Almond Milk-Braised Pork Belly with Peas, Watercress and Sea Beans


1.2kg [2 ¾ lb] rolled and tied pork belly, skin scored
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra
750ml [3 cups] unsweetened almond milk
1 small bunch of sage
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
pinch of chilli [red pepper] flakes
150g [scant 1 cup] fresh or frozen peas
2 shallots, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g [3 ½ oz] samphire, also known as sea beans (see note in About section)
1 small bag of watercress (about 100g/3 ½ oz)


Preheat the oven to 240ºC/475ºF. Rub the pork with the olive oil and place in a snug roasting tray. Sprinkle the skin with plenty of sea salt and roast for 25 minutes until the skin starts to blister.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC/350ºF and continue to cook for 1 hour. Pour the almond milk into a saucepan with the sage, fennel seeds, bay leaves and chilli flakes and heat very gently. Once the pork has been cooking for its hour, spoon out any fat from the tray, then tip in the hot almond milk, pouring all around the meat but not on top of it. Return to the oven for a further hour – it’s ready when the meat pulls away easily.
Finally, raise the oven temperature to its highest setting and cook for about 10 minutes until the pork skin has crackled all over. Remove from the tray (reserving the almondy juices) and allow to rest on a carving board, covered with foil.
Cook the peas in a small pan of boiling water for a few minutes (longer if using fresh peas), then drain. In a large frying pan, heat a little oil and gently fry the shallots until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and samphire and sauté, stirring frequently, until the samphire is just tender, about 4–5 minutes. Add the peas and watercress and cook until the watercress has just wilted.
Strain the almond milk into a jug to remove the herbs and spices, then pour back into the tray. Set this over a low heat and simmer until saucy. The milk may split slightly, but don’t worry too much about this as it will still taste delicious.
Brush any excess salt off the pork and carve into thick slices.
Serve with the vegetables and almond milk gravy.


Recipe excerpted with permission from Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously by Steffi Knowles-Dellner, published by Quadrille February 2018.


Note: Samphire, also known as sea beans, are in season in late spring and summer months. Look for them at your local farmer's market or forage them near the seashore. This delicious sea vegetable is high in protein and is also a good source of calcium, iron, and vitamin A. It's best eaten raw (in salads) or lightly blanched, and has a wonderful crisp texture and naturally salty flavor.




Serves 4


Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 3:36pm


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