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Sinful Summer Flavors
Executive Chef Vlad Ahmadyarov of the Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel shares its Pork Belly with Cane Syrup and Apple Cider Glaze and Mango and Mirliton Relish
2 pounds pork belly
Sea salt and black pepper
4 fresh bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
4 star anise
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
2 quarts chicken stock
1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Score the pork belly skin diagonally in a diamond pattern at 1/2-inch intervals. Season generously with salt and pepper, rubbing it well into the skin.
Put the bay leaves, garlic, cardamom, star anise and half the fennel seeds into a hot roasting tray on the stove with a little oil and heat for about 2 minutes until aromatic. Push to the side of the tray, then add the pork, skin side down, and cook for at least 5 minutes until golden brown. Turn the pork over, season the skin again with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the remaining fennel seeds. Pour in enough stock to come up to the layer of fat just below the skin and allow to boil.
Transfer the tray to the preheated oven and cook for 2½ hours. After meat is cooked, transfer it to a pan and set aside to rest for 20 min. Put another pan on top of the pork and press it with weight. Transfer to a refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Take out and cut it in squares about 2.5-by-2.5 inches.
Cane Syrup and Apple Cider Glaze
½ cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup Steen’s Cane Syrup
¼ pound butter, cold
Bring sugar, apple cider vinegar and cane syrup to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly ,until it’s reduced half-way, then add butter and whisk.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mango and Mirliton Relish
1 pound mango, peeled and cut
into ¼-inch dice
1 pound mirliton, peeled, seeded and
cut into 1/4-inch dice
(should yield 2 cups)
½ cup red onion, chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons turmeric
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 pieces clove
3 pieces garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
In a medium stockpot combine all pickling juice ingredients and bring to a boil. Add mirlitons, mango and the rest of the vegetables. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Sterilize preserving jars and keep hot. Soak the lids and keep hot. Pack each jar tightly with the vegetables, dividing them evenly, and enough of the hot liquid to come within 1/2-inch of the top. Store in a cool dry place. Let age for 2-3 weeks.
Once ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the pork belly portions from the fridge and add a dash of oil to a hot pan. Once oil is hot, add pork and sear evenly all over, then transfer to oven for 4-5 minutes to heat through.
Meanwhile, drain and pat dry 1 Tablespoon Mango Relish.
To serve, place pork on a plate, scatter relish and finish with some drizzles of the glaze on pork and around the plate. Garnish with micro herbs if available. Serve immediately.
The Grill Room
Windsor Court Hotel
300 Gravier St., 522-1994