Hands up who's been watching Masterchef this year? Regular readers, I'll spare you my annual (Maggie) Beer-Bashing and summarise in point-form my current musings:
- Shannon Bennett is like the protective, older brother I never had. Don't you just feel like if you had a Shannon Bennett in your life he'd totally be watching your back? But not in a way like you'd want him to be your boyfriend because, let's face it, the guy looks like Grug, but definitely older brother material;
- I'm getting one step closer to my long-suspected theory that Curtis Stone wears eyeliner and I'm starting to wonder what brand because even under immense pressure that shit just NEVER smudges. I need makeup tips from Curtis Stone;
- John: please stop putting the contents of the entire pantry into your dishes. It's a mystery BOX challenge, not a mystery PANTRY. Also, I want to punch you in the face when you ignore the judges advice EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK;
- Contestants in general: please stop making dishes you've never made before, I'm tired of acting surprised when it doesn't work out, but also please do not make family dishes you've made a billion times because *yawn*. Preferably make things you've made on average 2-3 times before, just enough to have perfected it but not enough that you have montage-worthy, tearful flashbacks to making it with your Nonna;
- I'm totally Mrs Robinson-ing over Reynold right now. The guy is totes adorbs and can make desserts. Ladies, he MAKES DESSERTS.
black tea and bourbon pork belly
1.2kg pork belly
2 tbsp rice bran oil
1/2 cup honey
5 English Breakfast tea bags
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp bourbon
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Brown rice, to serve
Steamed Asian greens, to serve
Cut pork belly lengthways into three, long strips of equal width. From each strip, cut thin slices (about 1cm thick). Season well with salt and pepper.
To make sauce, brew teabags in 2 cups boiling water for 5 mins. Discard tea bags. Put tea, honey, sugar and vinegar into a medium size saucepan. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for about 20 mins or until the mixture has reduced down to 3/4 cup. Stir through bourbon.
Meanwhile, heat rice bran oil in a large frypan over a high heat. Lay pork belly strips in the pan in a single layer (you may need to do this in two batches). Fry for about 5 mins each side (when the fat renders down it will sizzle and spit so you may want to use the pan lid as a shield - be careful!) or until the pork is well browned on both sides and the skin is super crispy. Remove pork strips from pan and drain on absorbent towel.
Add fried pork strips to sauce, toss to coat then serve on top of brown rice and asian greens.