This recipe is about the eggs but also about the pork belly. I “cure” the meat with herbs and sugar and salt and then roast it, at which point it’s ready to slice and cook just like bacon. It tastes a little like bacon but is somewhat stronger. I like it better.  

 

Serves 4 to 6  

 

Ingredients

1 cup kosher salt  

1 cup sugar  

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper  

1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds  

1/4 teaspoon ground anise  

2 whole cloves  

2 bay leaves, broken in pieces  

1 pound pork belly  

1 dozen organic pullet eggs or any high-quality organic hen eggs  

 

Steps

  1. Stir together the salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Spread half of this mixture in the bottom of a glass or ceramic dish large enough to hold the pork belly.
  2. Mix together the pepper, coriander seeds, anise, cloves, and bay leaves in another small bowl. Sprinkle the pork belly with the spice mixture. Rub it into all sides. Put the pork in the dish on top of the salt-and-sugar mixture. Spread the remaining sugar and salt over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  4. Lift the pork belly from the dish and rinse the meat with cool running water to remove the spices. Pat dry with paper towels then place in a roasting pan. Roast, fat side up, for about 11/2 hours, or until some of the fat renders and begins to brown. Remove the pork belly from the oven. Set aside to cool completely. When cool, wrap the pork belly in plastic wrap or put in a clean dish. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, until chilled.
  5. Slice the pork belly across the grain into strips that resemble thick bacon. Each slice should be about 1/4″ thick.
  6. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the slices of pork belly for 6 to 8 minutes, or until crisp and browned. Spoon off the fat as it renders so that the pork slices are not swimming in fat. Drain the slices on paper towels.
  7. Bring a deep skillet filled with water to a rapid simmer over medium heat. Crack one of the eggs onto a saucer or similar small dish. Slide the egg into the water and poach for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the white sets.
  8. Repeat with the remaining eggs. With a slotted spoon, lift the poached eggs from the poaching water and serve on a plate with the fried pork belly.  

 

Note:I like to roast halved or quartered eggplant in a 375°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes (depending on the size of the eggplant), or until it softens and feels very tender when pierced with a knife. You can also use grilled eggplant for this recipe. Halve or quarter the eggplant, sprinkle the cut sides with olive oil and salt, and roast, cut sides down. Let the roasted eggplant cool for about 10 minutes, during which time the flesh will collapse. You can use leftover cooked eggplant for this as long as it’s not too heavily seasoned.  

 

Photo Courtesy of Andre Baranowski.  Baranowski is a NY based food photographer and was the principal photographer for Michel Nischan’s cookbook – Sustainably Delicious.