Gastropub Belly and Sucker
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Recipe courtesy of Tavern on 2

Belly and Sucker

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 14 hr (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings




Carrot Caramel:

Black Currant Vinaigrette:



  1. For the pork: Season the pork generously on both sides with salt and sugar. Allow to "dry brine" for about an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pork in a casserole dish. Add the garlic, ginger and enough beer to reach halfway up the belly. Cover in plastic wrap, then foil and roast until tender, about 3 hours. Remove the pork from the pan and press between 2 cookie sheets, weighing down the top with a couple of cans. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. For the octopus: Place the octopus in large pot with the red onion, garlic and bay leaves. Season with salt and cover with water. Bring to a low simmer and cook until a paring knife goes in easily in the thickest part of the tentacle, about 3 hours. Let cool, then refrigerate in the cooking liquid overnight.
  4. For the carrot caramel: Place the carrot juice in a small sauce pot. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Whisk in the butter and season with salt.
  5. For the black currant vinaigrette: Combine the wine, vinegar, currants, salt and pepper in a sauce pot and simmer until the currants are plump, 5 to 10 minutes. Check the seasoning. The vinaigrette should be tart and sweet.
  6. To assemble: Slice the pork belly into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Remove the tentacles from the octopus and discard the body. Season the pork and octopus with salt. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and sear the pork until GBD (golden brown and delicious). Heat a second cast-iron pan over high heat and sear the octopus until GBD. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to dry.
  7. To plate: Place about 1 tablespoon of the carrot caramel on each plate, arrange the pork and octopus on it, dress with the black currant vinaigrette and garnish with the radish, cilantro, parsley and watercress.