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Easy Peez (Pork Belly, Pineapple, Peanut, Pepper)

Specifically designed by Chef Scott Nishiyama to pair with vīvō Chardonnay

This is a fun dish that was inspired by the great flavors of Vietnam with a little bit of Hawaii and California mixed in.

Serves 4
Active time: 1 1/2 hours
Total time: 13 1/2 hours
(sous-vide machine needed)

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork belly, skin removed
  • 8 c water
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 T black peppercorns
  • ½ c of salt
  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • Black pepper
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 3 T dry roasted peanuts
  • 4 red bell peppers
  • 1 bird’s eye chili
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 bunch cilantro

 

Steps

Brine

Make a brine by bringing the water, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, and salt to a boil. Cool to room temperature. Place the pork belly in a container, then pour the brine over to cover. Place the pork belly into the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 12 hours. Remove the pork belly from the brine, rinse with cold water, and dry well.

Cooking the Pork Belly

Cook the pork belly in a sous-vide machine at 180°F for 7 hours. When the pork belly is done, place it on a tray and cool to room temperature for at least 1 hour. Put another tray on top of the pork belly and place a pot (or something with a good weight) on top of the tray so that the pork belly becomes flat. Cool the pork belly in the refrigerator for at least a few hours. When the pork belly is cold and solid, trim by removing any excess congealed fat and square off the edges. Cut the pork belly into ½ inch thick slices so that you have four pieces.

Pineapple Caramel Sauce

Using a sharp knife, clean the pineapple by placing it on a cutting board and slicing off the ends. Slice off the sides so that no “eyes” remain, and then slice the pineapple lengthwise into quarters.  Remove the tough center core from each quarter. In a pan at least 10” wide, add the sugar and heat on medium high heat. Don’t stir the sugar, but you may shake the pan to allow the sugar to melt evenly. When the sugar begins to caramelize, or turn light brown, carefully add the pineapple so as not to splash hot sugar on yourself. Add the fish sauce. Season with black pepper. Place the pan into a 350°F oven. Occasionally remove the pan from the oven and spoon the caramel over the pineapple. The pineapple will slowly release its juices and thin out the caramel. When the pineapple is light brown and soft, remove from the pan and keep for later. Reserve the caramel sauce.

Pepper Reduction Sauce

Juice the red peppers. Strain the juice into a saucepot and bring to a boil. Add the chili pepper.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow the juice to cook down until it is a syrup. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools down. Test the consistency of the syrup before you stop the cooking process by placing a few drops on a plate and then putting it into your fridge. If the syrup is the consistency of maple syrup, it is done. If it is too thin, continue to reduce the syrup. If it is too thick, add a few drops of water. Season with salt.

Crush the peanuts into small nuggets with a heavy bottomed cup or the side of a chef’s knife.  Pick the leaves of cilantro and mint.

Seasoning & Searing

Season the pork belly with salt and pepper. Sear in a hot pan with a little canola oil until it forms a crispy crust. In another pan, add the pieces of pineapple and the reserved caramel sauce. Heat the pineapple through and reserve. Add the seared pork belly to the same pan, add the peanuts, and reduce the sauce until it is thick. Glaze the pork belly with the caramel sauce, allowing the peanuts to cover most of the pork belly.

Plating

Arrange the pork belly onto a plate. Place the pineapple next to it. Pour a tablespoon of the pepper reduction sauce next to the pork belly. Garnish the pork belly with the cilantro and mint leaves. Serve with a glass of vīvō Chardonnay.

 

 

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