The rice in this dish was sautéed with garlic, onion and lots of chopped fresh basil. Sweet peas and pork broth were added then everything was transferred to the rice cooker. While the rice cooked, I fried some boiled pork belly until browned and crisp. Then, I sliced a large white onion and caramelized it in the pan. After everything was done, they were tossed together and Speedy and I had a great meal.
See, following the principle that if the Italians have a hundred ways to cook risotto, I can do the same with local rice, I’m learning to apply to local rice the same creativity that the Italians apply to their arborio. If you cook rice well and flavor it generously, it can be a dish by itself.
If you have cooked roast pork belly, this dish becomes even easier to prepare.
Herbed Rice With Roast Pork Belly and Caramelized Onions
- 250 grams pork belly
- 4 cloves garlic
- a small onion
- 1 teasoon peppercorns
- a bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cups long grain rice rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup frozen sweet peas (no need to thaw)
- 3 cups broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large white onion finely sliced
- Place the pork in a pot. Pour in about four cups of water. Add the garlic cloves, the whole onion, about a teaspoonful of salt, the peppercorns and bay leaf. If you have scraps of celery and carrot, go ahead and throw them in too. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until just tender (do not overcook!).
- When the pork is done, start with the rice. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan, add the minced garlic, chopped onion and basil, and sauté until fragrant, about three minutes.
- Add the rice to the pan. Stir to coat every grain with oil.
- Pour the contents of the pan into the rice cooker. Pour in the broth. Add enough salt and pepper to balance the seasonings. Stir in the peas. Turn on the rice cooker and leave to cook.
- While the rice cooks, cut the pork belly into one-inch cubes.
- Heat a non-stick pan, arrange the pork belly in a single layer, cover and leave to brown over high heat for about four minutes.
- Turn off the heat, uncover the pan, turn the pork cubes over and put the cover back on. Turn on the heat to high, cook until the other side is browned, about another four minutes. Scoop out the pork, drain on paper towels. Pour off the rendered fat.
- Pour the olive oil into the pan. Add the sliced onion and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until caramelized.
- When the rice is done, rake with a fork to separate the grains. Add the pork and caramelized onion. Toss to distribute then serve immediately.
- Serve the herbed rice with crispy pork belly and caramelized onions immediately.