Chocolate and Chilli are natural partners in South American cooking. Here they make a sweet and savoury glaze for baked pork belly. Go on…we dare you!
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/4 tsp. oil
4 red chillies, stemmed and seeded
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp. coriander
1 1/2 tsp. fresh oregano
1 1/2 tsp. achiote seeds
1 small bay leaf
Pinch each of ground cumin, cloves, and cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
Pinch each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. pork belly
1 tbsp. honey, warmed
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 190°. Place whole garlic cloves in a small baking pan, coat them with oil, and roast until soft and slightly charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly; then squeeze the garlic out of the skins.
2. Meanwhile, in a small heatproof bowl, soak chilli in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add roasted garlic, chilli, onion, coriander, oregano, achiote, bay leaf, and ground spices. Add enough water to blend to a smooth puree. Add sugar, salt, and pepper and blend again.
3. Trim pork belly and smear chilli puree over it. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 to 8 hours, preferably overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°. Remove pork from refrigerator and wipe off excess chilli puree. Place pork in baking pan, pour 1/2 cup water around it, and cover with foil. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, basting occasionally with liquid. Remove pork from oven and cool slightly; discard juices from pan. Leave the oven on and increase the temperature to 220°.
5. Glaze the pork: Mix all ingredients for glaze. Cut pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices, brush with glaze, and return to oven for 10 to 12 minutes.