Kitchen Secrets: Pork Belly Braise with The Chef in the Hat

You know, the whole country goes crazy about
it: ‘is called pork belly. I’m Thierry Rautureau, The Chef in the Hat, owner of Luc in Madison
Valley and Loulay in downtown Seattle. With me, Chef Dave from Luc. What did you do to
this belly before we put the marinade on it? Chef Dave: We went ahead and did a 24-hour
brine, and we coated it with a special Moroccan spice blend that’s mainly turmeric, coriander,
and cumin. Thierry Rautureau: So now what I’m going to
do is show you how to braise this pork belly. The first thing to do is to turn on the heat.
You need a heavy stockpot, you need something that’s heavy bottom again, it’s important
that you have the right pot for the right job. Le Creuset enameled pots are some of
my favorite pots for braising. All right, the pot is hot enough. I’m going to put a
little bit of the grape seed oil in the bottom of the pan. I’m going to put that belly on
the fat side first; you’re looking for medium heat so you can get a nice caramelization.
You don’t want this pot to be too hot because you don’t want to burn everything that’s in
the pot. It’s not a very long process, it sears fairly
quickly. Most of the greatness will happen later on when it’s braising that’s when your
pork is cooking right now; you’re trying to sear it. Soon as the piece of meat is caramelized
on the topside, we’re going to flip it on the belly side and while that’s caramelizing
we’re going to put the vegetables around it, so they can get a head start on doing the
same thing. There you go we have a nice piece of belly; I’m going to put my onions, my carrots,
and my celery. When you’re searing, one of the things you
want to watch for is to make sure you don’t overcrowd your pot or your pan. The principle
of searing is to make the caramelization not to do steaming. Beautiful caramelization,
look at that. That is flavor my friend. Those vegetables are caramelizing nicely. So the
next step on this; white wine. We pour white wine right on top of that, just a little bit.
And right above that we put veal stock. And I usually go half a cup of white wine for
about two cups of veal stock, that’s about the ratio I use. You want to make sure you
have enough liquid in there to be sustaining the time in the oven. Does that make sense?
Because that’s very important, and don’t forget just before it goes in the oven you want to
put that little sachet bag straight into the liquid so you can extract those flavors. And
now, in the oven. And there it is, a good hour and half later, we end up with wonderful
piece of gorgeous braised pork belly.

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