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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 5 - Twice cooked pork belly with apple slaw and rice

MasterChef Australia on TV ONE

Twice cooked pork belly with apple slaw and steamed fragrant rice

by Billy Law

Pork belly:
1 kg piece pork belly
2 litres water
5 slices ginger
5 star anise
1/4 cup black vinegar
3 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons light soy
3-4 tablespoons kecap manis
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 cup corn flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 litres vegetable oil
1/3 cup sea salt

Apple slaw:
2 granny smith apples, cored removed
1 tablespoon sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pan grilled rice cakes
1 cup rice
reserved pork fat

Sweet ginger caramelised dressing
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups reserved braising liquid
1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 Preheat oven to 200 C.

2 Cut skin from pork belly in one piece and set to one side. Pat flesh dry with paper towel .

3 Pour water into a large stock pot and bring to the boil. Add pork, ginger, star anise, vinegar and garlic and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes over a high heat and skim to remove any impurities.

4 Add light soy, kecap manis and sugar, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours or until meat becomes tender. Remove and allow to drain for 5-10 minutes. Reserve braising liquid. Sandwich pork
between two chopping boards and weight it down with heavy objects. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill and allow to rest for 2 hours. Remove and cut pork into 3cm cubes.

5 Combine flour and salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Place egg in a separate bowl. Dust each cube of pork in flour, then beaten egg and redust in flour.

6 Heat oil in a saucepan, deep fry pork in batches until golden and drain well on a paper towel-lined plate.

7 Score reserved pork skin, lay flat on a baking tray and rub with oil. Pack the top side of the skin with sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes to render out fat. Remove from the oven, pour fat into a heat proof bowl and reserve.

8 Increase oven to 250 C. Brush salt from skin and return pork to oven. Bake for 30 minutes, checking every ten minutes until skin is blistered and crunchy. Allow to cool and cut into pieces.

9 For apple slaw, julienne apples and place in a bowl. Add sugar and lemon juice and toss to combine. Allow to stand for 30 minutes to pickle. Squeeze out excess juices and set to one side.

10 Place rice in a saucepan half filled with water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove and drain well. Spread rice over a baking tray and allow to cool.

11 Take spoonfuls of rice and shape into cylinders. Heat reserved pork fat in a frying pan, add 3-4 rice cakes and panfry, rolling cakes in the pan, until crisp and golden. Remove and set on a paper towellined plate to drain.

12 For dressing, place sugar and soy in a small saucepan over a low heat and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer until mixture begins to caramelise. Add reserved stock, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid has reduced to half.

13 Remove from heat, add grated ginger and stir well to combine.

14 To serve, arrange a handful of apple slaw on a serving plate and top with cubes of pork and pieces of crackling. On a second plate arrange rice cakes and spoon sauce into a serving dish.