1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
¼ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
½ whole star anise
½ teaspoon whole allspice
3 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup assorted fresh edible flowers (nasturtium, violas, rose, pansies, etc.)
2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers (or dried)
1 tablespoon dried hibiscus powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon rose water
¼ cup kosher salt
2 pounds fresh pork belly (skin on preferably)
¼ cup honey
1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
- In a dry sauté pan over medium heat, toast all of the whole spices, then transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
- Roughly chop the flowers until confetti-like.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all flowers, spices, rose water, and salt. Mix until fully incorporated.
- In a baking dish, sprinkle ¼ of the salt mixture in an even layer. Place pork belly on top, skin side down. Pour the honey evenly over the belly.
- Sprinkle remaining salt mixture evenly over belly.
- Cover with plastic wrap and add another baking dish so that it presses directly onto the belly. Add about two pounds of pressure and refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Remove belly from the fridge and rinse under cold water to remove salt.
- Thoroughly pat dry.
- Heat a sauté pan (or roasting pan) large enough to fit the entire belly over medium heat. Add the belly skin side down and cook until golden brown.
- Flip and sear flesh side until golden brown.
- Transfer to a high-walled roasting pan skin side up, drain excess fat from the pan, and add onion. Cook over medium until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
- Transfer the onions to the same pan as the belly. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the belly, then cover the roasting pan with foil.
- Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and cook until meat pulls apart with ease.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan, then transfer to a cutting board and pull or slice off the skin. Place the skin flat onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool.
- Dice the belly into 1-inch chunks and place into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Drain off fat and liquid from the roasting pan and discard onions. With mixer on low, slowly drizzle the fat until it becomes an emulsified, spreadable mass. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: The chefs plate this with their signature cornbread and romesco sauce and garnish with honey and fresh edible flowers, as pictured above. Visit thelocalpalate.com for the recipes.
- from Chefs Caleb Shriver and Phillip Perrow of Dutch & Company, Richmond, VA