Who's the Baketard?

Why Baketard? Love to cook, hate to bake. Despite having gone to cooking school and working in some top kitchens, I never learned the baking side of things. I'm building my baking and photography skills, while sharing recipes that rock my world in the mean time.

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Spice-Braised Pork Belly, Cornmeal Waffle & Quail Egg

Ok, this one takes some work but the results are soooooooo worth it. Another Star Chefs Rising Chef Award winner, Chef Joshua Henderson also used to be a chef-instructor at the Art Institute where I went to culinary school. Unfortunately, I never had him as one of my instructors. 

This dish was my favorite at the Star Chefs event, and I made it the next weekend. It’s one of those recipes that actually worked and ended up tasting just as good at home as it did in a restaurant setting. It's SO SO SO worth the effort.

Spice-Braised Pork Belly, Cornmeal Waffle, and Quail Egg
Joshua Henderson of Skillet Street Food – Seattle, WA
Adapted by StarChefs.com
February 2009

Yield: 8 Servings


Wet Brine:
1 gallon water
2 cups sugar
2¼ cups coarse salt
12 juniper berries
12 cloves
6 cinnamon sticks
12 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 pounds pork belly, cut into 6 ounce pieces

Spice-Braised Pork Belly:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups sliced onions
6 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
1 tablespoon allspice
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 quarts beef stock
1 quart apple juice
2 cups brown sugar

Cornmeal Waffle:
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt

To Assemble and Serve:

8 quail eggs

For the Wet Brine:
Bring the water to a simmer. Add the sugar and spices and steep for 1 hour. Allow the brine to cool and add the pork belly. Fully submerge for 24 hours. Remove the pork belly and reserve for braising.

For the Spice-Braised Pork Belly:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small roasting pan, heat the olive oil and sweat the onions until translucent. Add the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and thyme and make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and the pork. The liquid should come about halfway up the pork belly. Remove liquid or add stock as needed. Braise for approximately 2 hours, or until fork tender. Remove the pork belly and strain the braising liquid into a saucepot. Simmer and skim the foam and fat that accumulates while the sauce is reducing. When the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, check seasoning and set aside for service.

For the Cornmeal Waffle:
Preheat the waffle maker. Put all the ingredients in a blender. Cover and process at medium-high speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-blend. Pour ½ cup of the batter over grids. Close the waffle maker and bake until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To Assemble and Serve:
Fry or poach the quail eggs. Place a waffle on each plate and top with a piece of pork belly. Place an egg on each piece of pork, and drizzle with the reduced braising liquid.

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