Pork Belly and Scallop Starter with Coffee Glaze

Chuck Hughes' slow-braised pork belly is paired perfectly with a delicate scallop drizzled with a thick coffee glaze.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 50 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 3 hr 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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For the pork belly: 

2 pounds fresh pork belly

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil 

1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped

1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 fennel bulb, quartered

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

4 cups veal stock

1 cup hard cider or apple juice

For the scallops:

4 large scallops

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the coffee glaze:

Braising liquid

1 teaspoon black coffee

1 tablespoon honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the pork belly: Season the pork belly with salt and pepper. On medium-high heat, in half the oil, sear the meat in an oven-proof casserole dish on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion, fennel, thyme, and peppercorns and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until caramelized. Add the veal stock and hard cider. Cover the casserole dish with a lid, or securely with tin foil, and braise the pork belly in the oven for 3 hours, until tender. Remove the pork belly from the oven and set aside on an aluminum-foil covered plate. Strain the leftover liquid with a large sieve over a stockpot, discard the vegetables and skim the excess fat from the braising liquid. Heat a pan on high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Cut the pork belly into 4 equal pieces and sear on all sides until crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm. Before this step, reduce the glaze.
  3. For the glaze: Start by reducing the braising liquid by half for about 15 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the coffee and honey and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, until it thickens. You will know the sauce is done when it coats the back of a spoon. Set aside. For the scallops: Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In the same hot pan as the pork belly, sear the scallops on both sides for about 1 minute.
  4. For serving: Drizzle the coffee glaze over the pork belly. Top with a scallop. Season with sea salt and serve.
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