Arugula, pears, and pork belly braised in creamy farmhouse ale come together in a spicy salad adapted from one by Cosmo Goss of the Publican restaurants in Chicago. It first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Betsy Andrews' article Beer Belly.
- 3 lb. boneless, skinless pork belly
- 1 tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 16 oz. Ommegang Hennepin beer
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1⁄2 cup sherry vinegar
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 pickled Calabrian or hot cherry peppers, seeded
- 2 pears, thinly sliced
- 2 cups baby arugula
Rub pork with chile flakes, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet; chill 2 hours.
Heat oven to 325°. Heat 1⁄4 cup oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat. Pat pork dry with paper towels; cook until browned, 10–12 minutes. Add beer; cook until reduced by half, 4–5 minutes. Add stock; boil. Bake, covered, until pork is tender, 1–1 1⁄2 hours. Let pork cool; cut into 2" pieces.
Purée 1⁄2 cup pan drippings, plus vinegar, syrup, peppers, and salt in a blender.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pears until golden, 4–6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil and pork to skillet, and cook until brown and slightly crisp, 5–7 minutes. Add vinegar mixture; cook until sauce is thick, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with pears and add arugula; toss to combine.