tangerine + tarragon infused pork belly : sous vide 36h 140ºF

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Leaving even a crockpot alone in my apartment freaks me out. The idea of something generating heat and being unattended at the same time is a bit unsettling and has never happened under my watch. I don’t even own a crockpot, but I have an immersion circulator which I’ve used quite a bit but never left running overnight not to mention, running while I was away at work during the day.

After some reading, and checking with some of my blogger friends about the safety of doing this, specially after getting some advice from Stefan from stefangourmet.com, (wonderful chef and sous vide expert), I decided to prepare something different this time. It was very exciting to learn more about slow cooking using the sous vide technique, the flavor development is as you can imagine, crazy good, and the tenderness of this meat was out of this world. Ready for some extreme slow but delicious cooking action?  I am! 

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Oranges and tarragon, great pairing, never tried it with pork, but it worked deliciously! Pork goes really well with sweet and sour ingredients. I used tangerines because they seemed riper and sweeter than their orange friends that day. This is one of the bests things I’ve eaten.

Gear:

cutting board + Knife
immersion circulator
vacuum sealer
plastic bag
strainer
garlic press
butchers twine
sauce pan
long tongs
medium size ramekin

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Ingredients:

500g pork belly

for marinade:
1 shallot coarsely chopped
2 tangerines: reserve juice and skin
2 garlic cloves pressed
tarragon leaves (30g)
pinch of maldon salt
pinch black pepper
vegetable oil to fill a 1.5 quart sauce pan 3/4 of the way for deep frying.

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Method: 
Marinade:
01: blanche tannerie skin for about 2 minutes to tame bitterness
02: simmer juice, salt, garlic, tarragon and skins together for about 2 minutes
03: let cool down in the fridge for about an hour

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Pork Belly:

01: cut a slab of pork belly about 500g, tie it with twine
02: blanch in boiling water for a minute to sterilize  no need!
03: place into a plastic bag for vacuum sealing
04: pour tangerine/tarragon marinade inside bag
05: vacuum seal
06: cook sous vide for 36 hours at 140f
07: remove from water bath and refrigerate overnight
08: cut bag open, place pork belly and its gelatinized marinade on a deep plate
09: microwave for about 2 minutes to liquify marinade
10: remove tangerine skins, reserve marinade
11: reduce marinade in a microwave, about 2 minutes or napper consistency
12: cut pork belly into cubes
13: flash fry each cube at 450 until golden, 30 secs to a min.
14: dry on paper towels
15: plate glazing with tangerine reduction
16: add maldon salt to taste

pork belly goodness getting its deep frying bath!

hope you enjoy this dish and comments, ideas, suggestions are always welcome!
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9 comments

  1. WOW. Go you! I don’t have a sous vide machine (yet); this post is tipping the balance in favor of getting one. (But first: an ice cream maker.) I love the way you think. Tangerine + tarragon + PORK BELLY. Gorgeous!

    1. Susan! thank you 🙂 I love this sous vide circulator, it has taught me tons about cooking and food safety. I got mine on Ebay, some good deals there, and before that, I was using a probe thermometer, a stove, a stock pot full of water and tons of patience heheheh. I don’t have an ice cream maker, but when I make ice cream, I use my stand mixer and some crushed dry ice, works great and is super fast.

  2. Great post, Paul! Thanks for the mention 🙂
    I’m really glad you’ve took the step to cook something sous-vide overnight. I really like the ideas you’ve used in this post: combining pork with citrus, and deep frying the pork belly in cubes. Especially the latter is something I’ll have to try!
    P.S. I don’t think sterilizing the pork is really necessary, as it will be pasteurized for sure after 36 hours at 140 degrees.

    1. thanks Stefan! and you’re welcome, I’ve learned tons about sous vide by talking to you. And yes, when I was writing this post, I was like, why the hell did I blanch the pork, it will surely be pasteurized when it’s out of the water bath 🙂 oh well, you live you learn. I’ll remove the blanching step from the method section. thanks!

      1. I have some pork belly cubes with 5 spice in the SV at 140 degrees as I write this. Will deep fry them and serve them with Indonesian style sweet & sour sauce tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

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