Pork Three Ways

by Ryan Hayter, Chef/Owner, The Marigold Café | photo by Janis Jean Photography

I love cooking with pork; it’s affordable and lends itself to many variations of flavour and preparation methods. Pork is used in so many different styles of cuisine; the possibilities are endless! We are so fortunate living on the Peninsula as we have the amazing local Berryman Farms, which raise and process their own pigs using the highest health and moral standards. This translates to superior flavour and freshness; plus, you can feel good about the food you are putting on your plate!

Pork Belly with Maple Butternut Squash Purée
(8 appetizer servings)

Pork Belly
1.5 lbs. Rindless Pork Belly, 3/4-inch thick slices
2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp white sugar
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
8 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetable oil

Maple Butternut Squash Puree
1/2 of a medium sized butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt
small pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock

20 pecan halves, toasted

Maple Butternut Squash Puree:
1. Boil squash until very tender. Strain in colander.
2. In a blender add squash, butter, maple syrup, salt, cayenne pepper, and only enough vegetable or chicken stock to allow blender to churn ingredients. Puree until very smooth.
3. Refrigerate while marinating pork belly. Warm on stovetop before serving pork.

Pork Belly:

1. Mix salt, sugar and ground black pepper. Rub mixture on all outside surfaces of pork belly. Refrigerate uncovered 6-12 hours.
2. In a medium sized saucepan, add remaining ingredients and heat together over medium heat until just under a boil. Turn off heat, and allow oil to fully cool to room temperature.
3. Preheat oven to 300°.
4. Place pork belly slices into 8”x 8” pan, and cover pork with room temperature oil mixture.
5. Cover pan with tinfoil, and bake in oven on centre rack for approximately 2 hours, or until pork belly is tender. Note: pork belly will become increasingly tender as it cooks, but can start to dry out if cooked for too long.
6. Remove from oven and cool uncovered. Refrigerate pork belly in the oil mixture for 2 hours.
7. Remove pork belly from oil, and pat dry with paper towel. Reserve oil.
8. Preheat large skillet on medium heat, and add enough reserved oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.
9. Add pork belly in a single layer, and sear both sides well until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes per side.
10. Serve on top of warmed maple butternut squash puree. Garnish with toasted pecan halves and microgreens.

Korean BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
(a feature sandwich at the café!) (makes approx. 6 sandwiches)

Pork Shoulder Rub
1 pork shoulder (boneless – approx. 5 lbs. Ask your butcher to cut one for you if you can’t find it)
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp ground black pepper
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 tsp brown sugar

Pork Shoulder Braise
1 yellow onions, peeled & sliced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled & sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1L water
1/2 can Pepsi
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp chili flakes
1.5 tbsp beef soup base

Korean BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp garlic, diced
3/4 tbsp ginger, peeled & minced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
6 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Honey
2 tbsp white sugar
6 tbsp Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)

ciabatta buns (or your favourite buns)
bagged coleslaw cabbage mix

Honey Lime Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lime juice
1.5 tsp honey

Pork Shoulder Rub:
1. Mix together rub ingredients, and then rub the pork shoulder thoroughly with the mixture.
2. Rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (best if left overnight).
3. Preheat oven to 425°.
4. Place pork shoulder in a deep roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the pork has a bit of colour. Remove pork from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 300°.

Pork Braise:
5. In a large saucepan, brown onions, ginger and garlic. Add remaining ingredients to the saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Puree mixture with a stick mixer or blender, and then pour the warm liquid over the pork shoulder in the roasting pan.
7. Cover the roasting pan with tin foil and cook the pork for approximately 6 hours or until the meat is very tender. Note: Check pork every 1.5 hours and add water if needed – liquid should be about halfway up the pork shoulder while cooking.
8. Remove pork from oven. Shred pork when it is cool enough to process, and then refrigerate it.

Korean BBQ Sauce:
1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (add a small touch of water if needed). Refrigerate sauce.

Honey Lime Dressing:
1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl, and then refrigerate.

Assembling Sandwiches:
1. Lightly chop your shredded pork and place enough for as many sandwiches as you would like to make in a small mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of Korean BBQ Sauce for each sandwich you are making, and mix with your shredded pork. Note: Pork can be heated prior to adding your BBQ sauce if desired.
2. In a small mixing bowl add cabbage mix and enough honey-lime dressing to lightly coat the cabbage mix.
3. Cut Ciabatta buns in half and spread each side of your buns with a small amount of mayonnaise.
4. Spread a single layer of Korean BBQ Pork on bottom half of buns. Top with slaw mix and cilantro. ENJOY!

Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop
(2 servings)

Pork Chop & Marinade
2 bone-in pork chops
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Sundried Tomato & Caper Sauce
2 tbsp sundried tomatoes , diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
2 tbsp capers
3 sprigs fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, zest & juice
pinch salt & pepper

Baby Beets
6 baby beets
2 star anise pods
one 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp white vinegar

Roasted Carrots
6 small carrots
1 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch salt & pepper

Crispy Bottom Nugget Potatoes
6 yellow nugget potatoes
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/8 tsp salt

Pork Chop:
1. Combine garlic, parsley, oil and ground black pepper in a large Ziploc bag.
2. Add pork chop to marinade and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, but best overnight.
3. Remove pork chop from the marinade and pat dry with paper towel.
4. Grill to your liking on barbecue when ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper.

Sundried Tomato & Caper Sauce:
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (overnight is best).

Baby Beets:
1. In a medium saucepan add beets, and all other ingredients, and then fill saucepan with cold water until beets are submerged by 3”.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer beets approximately 1 hour, or until beets are tender when tested with a sharp knife.
3. Strain in colander, then peel and slice beets when cool enough to handle.

Crispy Bottom Potatoes & Roasted Carrots:
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil to 8” x 8” pan.
3. Cut nugget potatoes in half. Place cut-side down, in single layer in pan.
4. Lightly drizzle potatoes with remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.
5. Wash carrots and toss with vegetable oil, salt and pepper.
6. Spread carrots on parchment-lined baking tray in a single layer.
7. Bake carrots and potatoes approximately 35 minutes or until potatoes are soft when tested with a fork, and carrots have started to caramelize.

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