Keeping those resolutions so far?
So, we are into our second month of the new year. Did you make any resolutions and have you been able to keep them?
Our new years day always starts with either pork belly (or hog jowl), black eyed peas (of course), cabbage, and cornbread. There is hardly ever any deviation from this menu. I added some pico this year to go with my black eyed peas but that was only because I hadn’t made any chow chow in a couple of years and didn’t have even a jar tucked away in my pantry.
A New Year’s resolution is suppose to be a change you want to make in an undesired trait or behavior or something you want to accomplish in the new year. Off hand I can’t think of an undesirable trait I have (I’m kidding myself, I’m sure) and I know I have no behaviors I want to change (well, maybe a couple) but I would like to accomplish a few things this year like have my broken foot finally heal, and go to the gym more often, read more books, cook more, travel more and try to get rid of more stuff I do not need.
Most people will answer “eat healthier”. Well, I’ve been eating pretty healthy for the last six months and I’m kind of tired of it. Even though I’ve lost 30 pounds I WANT some mashed potatoes, some good crusty French bread slathered with some good softened Irish butter and I want a big piece of chocolate cake; not just a “bite”. I want it all.
That is why my New Years Day menu was all my traditional favorites. Why start off the new year with diet recipes. What fun would that be. I’ve posted a braised pork belly recipe before but I wanted to try a different recipe and the spices in this recipe had my mouth watering.
Those black eyed peas will bring me good luck, the cabbage prosperity and that cornbread was probably responsible for the .04 of a lb. I gained New Years week. Not bad for having a few of my favorite things.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Here is a recipe I made using my pork belly the first time I made one. Pork Belly BLT’s are like eating mini bacon sandwiches.
This is what the pork belly looks like after 3 hours of cooking.
Removed from broth and cut into squares.
Pop the squares into a skillet to brown.
I wanted mine a little crispier so I put under the broiler for a few minutes.
My New Years Day dinner and I ate every bite. I know the pork belly looks really fatty but that’s the way it’s suppose to be and with the fennel in the braising liquid, it gave it a great taste.
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed (ground)
- 1 tablespoon allspice (ground)
- 1 tablespoon black pepper (ground)
- 1 1/2 pounds pork belly (in one rectangular piece, at least 60 percent lean)
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 large carrot ( peeled and chopped)
- 3 ribs celery (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tomatoes (whole)
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise (whole)
- 2 juniper berries (whole)
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 clove (whole)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- In a small bowl, combine salt, fennel seed, allspice, and black pepper until thoroughly mixed.
- Rub onto all sides of the pork belly. Place the belly in a nonreactive pan and top the meat with any remaining dry rub marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Make the Braising Liquid and Cook
- In a large saucepan, sauté onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated. Add cinnamon stick, star anise, juniper berries, cardamom, clove, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
- Heat oven to 325 F. Remove the belly from refrigerator and place in a roasting pan that has a cover.
- Pour hot braising liquid over pork belly. Cover and place in oven. Cook 3 1/2 hours or until completely tender when pierced with a fork. The pork belly can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated in the braising liquid until ready to proceed to the next step.
- Remove the belly from the braising liquid and cool. Heat oven to 400 F. Cut belly into 4 portions. Sauté in a hot skillet with a little oil for 2 minutes, fat side down. Finish warming in the oven for 5 minutes.