Braised Pork Belly and Cheeks, Pickled Carrot, Ginger and Coriander recipe by Daniel Clifford

Daniel Clifford

Daniel Clifford

18th June 2018
Daniel Clifford

Braised Pork Belly and Cheeks, Pickled Carrot, Ginger and Coriander recipe by Daniel Clifford

Braised Pork Belly and Cheeks, Pickled Carrot, Ginger and Coriander this recipe is from Midsummer House 2014 and features in Daniel Clifford's new book Out of my Tree.

This is a dish I worked on with chef Tom Law one quiet lunch service. Cooking the pork cheeks in the pressure cooker gives the meat fantastic flavour and texture. There was no pre-planning or ordering done for this dish, so the rest of the ingredients came from other elements or ingredients that we had in the fridge. Cooking off the cuff can sometimes be very rewarding.
Serves 10


  • Suckling belly:
  • 5 litres water
  • 250g salt
  • 1 pork belly, ribs removed
  • Pork cheeks:
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 3 shallots
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 litres brown chicken stock
  • 10 sprigs of parsley
  • 10 sprigs of tarragon
  • 10 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 pork cheeks
  • Carrot purée:
  • 10 sandy carrots
  • Salt and lemon juice
  • Carrot ribbon:
  • 1 sandy carrot
  • 50ml water
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 50g sugar
  • Yoghurt:
  • 150ml natural yoghurt
  • Crystallised ginger:
  • 5 pieces of crystallised ginger
  • To garnish:
  • Coriander cress


Suckling belly:
Bring the water and salt to the boil, then place in the blast chiller and allow to cool below 4°c. Place the pork belly in the brine and leave for 12 hours. Rinse the belly and dry with a clean kitchen cloth. Cut the belly in half, vacuum pack it and cook at 75°c for 8 hours. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then press the pork (still in the bag) in between two flat trays with a heavy weight on top. Leave it like this for 24 hours in the fridge. Portion into 2cm wide and 7cm long pieces.
Pork cheeks:
Thinly slice the celery, shallot, mushrooms and carrot. Place in a pan and colour until golden brown. Drain and then add the chicken stock and the herbs. Cook this out for 20 minutes and then pass through a fine sieve. Colour the pork cheeks until nice and golden brown all the way around and place in a pressure cooker. Cover with the stock and put the lid on. Bring up to a high heat, and as soon as pressure has been reached, turn down to a medium heat and cook for 45 minutes. Allow the cheeks to cool in the cooking liquor. Remove from the liquor when cold, place on a tray and leave to set for 12 hours. Portion the cheeks. Depending on the size, you may get two pieces out of a cheek. Place in a vacuum pack bag with a spoonful of the braising liquor and seal.
Carrot purée:
Peel half of the carrots and finely slice them. Wash the other half of the carrots and juice them using a juicer. Pass the juice through a fine sieve. Mix the sliced carrots and the juice together in a large vacuum pack bag. Cook at 100°c steam for 30 minutes. When cooked, empty the bag into a large pan and reduce the liquid right down. Blend in a blender until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve. Season with salt and lemon juice and store in Pacojet beakers.
Carrot ribbons:
Peel, top and tail the carrot. Thinly slice on a mandoline. Trim the slices so you get perfect rectangle slices, keeping them long. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to the boil and pour the pickling liquid onto the carrots. Place in a vacuum pack bag and seal. Cook at 100°c steam for 1 minute then chill down quickly.
Take two centrifuge canisters and fill one with the yoghurt and the other one with 150ml of water. Spin them in the centrifuge for 20 minutes at 2°c to separate the yoghurt and the whey. Carefully scoop just the yoghurt out of the canister and store in a squeezy bottle in the fridge until needed.
Crystallised ginger:
Dice the ginger into 2mm cubes.
To finish:
Place the pork belly skin side down into a pan over a medium heat and colour until golden brown and crisp. Heat the carrot purée and the pork cheeks. Roll the carrot ribbons into tubes and fill with yoghurt. Dress the plate as shown.

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