Pork Belly Slices with Coffee and Treacle

Coffee-and-treacle-brined pork belly with rice and beans

  • serves 4-6
  • Easy

Check out this indulgent pork belly recipe, soaked in a rich and salty brine. Serve with plenty of sides and rice dishes for a show-stopping spread

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*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards

Brining – soaking in a salty solution – works brilliantly to tenderise and add moisture to meat. The salt opens up the proteins in the meat and allows water, and flavours, to penetrate. Pork is an ideal candidate for brining as it can have a tendency to toughen when cooked. The flavoured rice has a hint of the Caribbean – if you want it spicier, add a finely chopped scotch bonnet chilli in place of the dried chilli flakes

Ingredients

  • ground coffee 2 tbsp
  • black treacle 2 tbsp
  • coarse sea salt 2 tbsp
  • boneless pork belly slices 8 slices (about 1.2kg), or use 2kg bone-in pork ribs if you prefer
  • green salad to serve
  • avocado sliced, to serve
  • lime wedges to serve

RICE AND BEANS

  • basmati rice 300g
  • olive oil 2 tbsp
  • onion 1 large, finely chopped
  • thyme 3-4 sprigs
  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed
  • dried chilli flakes a pinch, (optional)
  • black-eyed beans 400g tin, drained and rinsed

Method

  • Step 1

    Put the coffee into a cafetière, pour over 400ml boiling water and stir well. Allow it to brew for a couple of minutes before plunging and pouring into a jug. Heat a tablespoon in a mug of boiling water for a few seconds and use to measure the treacle into the coffee – it will slide off the hot spoon. Add the salt and stir until both are fully dissolved. Cool.

  • Step 2

    Put the pork belly slices (or ribs) into a large food bag and pour over the cooled brine. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag up tight – this will ensure the brine fully covers the pork. Put the bag into a bowl and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight – the flavour will deepen the longer you leave it.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Drain the brine from the pork and spread out into a large roasting tray in a single layer. Put into the oven and cook for 1 hour.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, tip the rice into a bowl, cover with lots of cold water and leave to soak for an hour. Heat the oil in a pan and very gently cook the onions and thyme for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until really soft and caramelised. Turn up the heat, add the garlic and chilli flakes, if using, and cook for a couple of minutes.

  • Step 5

    Drain the rice well and add to the onions along with the beans and some seasoning, stirring well. Pour in enough boiling water to come 1cm above the rice level and bring to the boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and boil for 2 minutes before turning off the heat. Leave, undisturbed, without removing the lid, for 15 minutes, then fluff up the grains with a fork.

  • Step 6

    Remove the pork from the oven and turn up the heat to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Turn the pork over and put back into the oven for 20 minutes until caramelised. Serve with the rice, a green salad, avocado and lime wedges.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 802
  • Fat 44.6g
  • Saturates 15.3g
  • Carbs 51.5g
  • Sugars 4.2g
  • Fibre 4.1g
  • Protein 46.6g
  • Salt 1.9g
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