Belly pork with crispy crackling, parmesan polenta and Hennessy cognac sauce.
Delicious recipe, easy to follow and prepare, tasty and cheap. Although it might take longer to make, it’s worth spending a little time on it.
- 1kg piece belly pork boneless
- 300ml beer or lager
- 300ml water
- 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
- 50g cold butter
- 100g grated parmesan
- 50ml Hennessy cognac or brandy
- 1 bouquet garni (bay leafs, sage, oregano, thyme, parsley)
- See recipe for soft polenta
Preheat the oven at 220C.
Prepare the meat by drying with paper towels then salt generously all over, adding more salt to the skin and rub in.
Place the meat in the baking tray, skin side up, add the beer (do not pour over the meat, just on the side), top with the water to dilute.
Add the bouquet garni and the garlic cloves if used, place in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven heat to 180C after the 20 minutes, leave to cook for a further 90 minutes, checking from time to time.
The crackling should be crispy and the meat soft, melt in the mouth.
Remove the meat from the tray and portion into 4 pieces. Drain the leftover sauce, discard the herbs and the garlic cloves.
In a saucepan, add the meat juices, top with water if too thick, to get around 250ml altogether. Bring to rapid boil, add the cognac and either flame it, or boil some more for the alcohol to evaporate.
Piece by piece add the cold butter stirring constantly until it incorporates into the sauce. Sauce, done.
For the soft polenta, boil 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour in one cup of polenta flour (coarse cornmeal) in a steady stream whisking constantly.
Keep stirring for about 10-15 minutes until you get it to the desired consistency and add the grated parmesan at the end, also should you wish for a creamier polenta 1 spoon of butter. There is butter in the sauce, so be cautious here.
Serve in a deep plate, meat on top of the soft polenta and drizzle the rich sauce over the top. Works well with a glass of chilled white wine, or even a cold beer.