Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad w/Pork Belly croutons

While visiting Vancouver last summer, my girlfriend and I had the chance to eat at a great restaurant called The Flying Pig in Gastown. Hot summer day, patio seats, wine, beer & lots of great food. Gratin brussels sprouts & Caesar salad with pork belly croutons were the two dishes that stood out the most to us and has lead me into this recipe here.

The key to this recipe is to braise the pork belly the day before and allowing it to cool in the braising liquid overnight. Also, be careful when pan frying. This is a fatty piece and will crackle, spraying oil everywhere, so if possible, use a cover if you have one. The result is worth it.

Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad w/Pork Belly Croutons
For the pork belly croutons: set oven to 350f
1.2 lbs Pork belly, halved
1/2 White onion, large dice
3 Celery stalks, large dice
4 Garlic cloves
1 bunch Fresh thyme sprigs
1 tbsp Dried oregano
1.5 cup Chicken stock
1 cup Pineapple juice
Directions:
1. Cover braising pan with tin foil. Place in the oven and braise until pork belly is tender.
Approx. 2.5 – 3 hrs.
2. Allow to cool down before placing in the oven overnight.
3. The next day, remove the pork belly from the braising liquid. Remove any fat that accumulates
on top of the braising liquid. Strain out remaining ingredients and reserve the braising liquid
for use in cooking the brussel sprouts.
4. Cut the pork belly into large crouton sized pieces.
5. Using a little bit of vegetable oil, pan fry the pork belly pieces until completely browned on all
sides.
6. Remove croutons from the pan and place in a bowl, toss with salt & pepper and place on a
plate lined with paper towel to soak up extra grease.
For the brussels sprouts: set broiler to 385f
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed and halved
1 cup Apple juice
1 cup Pork belly braising liquid
pinch Kosher salt
light drizzle Extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
1. Place brussels sprouts in a pan & cover with apple juice and braising liquid.
2. Bring to a gentle simmer, and cook until brussel sprouts are beginning to get soft.
3. Remove sprouts from liquid, place in a bowl & toss with kosher salt & olive oil.
4. Place sprouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place in the oven & cook for
approx. 8 – 10 minutes, until sprouts are beginning to brown.
For the avocado caesar dressing:
A 1 Egg yolk
1 tbsp Grainy dijon
1 tbsp Anchovy, minced
1 small Avocado
50 ml White balsamic vinegar
B 150 ml Grapeseed oil
C splash Worcestershire shire
splash Tabasco sauce
to taste Kosher salt
to taste Cracked black pepper
Directions:
1. Place all A ingredients and food processor and blitz to form a smooth, paste like consistency.
2. While blitzing, pour in grapeseed oil in a slow steady stream until dressing emulsifies and
flavors become balance.
4. Adjust seasoning with all C ingredients.
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