Tag Archives: braising

Recipe: Pork Belly – 2 ways


Everyone loves pork belly.   That’s because everyone loves bacon, and bacon is made from pork belly.   But making bacon at home is not easy; you have to brine & cure the belly, then smoke it.   Pancetta, the Italian version of bacon, is cured but not smoked and still is slightly involved.  Both of those preparations of pork belly overlook the sheer simplicity of roasting.

I can assure you that a simple roasted pork belly will be amongst the most impressive dishes you can make.  This week, we’ve selected two preparations and included instructions and video.   The first is Gordon Ramsay’s roasted pork belly – it’s simple and epic.  The second is a common chinese preparation of pork belly.

Either way, (raw) pork belly costs a fraction of the loin, ham, or even shoulder cuts of pork and is absolutely delicious and extremely easy to make.

Slow-Roasted Pork Belly – by Gordon Ramsay

  1. Score the fat side of the pork belly into diamonds
  2. Rub salt all over the belly
  3. In a roasting pan, cook  down some fresh fennel, garlic, fennel seeds, star anise, and cardomom
  4. Sear the fat side of the pork belly, and rub some fennel seeds into the cracks of the pork skin.
  5. Now with the belly in the roasting pan, fat side up, add white wine, reduce, then add stock up to the level of the skin but not covering it.
  6. Roast the pork belly for 2.5hrs at about 350C.
  7. Remove the belly, skim the fat in the remaining juice, and then bring to a simmer, add mustard, and simmer before moving to a serving jug.
  8. Slice and serve.


Chinese-Style Juicy Braised Pork Belly with Garlic, Chili and Tofu

This recipe is a modified version of the one found here: https://kitchenstories.io/en/recipes/braised-pork-belly

Ingredients (4 servings)
9 g ginger
1 stalk green onion
2 cloves garlic
500 g pork belly
50 g sugar
1 l water
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 chilis (dried)
2 star anise
0.5 cinnamon stick
5 bay leaves
5 g soy sauce
2 tsp shaoxing wine (or a dry sherry  or Japanese Sake)
vegetable oil for frying

  1. Cut ginger into thin slices and green onion into large chunks. Mince garlic. Cut pork into bite-sized cubes.
  2. Fill wok one third of the way full with hot water. Place pork belly in water, bring to a boil, and cook for approx. 5 – 7 min. Strain and set aside.
  3. Add vegetable oil and sugar to wok and cook over medium-low heat for approx. 3 – 5 min. until it begins to lightly caramelize . Carefully add a bit of water to thin out caramel. Remove caramel from wok and set aside .
  4. Heat oil over medium-high heat, return pork to pan, and cook until fat has rendered, approx. 4 – 6 min. Discard excess oil from pan and then add green onion, ginger, garlic, chilis, star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Return caramelized sugar to pan and cook for approx. 1 – 2 min. until all ingredients are evenly coated in sugar. Next, add soy sauce, wine, and water. Reduce heat to low and cook for approx. 1 – 2 hrs. until volume has reduced by half and sauce has thickened. Enjoy with aromatic rice



Recipe: Ratatouille


We received multiple positive comments regarding last week’s White Wine Braised Bison Stew with Figs and Raisins… so this week we are sticking with a stew theme but instead featuring a classic vegetarian stew.

Ratatouille was made famous by the Pixar animated movie by the same name (if you haven’t seen Ratatouille, definitely watch it – it is brilliant for adults and children alike). In that movie, a rat named Remy cooks up a version of Ratatoille called “Confit Byaldi”. Aside: famous Chef Thomas Keller was the food consultant for the movie. The Confit Byaldi is a very pretty version of Ratatouille, but the dish at its heart is a simple to make, peasant stew.

We’ve provided the recipe and a quick video to the simple version… and if you’re feeling courageous and have time on your hands, we’ve also provided a video for the Confit Byaldi version.

Either way, this dish should be in everyone’s repertoire.


Simple Ratatouille:


  • 2 red onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 aubergines
  • 3 courgettes
  • 3 red or yellow peppers
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 x 400 g tin of quality plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ a lemon


  1.  Prep your ingredients before you start – peel and cut the onions into wedges, then peel and finely slice the garlic. Trim the aubergines (eggplants) and courgettes (zucchini), deseed the peppers and chop into 2.5cm chunks. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Pick the basil leaves and set aside, then finely slice the stalks.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole pan or saucepan over a medium heat, add the chopped aubergines, courgettes and peppers (you may need to do this in batches) and fry for around 5 minutes, or until golden and softened, but not cooked through. Spoon the cooked veg into a large bowl.
  3. To the pan, add the onion, garlic, basil stalks and thyme leaves with another drizzle of oil, if needed. Fry for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened and golden.
  4. Return the cooked veg to the pan and stir in the fresh and tinned tomatoes, the balsamic and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Mix well, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for 30 to 35 minutes, or until reduced, sticky and sweet.
  6. Tear in the basil leaves, finely grate in the lemon zest and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Serve with a hunk of bread or steamed rice.

Pixar Style Ratatouille



Real Recipe: Bison (or Beef) Braised in White Wine, Finished with Figs and Raisins

By Mario Fiorucci, Co-Founder of The Healthy Butcher

About this recipe.

This recipe is one of my all time favourites.  Most people automatically assume that beef or bison, being big red meat, must be paired with red wine when stewed; on the contrary, white wine works wonders to bring out the delicate flavour of quality red meat.  The addition of figs and raisins brings sweetness at an equal level to the savoriness of a meat stew.


