Maria Elia's Slow-Braised Pork Belly with Wilted Greens, Olives And Capers



  • • (3lb 5oz) piece of pork belly
  • • A good glug of olive oil
  • • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • • 1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • • 6 anchovies, finely chopped
  • • (12fl oz) white wine
  • • (11/2 pints) chicken stock
  • • (1lb 2oz-1lb 4oz) mixed leafy greens, such as a mix of spinach, chard (red or green), kale, dandelion or similar, torn into rough pieces
  • • (7oz) broccoli, roughly chopped
  • • (1 3/4 oz) capers, rinsed
  • • (3 1/2 oz) pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • • Juice of 1/2 lemon, to taste
  • • (1 1/4 oz) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes Serves: 4

  1. Remove the skin from the pork belly and cut the meat into four equal pieces; season each with sea salt. Heat a little olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the pork and cook over a high heat until browned on each side. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onion, leek, fennel, garlic and anchovies to the pan and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion and leeks are tender. Return the pork to the pan, add the wine and heat until reduced by half.
  3. Add the chicken stock (this should be about 2cm short of covering the pork) then bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1½ hours.
  4. Add the greens, broccoli, capers and olives and stir to combine the leaves with the cooking liquor. Cover and simmer for a further 30 minutes, by which time the pork should be tender and the greens and broccoli wilted. If necessary, continue to cook the pork, covered, until the meat is tender (the time taken will depend on the thickness of the belly). Remove the pork and leave it to rest in a warm place.
  5. Add the lemon juice and season the greens to taste. Stir in the parsley and serve in deep bowls.

Maria Elia Cooks Slow-Braised Pork Belly

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