At T&G Towers, we are always keeping our beady eyes on what's cooking out there. On Twitter, Instagram and even Facebook. So much so, that collectively, we spend a large proportion of the day staring at our screens, crossed-eyed, with drool running down our t-shirts. Such is the addictive nature of social meeja.
And every now and then, we simply leap out of our chairs and reach for the bell, shouting 'Look at this! EVERYBODY! LOOK. AT. THIS!' Upon which the entire crew will bundle in to the very small office at the back of the shop, all legs, arms and fists flailing, desperate for a glimpse of the latest meat fix.
The most recent bun fight happened last week, when Lizzie Mabbott aka Hollowlegs showed off what she created from leftover barbecued pork breast ribs, procured from our range. That she had leftovers was amazing enough. But saving some pork breast to create clay pot pork belly rice, highlighted a degree of wisdom that is way beyond our own. For leftovers can sometimes usurp the original dish. Even when you only have two pork breast ribs remaining. So we reached out to Lizzie, with sad puppy dogs eyes and she sent us the lowdown. The recipe of which can not only be found below, but also in her cookbook - 'Chinatown Kitchen'.
(Although Tom isn't too happy about getting his tooth knocked out.)
Clay pot pork belly rice
Pork ribs are one of the best cuts; not only does it beg to be barbecued, but once cooked and offered to a crowd, each piece has its own handle, rendering it perfect finger food. There’s not much that brings a grin to people than pork juice glistening all over your face, as you hungrily tackle it.
There’s a couple of different ways to cook ribs: low, slow, smoked and falling off the bone, served with hot and sweet sticky sauces, or relatively quickly. I have to confess the slow cooked pork rib is my least favourite preparation, and while I fully understand that many love it all piled up into a bun - I have teeth and I like to use them, cutting through a little resistance before the yield.
Pork belly ribs are perfect for this too because of the high fat to meat ratio - you are guaranteed juiciness from the cut itself, and not any sauces you’ve had to add. So, coat your ribs in a dry rub (I like brown sugar, fennel seed, smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt) and place offset (that’s where all the coals are on one side, and you’ve placed it on the other cooler side) on a barbecue and put the lid on. Cook for an hour and a half, bones side down, turning at least 3 or 4 times. Rest for 15 minutes. Slice and devour. Wrap and chill the leftovers because...
The leftovers are, quite possibly, even better. This is inspired by the Hong Kong style barbecued meats, specifically ‘siu yok’ or crispy belly pork. When served in a restaurant, room temperature pork is served on hot rice, the fat warming in the residual temperature, some of the pork’s cooking juices drizzled over. I’ve gone a step further here to make sure that we’re making maximum use of this beautiful cut. You’ll need a small Chinese clay pot with a lid, available for cheap in Chinatown. The best thing about this dish is the crusty rice you get on both the bottom of the rice and the top, where the pork isn’t covering it, and also the pork juices flavouring the fluffy rice. Serve with stir-fried vegetables, steamed egg, or cold salads like smacked cucumbers.
This recipe serves two.
- Soak the clay pot for 15 minutes in water first, then dry off.
- Wipe the bottom of the clay pot with the sesame oil.
- Wash the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear, then add to the clay pot.
- Add enough water to sit 2cm above the rice, place the pork bones on top, put the lid on and place in a cold oven (it is important to heat the clay pot slowly, otherwise it may crack) and turn it up to 200°C.
- Cook for 15 minutes, checking a couple of times to see if the rice is cooked.
- Remove from the oven, lift the lid to remove to the pork bones, and place the pork cubes on top.
- Mix the soy sauces together and drizzle over the meat, then place the lid back on for another 10 minutes to warm the pork through.
- Serve with all your other bits. Easy!