Sisig (Version 1): Slow-Cooked Pork Belly

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Nastasha's Slow-Cooked Pork Belly Sisig Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 cups pineapple juice 500 mL, plus 1/4 cup for braising
  • 1 kg pork belly from an Asian butcher, which somehow has a leaner cut of fat, skin-on
  • 1 onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 green Thai chilies bird's eye, de-seeded and chopped
  • 3 red Thai chilies bird's eye, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon halved

Instructions

  1. Dump the bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and pineapple juice into your slow cooker; give it a stir.
  2. On a chopping block, cut the pork belly into 5-6 large slabs. With their skins positioned vertically, nestle all the pieces snugly into the slow cooker. Slosh the braising liquid around to ensure each piece is coated. If the liquid does not come right up to the tops of the pork belly slabs, pour in the additional pineapple juice.
  3. Set your slow cooker on low and leave the pork to braise for 6 hours.
  4. Once the pork belly slabs are ready, take each piece out and set them on a wire rack above a baking sheet. Cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Set a cast-iron pan over medium to pre-heat.
  6. Transfer the pork belly back to the chopping block and cut each slab across the grain into 1 cm thick slices. Each slice should have the skin, fat and meat on. Divide slices into two batches for searing.
  7. Lay pork belly slices down into the pre-heated pan using a pair of large tongs. Sear for about 6 minutes on each side, or until a golden brown crust develops on the side in direct contact with the pan. If you have a splatter screen, now is the time to use it, otherwise be very careful about standing near that pan. There will be lots of sizzling and popping as the pork fat renders!
  8. Transfer the seared slices back onto the wire rack above a baking sheet, then pour out all the rendered fat into a glass jar.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the second batch of pork belly slices. Let all seared slices cool on the wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Take the cooled slices back to your chopping block and pile 4-5 pork belly slices into individual stacks. Slice each of these stacks across the grain into roughly 1/2-cm thick slices (or about half the width of your finger). Set aside.
  11. Add 1 tbsp of the rendered pork fat back into the cast-iron pan, and heat the pan over medium. Add the garlic and brown for 3 minutes, then toss in the onions and cook down until they soften, about 8 minutes.
  12. Add all the pork belly slices back into the pan. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring often to ensure the pieces become caramelized as evenly as possible in the pan. Add the green chilies, red chilies and vinegar; cook for another 6 minutes.
  13. Take your pan off the heat, and squeeze one half of the lemon over top. Reserve juice from other half of the lemon to adjust individual servings of sisig to each person's taste.
  14. Serve sisig over steamed white rice in a roughly one-to-one ratio. Enjoy with a light lager. It isn't proper pulutan without a cold one!

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