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Thomasina Miers’ recipe for pork belly with chilli, fennel and bay

Le 19 April 2018, 10:38 dans Humeurs 0


Although this takes a few hours to braise in the oven, it is by definition a quick dish if you look at how little time it takes to put together: a light browning of the pork belly and a gentle saute of the leeks and fennel. The result is an unusual and delectable Easter feast. Experiment with different green veg as the weather improves: it is delicious with baby broad beans, fresh or frozen, and stalks of young, sweet asparagus.

The long, slow cooking makes the belly tender and unctuous – a lovely contrast to the herb-flecked fennel and leeks. If you can’t find ancho chillies (readily available online), substitute with Spanish dried Nora chillies, 2-3 teaspoons of Aleppo chilli flakes, or a half a teaspoon of normal chilli flakes.

Prep 30 min
Cook 2 hr
Serves 4-6

1.4kg boned pork belly, cut into 5cm cubes or squares
Olive oil or rapeseed oil
2 ancho chillies
2 tsp fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
200ml manzanilla sherry, or full-bodied dry white wine
3-4 fresh bay leaves
Zest and juice of 1 orange

For the vegetables
2 tbsp unsalted butter, or olive oil
2 leeks, peeled, washed and finely chopped
2 fennel bulbs, cut into 2-3cm dice
200g frozen peas
2-3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 handful each parsley and mint leaves, roughly chopped
Crusty bread, to serve

Heat the oven to 140C/275F/gas 1. An hour before you cook, season the pork belly generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large, wide pan over a medium heat and pour in a tablespoon of oil. Put the pork belly into the pan in a single layer and brown it all over for 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally so that some fat renders out and the meat turns golden brown. Pour out any excess fat as the pork is browning.

Meanwhile, tear open the ancho chillies, discarding the stem and seeds, and rip the flesh into large, flattish pieces. Heat a dry frying pan on medium and toast the peppers for 20-30 seconds a side, until they smell fragrant (take care not to burn or they’ll taste bitter instead of sweet). Cover with 200ml boiling water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.

Gently toast the fennel seeds in a frying pan for a minute, then grind to a powder. Mash to a puree with the garlic and half the wine in a mortar or food processor. Strain then roughly chop the chillies, reserving the liquid, and pour their soaking water and the rest of the wine into the garlic paste.

Once the pork has browned, pour over the garlic sauce. Add the bay leaves and zest and juice of the orange, and bring just to a simmer. Transfer to the oven, cover with a lid slightly askew, and braise for 90-120 minutes, until tender.

While the pork is cooking, melt the butter in a casserole and add the leeks and fennel. Season well with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until soft. Add the peas, vinegar and herbs, and stir until the peas are cooked – a few minutes. Adjust the seasoning and set aside.

Serve the pork belly in deep bowls on the sweet herby vegetables with crusty bread to mop up all the braising juices.

I am eating a lot of braised vegetables at the moment. Whizz up lots of flat-leaf parsley in olive oil and use this to drizzle over them; a dollop of goat’s curd or some grilled halloumi on the side is also a lovely accompaniment. If you have ordered a lot of ancho chillies online for this week’s recipe, try deseeding and blitzing any remaining with garlic, shallots, olive oil and vinegar. Leave to macerate in the fridge and slather over anything and everything.


Monbiot and others will now take up the cudgels for

Le 23 November 2017, 10:00 dans 健康 0

I hope  this notion of an “educated democracy” and develop some thinking about an appropriate curriculum both in our schools and as part of a lifelong learning agenda. And if the government is really serious about stopping the rot in terms of political engagement and participation – as most seem to say they are – then words aren’t sufficient. Funding is needed.
Jol Miskin
Regional education manager, WEA

• George Monbiot’s proposal for a constitutional convention composed of citizens drawn by lot, with a small number of parliamentarians involved, suggests an answer to the future nature of parliament – vote for a government every four years, create a House of Commons by sortition every two.

during a magical night

Le 10 October 2017, 05:53 dans Humeurs 0

Maybe I could even go pro, if I could just get over these nagging injuries…. That thought wasrunning through Micah’s mind as he coasted on his bike down a steep Boulder street. Next thinghe knew, he was blinking into bright lights in the emergency room of Boulder CommunityHospital, his eyes caked with blood and his forehead full of stitches. Best he could recall, he’d hit agravel slick and sailed over the handlebars.

“You’re lucky you’re alive,” the doctor told him, which was one way of looking at it. Another wasthat death was still a problem hanging over his head. Micah had just turned forty-one, and despitehis ultrarunning prowess, the view from that ER gurney was none too pretty. He had no healthinsurance, no home, no close family, and no steady work. He didn’t have enough money to stayovernight for observation, and he didn’t have a bed to recover on if he checked out.

Poor and free was the way he’d chosen to live, but was it the way he wanted to die? A friend letMicah mend on her sofa, and there, for the next few days, he pondered his future. Only luckyrebels go out in a blaze of glory, as Micah knew very well. Ever since second grade, he’d idolizedGeronimo, the Apache brave who used to escape the U.S. cavalry by running through the Arizonabadlands on foot. But how did Geronimo end up? As a prisoner, dying drunk in a ditch on a dustyreservation.

Once Micah recovered, he headed to Leadville. And there,  running throughthe woods with Martimano Cervantes, he found his answers. Geronimo couldn’t run free forever,but maybe a “gringo Indio” could. A gringo Indio who owed nothing, needed no one, and wasn’tafraid to disappear from the planet without a trace.

“So what do you live on?” I asked.

“Sweat,” Caballo said. Every summer, he leaves his hut and rides buses back to Boulder, where hisancient pickup truck awaits him behind the house of a friendly farmer. For two or three months, heresumes the identity of Micah True and scrounges up freelance furniture-moving jobs. As soon ashe has enough cash to last another year, he’s gone, vanishing down to the bottom of the canyonsand stepping back into the sandals of El Caballo Blanco.

Voir la suite ≫