Experimenting with dry spice rubs, I marinated these pork belly pieces overnight in the fridge then slow-cooked them on the stove top for an hour. The meat has absorbed the flavors of the spices wonderfully and there was no need to add any more seasonings during cooking. The pork was moist, aromatic, tasty and has acquired the colors of the mixed spices.
You can use your preferred combination of spices to make the dry rub, you can even include herbs if you like, and just follow the very simple instructions for the fuss-free cooking method.
This very meaty main course can be served with side dishes like smashed potatoes, Irish champ, buttered corn and carrots or whatever salad that suits your fancy. The braised pork is versatile enough to go well with just about any side dish.
Braised Spice-rubbed Pork
- 750 grams pork belly cut into one-inch slices then each slice cut into pieces about two inches in width (or you can go with two-inch cubes)
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon rock salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon onion leaves finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon bird’s eye chilies finely sliced
- Place the pork in a bowl.
- Make the spice rub. In a small jar with a tight cap, place the rest of the ingredients except the onion leaves and bird’s eye chilies.
- Pour the spice rub over the pork. Mix, working the rub into each piece of meat well.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and allow the meat to marinate in the fridge for several hours (overnight is best).
- Heat a non-stick pan. Add the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until the “raw” texture of the pork disappears. This should take about seven to ten minutes at which time, the pork should have rendered a little fat.
- Pour in about a cup of boiling water. You don’t need a lot. You just want enough to create a steamy environment so that the meat stays moist.
- Lower the heat. Cover the pan tightly. Simmer the pork for about an hour. Check the liquid after 30 minutes. If the mixture appears too dry, add more water, no more than a quarter cup at a time.
- When the pork is tender, remove the cover of the pan. Turn up the heat and cook the pork, stirring often, until no liquid is left. Cook the pork in the rendered fat until the outside acquires a caramelized texture.
- Scoop out the pork from the pan and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the onion leaves and bird’s eye chilies on top. Serve the braised spice-rubbed pork with rice and whatever side dish you desire.