragoût, render pancetta in sauté pan until crisp. If needed, add a bit of water to facilitate rendering. Add olive oil; heat briefly and add shallots and garlic; sweat until just tender. Add beans, braising liquid and herbes de Provence; simmer until beans are soft.
9. In saucepan, render fat side of pork over medium-high heat. When nicely browned, reduce heat to medium and brown remaining sides. Spoon 1/4 cup shell bean ragoût, with juice, into the center of plate. Top with pork belly, fat-side up, and Red Cabbage and Parsley Salad.
Red Cabbage and Parsley Salad
Red cabbage, very thinly sliced 1/2 cup
Italian parsley 1/2 cup
Extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp.
Champagne vinegar splash
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and season to taste.

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