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  • Honey Barbecue Pork Belly with Pineapple Salsa

    No one knows barbecued food like chef Josh Katz. The co-owner and mastermind behind London grill house Berber & Q (as well as the Shawarma Bar and a kiosk in Spitalfields market), Katz specialises in lip-smackingly good grilled cuisine. 

    The ex-Ottolenghi chef's latest venture is a new cookbook, filled with big, bold recipes to pair together and share - the perfect excuse to dust off the barbie and get grilling this summer. Here's his grilled guilty pleasure... 

    "There are so many different cuts of pork, each with a unique set of characteristics that require their own method of barbecuing or cooking. From the creamy loin chop that needs quick grilling, to the meaty shoulder that should be slow-smoked and pulled. From the soft and gelatinous cheek that must be braised, to the crispy tail that needs to be fried. I could go on.

    The belly is my guilty pleasure. It can be slowly braised until it pulls apart, cured to make bacon or barbecue-roasted until soft and tender. There are chops to be slow-grilled, ribs to be smoked and crackling to be devoured. This recipe uses a combination of these techniques, slow-braising the belly until meltingly tender and then finishing it on the grill for some smoky barbecued goodness." - Josh Katz, Berber & Q Co-Founder 

    Honey Barbecue Pork Belly with Filfelchuma & Pineapple Salsa

    Serves 12

    I N G R E D I E N T S 

    For the brine: 
    500ml just-boiled water, plus 8 litres water
    600g table salt 400g caster sugar

    For the pork belly: 
    1 x 4–4.5kg pork belly, boned
    200g Pork Rub
    4–5 Turkish chilli peppers
    2 large onions, sliced into 2cm rounds
    150ml runny honey
    300ml water
    100ml white wine
    2 dried bay leaves
    3 tbsp Filfelchuma or Harissa
    1⁄2 bunch of thyme sprigs 

    For the pineapple salsa:
    1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
    Olive oil
    100g sugar
    80ml cider vinegar
    2 tbsp orange juice
    1 star anise
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    11⁄2 tsp ground cumin
    Pinch of salt
    4–5 spring onions, green parts only
    2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

    To serve: 
    Filfelchuma

    M E T H O D 

    For the brine: 

    In a container large enough to hold the pork belly (a saucepan works well), add the salt to the hot water and stir to dissolve, forming a sludge-like consistency. Top up with the remaining water, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Submerge the pork belly in the brine and leave in the fridge overnight.

    To cook the pork belly:

    Preheat the oven to 130°C/110°C Fan/Gas mark 1.

    Remove the pork belly from the brine and pat dry. Score both sides of the belly with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern, up to 0.5cm deep. Rub the pork all over generously with the rub.

    Scatter the chilli peppers in a roasting tray or casserole dish large enough to accommodate the pork belly, and lay the onion slices as a bed upon which the pork will sit. Transfer the pork, skin-side down, on top of the onion and drizzle half the honey directly over it and the remaining half into the pan. Add the water and white wine, followed by the bay leaves, filfelchuma and thyme. Cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil, making sure to crimp the foil along the edge of the roasting tray. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours, basting periodically with the juices, before turning the pork over to cook for a further 3 hours, until tender and all but pulling apart with the lightest of pressure.

    Once cooked, carefully lift the pork from the roasting tray and transfer it to rest on a cooling rack. Strain the cooking liquor through a fine sieve into a heavy- based saucepan. Place over high heat and simmer to reduce to a thickened sauce with a glaze-like consistency thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Cool and refrigerate.

    Wrap the pork in clingfilm and return it to the cooling rack, set over a shallow tray, pressed with a heavy weight overnight in the refrigerator. I use a roasting tray filled with water as a press, but heavy tins should also work just fine. 

    The next day, take the pork belly out of the fridge and allow it to come back to room temperature. Set a barbecue up for single-zone direct grilling over medium-high heat.

    For the pineapple salsa:

    Roll the pineapple in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the pineapple directly over hot embers, until well charred all over. Remove from the grill and hack into rough pieces.

    Combine the sugar, vinegar and orange juice in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar. Add the star anise, cinnamon stick, cayenne and cumin as well as the pineapple chunks, and continue to cook over low heat for 12–15 minutes, until the liquid has thickened. The salsa should be quite dry. Season with salt to taste and leave to cool a little. Fold the spring onion greens and coriander through the mix once nearly cool.

    To finish the pork belly: 

    Slice the pork into 2.5cm thick slabs. Reheat the glaze. Grill the pork belly slices on both sides, brushing continually and generously with the glaze until well charred and warmed through.

    To serve:

    Serve the pork with some filfelchuma, pineapple salsa and bread. 


    Recipe from 'Berber & Q' by Josh Katz, out now.