  • 2-3 lbs beef stew or bison stew or beef blade steaks or bison blade steaks
  • Olive oil and butter
  • 3 carrots
  • 3-4 celery stalks
  • 6 or so garlic cloves
  • 4 cups beef stock (if bison or game stock is available, go with that!)
  • 2-3 cups white wine
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Good handful of dried figs
  • Good handful of raisins (I prefer golden or Sultanas, but any raisins will do)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A large pot, preferably an enameled cast iron French oven about 5-6 litres.


1. Season the blade steaks generously with salt and pepper. Heat the pot and place butter and olive oil inside. Sear the meat on both sides (you’ll have to do this in batches, don’t crowd the meat), then remove from heat and set aside.

2. Add vegetables and garlic and sweat over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits (deglazing).

3. Add wine and reduce at least half way.

4. Place meat back in pan, add stock to just barely cover the meat, then bring to a bare simmer (add more wine if you wish as well).  Add thyme and bay leaves, and check the seasoning of the liquid. It should be fully seasoned now so add salt and pepper if it is needed. Cover with a tight fitting lid and continue cooking on stove top or in oven at 300˚F to 325.

5. After about 2 hours, remove the meat and strain the liquid.  Add back the meat, figs and raisins, bring back to a bare simmer.   Depending on the pot you are using and the exact quantity of meat, it will another hour or two before it is finished.  Remove the meat when “fork-tender”.  The meat will get very tough during the cooking process so don’t worry.  If you are using blade steaks instead of stewing meat, they will fall apart so you may find it best to separate nice pieces of meat and serve on top of a bed of mashed potatoes or yams.

6. About 15 minutes before serving, strain some of the braising liquid into a pot or saucier and reduce it until thick; drizzle this sauce over your finished dish.  Enjoy!


Real Recipe: Mexican Chili Braised Short Ribs

Original recipe published by Ronny Joseph for Primal Gourmet
Find more delicious Paleo-inspired recipes and inspiration here!

Primal-Gourmet-Mexican-Chili-Braised-Shortribs-03Texture and flavour – make this dish for your friends and family and unleash your Primal Gourmet!

Patience and technique are rewarded in this killer Mexican Chili Braised Short Rib recipe. The idea here is to take a tougher, less coveted and more affordable cut of meat, show it a lot of love and use minimal ingredients to showcase its naturally delicious flavour! This recipe is adapted from one of my all-time favorites from Bobby Flay. The paleo version, however, is best served on a bed of cilantro-chili-lime cauliflower rice (recipe on my YouTube channel) and with a big dollop of my Chipotle Guacamole (also on my YouTube channel). Make this dish for your friends and family and unleash your Primal Gourmet!

Continue reading

Real Recipe: Chimichurri Braised Short Ribs

Original article published by Davida Kugelmass for The Healthy Maven
For more recipes, inspiration and events, visit www.thehealthymaven.com

Chimichurri Braised Short Ribs-001The Healthy Maven’s blog is all about eating real and unprocessed food, getting creative in the kitchen and leading an active and balanced lifestyle. We could all use a little more kale AND wine in our lives.

About this recipe.

This is a deliciously flavourful dish; an upgrade to your plain ‘ole short ribs. It’s sure to ignite your tastebuds – especially as we transition into BBQ season!

Continue reading

Real Recipe: Hearty Beef Stew

Original article published by Katherine Mossop for KatherineMossop.com

Beef_Stew_IGAbout this recipe.

There is nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of beef stew on a cold wintry day. Stews are hearty, versatile and satisfying. Their meat and vegetable combos can vary, as can the thickness of its soup-like broth. Low and slow cooking renders tougher cuts of meat into mouth watering deliciousness. Ah yes, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The versatility in its nutrition is incredibly varied, from its array of vitamins and minerals from the meat and veg, to its collagen-rich gelatin content depending on whether you use a stock or bone broth as the base. Stews can be whatever you imagine just by changing up your ingredients and spices. Much like soups, they can be good for what ails you.

Continue reading

Real Recipe: The Healthy Butcher’s Famous Pulled Pork

The Healthy Butcher’s Famed Recipe.



The history of pulled pork is extensive, with most recipes originating from the southern U.S., where it is typical for most households to have some sort of homemade smoker in their backyard.  Pulled Pork is often made exclusively in a smoker, slowly cooked over coals for several hours.

Continue reading

Braised Comfort

Roast Beef is not only a food. It is a philosophy. Seated at Life’s Dining Table, with the menu of Morals before you, your eye wanders a bit over the entrees, the hors d’oeuvres, and the things although you know that Roast Beef is safe and sane, and sure.

Edna Ferber, American writer (1887-1968)


It’s that time of year again. The beautiful colours of fall have vanished, leaving us with brisk winter temperatures and the craving for good ‘ole comfort foods. The delicate flavours of food & wine that we enjoyed during spring and summer lack the oomph that our palates (and padding) require during winter. In this issue of Live to Eat, we will explore the magical cooking technique of braising – the technique behind France’s famous coq au vin and boeuf bourguignonne and Italy’s osso buco.

Now simmer down. “Braising” may sound like one of those complicated culinary terms, but what we’re talking about here is a pot roast. Basically, braising is cooking food in a relatively small amount of liquid in a closed container over a long period of time. Magically, braising can turn a tough and inexpensive cut of meat into a tender, heart warming, and hearty dish.

How does braising work its magic you ask? Well, tough cuts of meat come from well used muscles that contain a higher amount of a connective tissue called collagen. When cooked slowly in liquid, collagen is converted to gelatin, the substance that brings body and decadence to your palate. The “wet heat” from cooking in liquid is essential in this process because the liquid transfers heat more effectively than dry heat. If you were to use a dry heat-cooking method with a tough cut of meat, such as oven roasting, the outer portions of the meat would become over cooked, dry, and tough long before the internal temperature of the meat becomes high enough to break down the collagen.

Continue reading