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Dining Tip: Emeril's Holiday Feast With Pork Belly

A Pot Au Feu, traditional New Orleans braise of pork belly rolled with bacon, root vegetables, and andouille sausage, warms the soul for holiday gatherings

Posted: December 22, 2014

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the Nov. 30, 2014 issue of Wine Spectator, "Corinne Mentzelopoulos."

Pot Au Feu

PORK BELLY, BONE MARROW, HEARTY VEGETABLES, ACCOUTREMENTS

To prepare the Pot Au Feu:

• 3 pounds pork belly, pounded to 1-inch thickness, trimmed to a rectangle
• 1 tablespoon Emeril's Original Essence or other Creole seasoning
• 4 ounces sliced apple-smoked bacon
• 8 cloves garlic, 6 sliced in half lengthwise
• 1 teaspoon transglutaminase (see chef's note below)
• 16 beef marrow bones, cut into 2 1/2-inch lengths
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/2 yellow onion, peeled
• 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 cups white wine
• 4 quarts beef broth
• 4 pieces star anise
• 2 allspice berries
• 2 whole cloves
• 2 bay leaves
• Kosher salt
• 1 pound andouille sausage
• 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 medium rutabaga, cut into 1-inch wedges
• 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
• 4 small new potatoes, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
• 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 12 ounces pearl onions
• 1 small head Savoy cabbage, cut into 1-inch squares
• Freshly ground black pepper

Chef's note: Transglutaminase, also known as "meat glue," is used to bind meat mixtures and meat combinations. It can be purchased at www.modernistpantry.com.

1. Using a sharp paring knife, make 12 shallow slits in the meaty side of the pork belly. Insert a half-clove of garlic into each slit.

2. Season the pork belly with the Creole seasoning. Using a fine-mesh sieve, lightly dust the belly with the transglutaminase powder. Lay the bacon slices in a single layer to cover the entire surface of the pork. Carefully roll the pork lengthwise, then use kitchen twine to tie along the length of the roulade every 1 1/2 inches. Tie the roulade in the opposite direction, end to end, with one long piece of twine to secure the ends.

3. Transfer the roulade to a baking sheet and let stand, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Lightly salt the marrow bones and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

6. In a large rondeau or roasting pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sear the pork belly roulade on all sides until it is golden-brown, about 8 minutes.

7. Add the yellow onion, celery, thyme, white wine, whole garlic cloves, beef broth, star anise, allspice, cloves and bay leaves to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until the pork is completely tender, about 3 hours.

8. Carefully remove the pork from the pan and add the marrow bones and andouille to the braising liquid. If necessary, add enough hot water to just cover the marrow bones. Place the pan on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the liquid just simmers, and cook until the marrow is tender and gelatinous, about 45 minutes.

9. Remove the marrow bones and the sausage and transfer to a baking sheet. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Return the broth to the pot. Add the carrot, rutabaga, fennel, potatoes, parsnips and pearl onions to the broth, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season the vegetables with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the savoy cabbage at the end and allow it to simmer until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

10. Return the marrow bones and andouille to the pot with the vegetables and broth, and gently reheat. While the vegetables are cooking, crisp the pork in the oven.

To serve:

• 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
• Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows)
• Mustard Horseradish (recipe follows)
• Chimichurri Sauce (recipe follows)

1. To serve, slice the pork into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick slices and slice the andouille into 2-inch links. For each serving, place one slice of the pork roulade in a large, shallow bowl. Add some of each of the vegetables, 2 pieces of andouille and 2 marrow bones. Ladle the hot broth over the meat. Top with the parsley leaves.

2. On a separate platter, serve small bowls of Pickled Red Onions, Mustard Horseradish and Chimichurri Sauce. Serves 8.

PICKLED RED ONIONS

• 1 cup water
• 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 small red onion, thinly shaved
• 12 to 16 cornichons
• 12 to 16 pickled cocktail onions

1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Add the shaved red onions to the liquid and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Once the pickling liquid has cooled, stir in the cornichons and cocktail onions.

2. The onions and pickles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

MUSTARD HORSERADISH

• 4 tablespoons Creole mustard or other whole-grain spicy mustard
• 2 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
• 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

• 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2/3 cup Sherry vinegar
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
• 3 tablespoons minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons minced shallots
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
• 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the olive oil, Sherry vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, basil, garlic, shallots and oregano. Pulse until well-blended, but do not puree. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Transfer to a nonreactive bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours at room temperature. Chimichurri Sauce will keep refrigerated in a nonreactive, airtight container for up to 3 days.


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