Pork Belly and Braised Endive Sandwich

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There is pleasure in simplicity. This sandwich is a simple pleasure for sure. Pork and endive. Both carefully prepared so that their best qualities come forward.

Pork Belly and Braised Endive Sandwich

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Ingredients

  • 1½ pound boneless pork belly, skin on
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 cup chicken stock, approximately
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 heads endive, leaves separated
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • dijon mustard, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet set over medium heat. Lay the meat, skin side down, in the skillet and cook, undisturbed for about 15 minutes. The key to crispiness is to not disturb the meat while it cooks. It will stick at first. But it will unstick itself when ready. At that point transfer the meat to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Reserving the excess for later.

Add the onion, carrots, celery, leek and garlic to the hot skillet. Cook stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Return the meat to the skillet, skin side up this time, and add about 2 cups of chicken stock. Just enough to surround the meat with out submerging it. Bring to the stock to a simmer, then transfer the skillet to the oven uncovered. Cook the meat about 1 hour, then add more stock to adjust the level in the skillet. Continue cooking until the meat is fork tender, about 30 more minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and let the meat cool somewhat it the liquid.

Once cool enough to handle, gently peel off the skin, cut the meat into 3/8-inch thick slices and return it to the skillet. Set aside in a warm place, but don’t cover the skillet so that the meat will stay crisp.

In a separate skillet heat about 2 tablespoons of the reserved fat over medium heat. If need be add a bit of oil to get the proper amount of fat. Add the caraway seeds and toss, heating them until fragrant. Add the endive leaves and saute them until they are wilted and beginning to brown. Add the sugar, vinegar, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced and the endive leaves get very soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Slice the ciabatta rolls in half, spread the mustard on the bottom half. Top with pork belly slices, followed by the endive. Close the sandwiches and serve.