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What to serve with braised pork belly?

christineb Feb 12, 2008 08:40 AM

Hello fellow Chowhounders! I'm making braised pork belly as a special Valentine's day meal for my boyfriend. I'm having trouble coming up with something to pair it with. I was thinking of a sunchoke puree, but I'm afraid the plate will lack color.
Does anyone out there have any brilliant suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Miss Needle RE: christineb Feb 12, 2008 08:45 AM

    You're probably going to want to serve a bitter green (eg. dandelion, kale) to counterpoint the richness of the pork belly.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle
      christineb RE: Miss Needle Feb 12, 2008 08:53 AM

      That's what I was thinking...brilliant. Thanks!

      1. re: Miss Needle
        jvozoff RE: Miss Needle Feb 12, 2008 09:12 AM

        in a similar vein - last time I had pork belly was at a Vietnamese restaurant and it was perfect with a very light, herb-y, crunchy, tart salad.

        1. re: jvozoff
          JungMann RE: jvozoff Feb 12, 2008 11:31 AM

          Tart is the other important variable in the dish. With something as unctuous as pork belly, I think it's important to have something acidic to cut through the fat. If not in the dressing for the greens, at least in the wine.

      2. fmed RE: christineb Feb 12, 2008 08:54 AM

        Looking for colour? Braised Beetroot and quick pickle/salad of carrots and cucumbers and daikon if you doing the pork with Asian flavours.

        1. farmersdaughter RE: christineb Feb 12, 2008 09:21 AM

          I would simply blanch some broccoli rabe or broccoli di ciccio ahead of time and heat up in the oven, sprinkle with good salt and drizzle with olive oil. You want something bitter and somewhat plain to complement the richness of the pork belly, and the color combination will be attractive on the plate.

          5 Replies
          1. re: farmersdaughter
            WCchopper RE: farmersdaughter Feb 12, 2008 11:39 PM

            I read somewhere that I can't remember that there is an asian green that is equivalent to broccoli rabe. Would you happen to know anything about that?

            1. re: WCchopper
              Deborah RE: WCchopper Feb 13, 2008 04:27 AM

              I buy an asian green that looks like broccoli rabe and tastes like it. It is a very common green sold at Chinese markets.

              1. re: Deborah
                alkapal RE: Deborah Feb 13, 2008 05:54 PM

                this it?

                see my post "Confused at the Asian Grocery?" with great veggie id links:

                1. re: alkapal
                  WCchopper RE: alkapal Feb 13, 2008 09:37 PM

                  that's helpful, thanks

                2. re: Deborah
                  fmed RE: Deborah Feb 13, 2008 07:11 PM

                  Sounds like gai lan (or kai-lan)

            2. Candy RE: christineb Feb 12, 2008 09:23 AM

              I am making Frank Stitt's Pork on Pork this weekend, great cold weather food. It is pork belly and pork shoulder braised together and served up with a bourbon sauce. I am making creamy grits and roasted vegetables to go with it.

              1. t
                TNExplorer RE: christineb Feb 12, 2008 11:24 AM

                Few things go as well with pork as roasted or baked sweet potatoes. Simply bake the potatoes, then mash with some butter and a little pepper. With the greens you'll have a perfect winter meal, in this Southerner's opinion.

                1 Reply
                1. re: TNExplorer
                  Deborah RE: TNExplorer Feb 13, 2008 04:30 AM

                  I cube sweet potato and saute with a little onion, add 1 T dijon, 1T honey and 1 cup chicken broth and cook until soft. Remove from pan and boil down sauce to a syrup. Puree the sweet potato with the syrup and I serve the puree over sauteed greens.....delicious!

                2. paulj RE: christineb Feb 12, 2008 12:23 PM

                  Fergus Henderson 'The Whole Beast' recommends lentils.
                  "With the rich and fatty belly you want quite dour lentils" (from a recipe for belly that has been brined for 10 days).

                  The French has something similar, petit sale

                  Lentils would work well even if the belly wasn't brined. I particularly liked the the French puy type of lentil.


                  1. c
                    christineb RE: christineb Feb 12, 2008 01:33 PM

                    All great reccomendations...thanks everyone!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: christineb
                      WCchopper RE: christineb Feb 12, 2008 11:36 PM

                      How did you cook the pork?

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