Sous Vide Belly of Pork with Soy Bean and Udon Stir Fry
Thanks go to James who has kindly reminded me of this sous vide belly of pork dish that I’m always going on about. He called last week in search for the recipe as he was about to cook for a very important guest. Whilst James served this beautifully cooked belly of pork for a high profile dinner.I am home making this for our supper. That’s exactly what I love about this modern approach to cooking. Sous vide cooking is a revelation and I’m incredibly privileged to have all the equipment to hand. It’s not completely out of reach at all, the friendly people from Clifton have teamed up with the British Larder to compile a sous vide package so that you can do this at home.
James and I started talking about cooking the pork belly under pressure and he told me that he cooked it a few weeks ago at 62°C but it was not very good as the fat remained chewy and fairly unpleasant. I have found that if you cook dense and complex meats such as pork belly, shoulder of lamb or if you cook meat on the bone such as chicken legs the temperature must be above 80°C to ensure a tender result. If you cook more tender proteins and cuts such as fillet of beef or cannon of lamb off the bone then 57°C is absolutely ideal.
We love pork belly and it’s not difficult to cook it in the oven as per my pot roast belly of pork recipe however cooking the belly for 9 hours at 83°C breaks down all the fat and it becomes a melt in the mouth experience. Every person that I have asked to taste this pork belly are always lost for words, it makes me smile as that is the ultimate praise a chef could ask for.
I do not use salt to season the ‘belly’ but use soy sauce and add Port wine. I think this is another very clever bonus that you get by using this modern cooking technique as you get an instant sauce. There is minimal shrinkage and hardly any waste, generally very good for the Gross Profit as the amount of liquids or marinade required is minimal.
To reheat the ‘belly ‘I sliced and pan fried the pieces however if you have a dinner party then all you need to do is pop the pieces of cooked’ belly’ on a lined baking tray in a preheated oven at 150°C and gently heat, while your guests enjoy their starters. This dish is versatile and it’s ideal for a starter, main course, stand up hot bowl food buffet or just simply dinner for two!
Sous Vide Belly of Pork
- 1kg belly of pork
- 30g honey
- 40ml soy sauce
- 40ml Port wine or red wine
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leafs
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
Heat the water bath to 83°C.
Prepare the pork belly by removing all the hairs with a razor and cut it into 6 x 7cm x 7cm pieces, this is optional as you could cook the belly as one whole piece and cut it into the required shapes after chilling. Make sure you wear clean disposable gloves when you prepare the meat for sous vide cooking.
Stir the rest of the ingredients together to make the marinade.
Place the belly of pork into a clean large vacuum bag and add the marinade, I seal the belly twice on hard vacuum as the vacuum opens the pores of the pork and the marinade penetrates faster and more effectively. (seal once, cut open and seal again)
Cook the 'belly' pieces in the preheated water bath for 9 hours. If you have left the 'belly' whole I recommend that cooking time should be 12 hours.
Chill the belly in ice water once cooked and refridgerate until needed.
Soy Bean and Udon Stir Fry
- 450g Fresh Udon Noodles
- 150g Soy beans, I used the frozen ones, defrosted
- 100g shitake mushrooms sliced
- 50g curley kale, julienned
- 2tbs sesame oil
- 1tbs sunflower oil
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- cooked belly of pork
Remove the cooked 'belly' from the bag and place it to one side, scrape all the jelly into a small saucepan.
Melt the jelly and pass it through a sieve back into a clean small saucepan and bring to the boil , reduce until it becomes a thick glossy and coating sauce.
Slice the 'belly' and heat a non-stick frying pan, without adding any oil to the pan, fry until golden on both sides.
Heat a large wok with the sunflower and sesame oils and stir fry by starting with the mushrooms followed by the noodles and kale and lastly add the defrosted soy beans, season lightly.
Divide the stir fry between 6 warm bowls and place the pork belly slices ontop and glaze with the sauce.
Food Fanatics Tips
The choice is yours on how you wish to serve this dish, I quite like the stir fry as the 'belly' is very rich. Do not over season the stir fry as the sauce of the 'belly' is strong and heavily seasoned with the soy sauce.