Slow-cooked Pork Belly with Peas
2 lbs. Pork Belly (or pork shoulder, if pork belly is unavailable)
1 Dried bay leaf
1 Sprig of fresh thyme
½ cup Pearl onions (peeled and washed)
1 lbs. Fresh green peas (shucked)
1 pint Chicken stock (unsalted)
2 tbsp. Unsalted butter
1 tsp. Minced garlic
Pinch of Maldon salt
Cut pork belly into chunks (so it fits into a slow cooker). Add pork belly to slow cooker with chicken stock, pepper, salt, thyme and bay leaf and cover. Cook on low for 6 hours.
When done, remove pork and place in the refrigerator on a half sheet pan. Reserve the cooking stock from slow cooker. Place another sheet pan on top of pork and weight it with a cast iron skillet or brick to flatten it out. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely cold.
When ready to serve, pull pork out of the fridge, and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. In a very hot cast iron pan, brown pork skin side down until the skin is crispy.
Place browned pork in a casserole dish. In a saucepan over medium heat, add all the cooking stock from the slow cooker, reserving about 6 oz. Simmer until it is reduced by half (to concentrate the flavors). Pour reduced cooking stock over pork in the casserole dish and cover with tin foil. Place it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 325 degrees, or until the pork is warmed through.
Cook pearl onions in butter with the chopped garlic and with a little of the cooking stock for 10 minutes in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add peas and cook 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and place atop of the pork when ready to serve. Enjoy!