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Pork belly with a sticky pomegranate glaze: You can make it in advance and warm it up in the oven - another benefit when you're cooking for a crowd over the holidays.
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Pork Belly with a Sticky Pomegranate Glaze

Pork belly with a sticky pomegranate glaze is a gorgeous and festive dish that really bursts with flavor. The delicious sauce is made with a reduction of pomegranate juice and traditional holiday spices like cinnamon and allspice. You can make it in advance and warm it up in the oven - another benefit when you're cooking for a crowd over the holidays.
Serves six people
Course Dinner, holiday, Main Course, meat, pork
Cuisine Italian
Keyword holiday, pomegranates, pork belly
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 6
Calories 996kcal

Equipment

  • A heavy bottom oven proof baking pan with a lid, large enough to hold all the pork in one layer (or a bit more than a layer). I suggest a Le Creuset pan or Emile Henri pan. Both are oven to table.
  • A juicer for the pomegranate juice.

Ingredients

For the pork belly:

  • 1 kg pork belly cut into roughly 3 cm thick, 4 cm wide and 7 cm long pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the glaze:

  • cup pomegranate arils seed pods
  • 400 mL pomegranate juice
  • 1 medium lemon juiced
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 piece two inch long cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 handful fresh parsley minced

Instructions

For the pomegranate juice and arils (seeds):

  • You may find it simpler to buy pomegranate juice unless you have an abundance of pomegranates on hand to juice, about 30 or 40.
  • Use a wooden spoon to firmly rap each pomegranate on all sides of the surface. This will help to loosen the arils.
  • Fill a sink with cold water.
  • Gently pull apart each pomegranate and remove the arils from the white inner pulp. The arils will sink and the white pulp will float to the top.
    Pomegranate arils (seeds) I keep pomegranates in my kitchen year round as they're purported to bring good luck. So beautiful, they're a lovely addition to any table centerpiece. And best of all their clusters of juicy seeds are delicious tossed into salads, or made into juice.
  • Throw away the pomegranate skin and pulp and set the arils aside in a bowl.
    Pomegranate arils
  • Repeat this process with each pomegranate until you have enough for the juice and the reserved arils.
  • Place the arils in a juicer and juice until you have 400 milliliters.

For the glaze:

  • Place the pomegranate juice in a large bowl and add the lemon juice, honey, red wine vinegar, cinnamon stick, allspice and salt.
  • Whisk together and set aside.

Cook the pork belly:

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C / 300°F
  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil in the baking pan.
  • Brown the pork belly on all sides until just turning golden, without overcrowding, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
    Pork belly pieces for Pork Belly with a Sticky Pomegranate Glaze recipe
  • Pour the glaze ingredients over the pork, cover the pan and bake for one hour.
  • It's a good idea to check the pork every 20 minutes or so to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pan or burning.
  • After an hour take the pan out of the oven, remove the pork with the slotted spoon and set aside.
  • There will be a lot of fat in the sauce and if you wish you can put the sauce in a dish in the refrigerator until the fat floats to the surface and congeals.
  • Remove most of the fat and discard.
  • Return the sauce to the baking pan.
  • Cook over a low flame until the sauce reduces and thickens.
  • Raise the oven temperature to 170°C / 340°F.
  • Return the pork to the baking dish and place in the oven.
  • Bake for an additional 45 minutes until the pork is tender and coming off the bone.
  • (While the pork is cooking finely mince the parsley and set aside.)
  • Check the baking pan every 15 minutes to make sure there is still enough sauce in the pan and the pork doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add a bit of water if necessary.
  • After 45 minutes remove the pan from the oven and place stove top.
  • The sauce should now be a thick and sticky glaze.
  • If the glaze still needs to reduce further you can do this stove top over a low flame, with the lid removed.
  • Add additional salt to the glaze, to taste.
  • Pork Belly with a Sticky Pomegranate Glaze is a perfect make ahead holiday dish!
  • Serve it right in the baking pan or remove the pork to a serving platter.
  • Sprinkle with the reserved pomegranate arils and minced parsley.

Notes

Make ahead note:
Cool the pork belly to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.
Bring the pork belly to room temperature, then warm stove top over a low flame before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 150grams | Calories: 996kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 93g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 45g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 837mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg