For brushing:vegetable oil345 mlhoney wheat beer (see note)250 mlmead (see note)1 tbspgreen peppercorn mustard (see note)230 gmbrown sugarBrined pork belly300 gmcoarse sea salt250 gmcaster sugar6black peppercorns2 kgpiece of pork belly, bone in, skin scoredSpring wheat salad200 gmfreekeh (see note)2English cucumbers, coarsely chopped2Lebanese cucumbers, unpeeled, diced1telegraph cucumber, diced2golden shallots, diced1 cup (firmly packed)each flat-leaf parsley and mint, coarsely chopped1 tbspbaby salted capers, rinsedJuiceof ½ lemon2 tbspextra-virgin olive oil
For brined pork belly, stir salt, sugar, peppercorns and 2 litres water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until dissolved (2 minutes), then cool completely. Place pork in a non-reactive container, cover with brine and refrigerate until lightly cured (6 hours). Drain pork, rinse under cold running water, pat dry and set aside.
Preheat oven to 200C. Place pork skin-side up in a deep ovenproof frying pan, brush with a little oil and roast until skin is golden (20-30 minutes), then add beer, mead, mustard and brown sugar. Reduce oven to 150C and braise, basting and turning occasionally, until very tender (1¼-1½ hours). Remove from oven, cover with foil and set aside to rest (30 minutes), then transfer pork to a tray and drain pan juices into a jug. Stand until fat rises to surface (5-10 minutes), then skim and discard as much fat as possible. Return juices to pan and simmer over medium-high heat until a glaze forms (8-10 minutes), then return pork to pan. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, for spring wheat salad, cook freekeh in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (8-10 minutes), drain well and cool. Combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients, season to taste and toss to combine. Thickly slice pork and serve drizzled with pan juices, with spring wheat salad.
Note Mead and honey wheat beer are available from select bottle shops, including Dan Murphy’s. Green peppercorn mustard is available from select delicatessens. Freekeh, roasted green wheat, is available from select delicatessens and health-food shops.
This recipe is from the October 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.