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Fanny Bay Oysters Bar Chef Tommy Shorthouse calls scallops and pork belly a “classic” pairing. A multi-day affair to prepare, the talented chef assures the advance work will be worth it in the end.
“This recipe does take some preparation time for the pork belly, but its melt-in-your-mouth flavor will certainly be worth all the work,” Shorthouse says.
Winter Scallops with Pork Belly
Cured Pork Belly
2 lbs. (907g) pork belly
1 cup (250 mL) white sugar
2 cups (500 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) black pepper
2 tsp (10 mL) Chinese 5-Spice powder
Curing the pork belly should begin three days before the desired serving date. Coat the pork belly thoroughly in the mixture and store in an airtight container overnight in the fridge. The next day, remove the pork belly and slow roast it in the oven at 300 F for 2 hours on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath it to catch the drippings.
After roasting, let it cool to room temperature and transfer it to a backing pan and use another tray or heavy plate to put some weighted pressure on it overnight in the fridge. On the third day, remove it from the fridge and cut to your desired thickness for serving. I cut mine into 1/3-of-an-inch-thick for perfect scallop-to-pork-belly ratio. Place your cut pieces in a non-stick pan with a small amount of oil to sea each side.
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 head cauliflower, cut down to florets
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cut and roast the carrots and cauliflower with a little bit of oil, salt and pepper at 425 F for 15 minutes.
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
1/2 (125 mL) apple juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
1 piece star anise
Pinch of ground clove
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tbsp (7.5 mL) cornstarch
Adding all ingredients except cornstarch to a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook it for 10 minutes before adding cornstarch and mixing it thoroughly to thicken. Cook for another 5 minutes and then let cool.
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
Last but not least, using a small dab of butter in a hot pan sear your scallops on both sides until they get that lovely golden touch to them.
Serve a portion of scallop to one piece of pork with your roasted veggies and chutney on the side.
Serves 4 to 6.
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