Sometimes distractions can be really fun. Last Friday I hosted a lunch to meet distant cousins that I connected to through the DNA on Ancestry. Which meant I needed to get our shared branch in order. For me, that means going straight down the rabbit hole to find out more and more. I completely lose track of time. However, I’m really glad I did as I found a connection to the Salem Witch Trials.
A horrible time in history of hysteria which largely started because of a fungus on the rye grains. I got my ancestry back to Esther Elwell neè Dutch and the trials suddenly popped up. I found a deposition accusing her and two other women of pressing, choking, and squeezing a Mary Fitch who died. A seventeen year old girl was witness to this. I’m thinking holy moly. Until I did more digging. The witness had visions, Mary Fitch just had an illness. The stroke of luck for my ancestor was that the court was dissolved a few weeks before her arrest because more and more “reputable” people were getting accused so the court finally thought, hey maybe we shouldn’t be using visions as evidence. Esther wasn’t the only one I found, a Rachel Vinson neè Varney was also accused. Scary times. If they had been charged, it would have been a death sentence.
It made for a very interesting lunch!
Recently I’ve seen a few blogs using pork belly and I thought it was high time I took the pork belly out of the freezer and create something. I’ve just added a WP Recipe Maker plugin to, hopefully, allow for a printable recipe below. Please let me know what you think and if you have any issues. I’m starting with the free version so I can’t include unit conversion but I should be adding that down the road.
Pork Belly How-To
Preheat the oven on convection/fan to 425F/220C.
In a roasting dish add the pork belly that has been scored, seasoned with sea salt and pepper, and rubbed down with brown mustard. Roast for up to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on this! You want the skin crispy but not burnt. Then turn the oven off of convection/fan and set the temperature to 300F/150C. Bake for another hour or so.
Normally at the co-op the red onions are massive but suddenly they fit neatly in the palm of my hand and I have small hands. In a skillet, take a couple of tablespoons of the drippings from the roasting pan, heat up the skillet. Finely chop a small onion and two cloves of garlic. Sauté on medium heat. As the onions become more translucent chop up a mushroom or two. Add them to the skillet and stir well.
When the mushrooms start to brown add 1/2 cup/4oz of vegetable bouillon along with 2 tablespoons of brandy. Add a dollop of brown mustard.
Stir well and let simmer. In the meantime cook up 1/2 cup of quinoa.
To serve, place a large handful of lettuce greens on the plate, add a few spoonfuls of quinoa then top with the pork belly and sauce. It’s the kind of dish that straddles the hot and cool of the beginning of autumn. Getting tired of salads but not quite ready for stick to your ribs food.
Pork Belly with a Mustard Garlic Sauce
A flavourful recipe by Our Growing Paynes that highlights the pork belly with a mustard garlic sauce.
- 1/2 lb pork belly 227 grams
- 1/3 cup brown mustard 3 oz
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-2 white button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup vegetable bouillon 4oz
- 2 tbsp brandy 1oz
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 3 tbsp pork belly drippings 1.5oz
Preheat the oven on convection/fan to 425F/220C.
Score the pork belly with a diamond pattern through the fat but not the meat. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Rub brown mustard all over the meat. Place in a baking dish and roast uncovered for up to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it! You want to crisp the skin but not burn it.
Reduce the heat to 300F/150C on regular bake.
Take the pork belly drippings and add to the skillet. Heat up. Finely chop the small onion and sautè in the skillet. Finely chop the garlic and add that to the skillet. While the onion is becoming translucent chop up the mushrooms and sauté.
Once the mushrooms begin to brown add the bouillon, brandy and mustard. Stir well and let simmer.
Cook the quinoa according to the instructions.
Add lettuce greens to the plate, top with quinoa, pork belly, and the sauce.
I LIke the new look and your dish looks delicious.
Thank you! And thank you for the feedback. Feel a bit in the weeds this week!
I have always been scared of pork belly. The fat bugs me, so I have avoided it. Your recipe though, would taste wonderful on an overcooked turnip, so I salute you and your culinary creativity. I would just eat the parts that you made.
My husband doesn’t like the fat either. So it’s a rare treat for me. Though I had a thought last night, I’ll just plan a special lunch for myself once in awhile. 😊
Looks gorgeous and funnily enough I bought a bag of red onions this week and found myself commenting on how tiny they were! I’ve done some ancestry research too, so interesting 😀
Thank you. Wonder if the onions are a second harvest? I find genealogy addictive, so many interesting stories to find.
Fascinating recipe. It wasn’t too much mustard overall? It just looked like a lot. Love pork belly. Great story!
Not at all. The pork fat mellows it out a bit to give it a nice balance.