Pork Belly With Leeks & Prunes

This was a relatively quick & easy meal. I put the pork on the day before in the Sousvide Supreme so I only had to worry about the veg when it came to Sunday evening. Leeks with prunes, I decided, would go well with the rich pork belly – the buttery silkiness of the leek and the deep sweetness of the prunes. A squeeze of lime to send it on its way and we’re good to go. I made a chicken stock gravy to go with it and big old pile of mashed potato but you could get away without either and just serve the pork with the leeks.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the pork belly

  • 1 slab of pork belly – as big as you like
  • Sea salt and black pepper.

For the leeks and prunes

  • 2 leeks – sliced in half lengthways, washed and then sliced into 1cm wide cuts
  • 1 handful of prunes
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • A decent knob of butter
  • Salt & black pepper.

For the chicken stock gravy

  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • 2 carrots – sliced
  • 1 leek – sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sauce flour
  • Salt and black pepper.

For the mashed potato

  • Maris piper potatos
  • A good knob of butter
  • Plenty of salt & pepper.

Season the pork belly and seal in a vacuum bag. Cook in a pre-heated water bath at 60c for 24 hours.
Sweat down the gravy vegetables over a low heat in a little oil for 15 minutes. Pour in the hot stock and allow to simmer very gently for 1 hour. Strain, reduce further for another 30 minutes. Thicken with a little sauce flour mixed with water. Season to taste.
Cook the leeks in a little olive oil and decent chunk of butter for a couple of minutes. Add the prunes and cook for another 2 minutes. Season the leeks and squeeze over the lime juice.
The mashed potato was as simple as it comes – these really weren’t refined – sometimes I like a good, think chunky mashed potato rather than ultra smooth style. Cook the potatoes until tender, drain, add a generous chunk of butter and mash until you’re happy with the consistency. Season to taste.
Remove the pork belly from the vacuum bag, remove the top-most layer of skin/fat from the meat and discard. Sear the belly in a hot pan for a couple of minutes to develop flavour, colour and texture.
Serve the pork belly on the bed of leeks.