Tuesday, August 27, 2013

PBLT's: Georgia Peaches, Sorghum Braised Pork Belly, Heirloom Tomatoes, Mixed Spring Greens & Herbs, + Homemade Jalapeno Aioli on Bacon Fat Fried Bread

PBLT's: Georgia Peaches, Sorghum Braised Pork Belly, Heirloom Tomatoes, Mixed Spring
Greens & Herbs, + Homemade Jalapeno Aioli on Bacon Fat Fried Bread
Okay y'all this is IT. This is MY summer sandwich. We've made three times in the last week... that's how much we have craved it. Summer essentials are bountiful between two slices of bread, you got ripe georgia peaches, juicy heirloom tomatoes, mixed spring greens, a whole bunch of fresh herbs, and a spicy jalapeno aioli. But y'all are all wanting me to get to the best part: the sorghum molasses braised pork belly. There ain't no doubt about it y'all... if you're going to make a BLT... you might as well make it a PBLT for some extra fatty, unctuous goodness. Pork belly is pretty damn good just fried until crispy, but I believe braising it before crisping it up is the way to go. I slow-cooked some house cured pork belly slab slices (extra thick here, people) in an aluminum foil pouch along with some sorghum molasses, freshly cracked pepper, and a splash of water. Tent the pork up, so it will capture the steam and cook it low 'n slow until the meaty part has begun to brown and the fatty part has render. After the braising, remove it from the oven and refrigerate the thick slices until they have chilled. You probably could go straight to the frying pan, but I think it is a necessary step because it helps the pork belly to firm up again, which in turn, helps it to stay in one piece and crisp up beautifully. Just a week or so ago, I tasted a peach, bacon, and arugula sandwich that was to die for... and that certainly inspired my dish here today. All of the components compliment each other perfectly. The heirloom tomatoes and fresh peaches lend the sandwich some acidity, yet a lot of sweetness. The mixed spring greens & herbs create the perfect balance and cut through a lot of the acidity of the fatty pork belly. Last, but not least, the homemade jalapeno aioli gives the sandwich a much-needed-kick-in-the-ass to tie it all together. And like all sandwiches that we make around this joint... you gotta serve it on some crunchy bacon fat fried bread (but duh). We have officially dubbed this "the summer sandwich", so y'all better jump on it as well before all of the peaches and heirloom tomatoes are gone for a year!! Enjoy :)
About to braise the pork belly in some sorghum molasses (cut your pork extra thick)
After it has chilled, fry it up until crispy + extra fatty
you can never go wrong with heirloom tomatoes.
layering time.
we added peaches + pickled shallots (the shallot are optional)
mixed spring greens + fresh herbs are an absolute must.
this screams summer, don't it??
layers of aioli, tomato, pork belly, greens, & peaches 
pork belly porno shot
I. Just. Want. To. Devour. It. 
perfectly layered sandwich goodness
Ain't it purdy all sliced up n' shit?
For the Homemade Jalapeno Aioli:
1 Egg Yolk
1t White Vinegar
1 ½t Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
¼t Dijon Mustard & Sugar
2 Garlic Clove, Minced into a Paste (with a little bit of sea salt)
½t Salt
¾C Canola Oil
1 Small Jalapeno, Finely Chopped (if you don’t like it spicy, throw out the seeds)
1T Minced Candied Jalapenos

For the Sorghum Braised Pork Belly:
1-2lbs House Cured Pork Belly, Cut into Thick Slices (like really, really thick)
¼C Sorghum Molasses (or maple syrup can be substituted)
Freshly Cracked Pepper
A Splash of Water

For the PBLT Sandwiches:
Slices of Sourdough Bread, Fried until Crispy in Bacon Fat
Fresh Georgia Peaches, Thinly Sliced
Heirloom Tomatoes, Sliced (also lightly seasoned with salt & pepper)
1C Mixed Spring Greens + ½C Fresh Mixed Herbs (we used basil, thyme, tarragon, & thyme)
Prepared Homemade Jalapeno Aioli
Prepared Sorghum Braised Pork Belly, Refrigerated Overnight

1. For the Homemade Jalapeno Aioli: Combine egg yolk, lime juice, vinegar, mustard, minced garlic, chopped jalapenos, minced candied jalapenos, and ½t salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds. Using ¼t measuring spoon and whisking constantly, add ¼C of the oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4-5 minutes. Gradually add remaining ½C canola oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8-10 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Season the mayo with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use. 
2. For the Sorghum Braised Pork Belly: Cut your cured pork belly slab into extremely thick slices (ours were roughly about an inch, maybe bigger). Place them into a plastic bag and add in the sorghum molasses, cracked black pepper, and a splash of water. Toss the pork belly slices in the mixture until they are completely coated and marinate them overnight. The next day, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Create an aluminum foil pouch (use about 2-3 pieces of foil) and place the slices of marinated pork belly into the pouch and close tightly, so that the pork belly will steam and slowly cook through. Cook the pork for 3-4 hours until the meat portion has begun to brown and the fat has rendered slightly. After braising, remove from the oven and place into a plastic container and refrigerate overnight (I felt that these crisped up better in the pan when they are cold). Once they are chilled, heat a frying pan over medium heat with a little bit of oil. Cook the slices of braised pork slowly until they have browned & crisped on both sides, yet are still fatty. Drain on a paper towel while you assemble the sandwich.
3. Assembling the Sandwich: In a mixing bowl, toss together the mixed spring greens and mixed herbs. We tossed ours with a little lemon juice and olive oil for extra flavor. Fry the slices of sourdough bread in the remaining oil/pork belly fat until golden brown and toasty. After they have toasted, slather both sides of the bread with some homemade jalapeno aioli, and then begin stacking with some slices of heirloom tomatoes, peach slices, crispy pork belly, and mixed greens & herbs. Slice in half and enjoy immediately.
go on and dig in y'all. 

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