West Indian Salt Pork Blaff
  The food of Belize is a wonderful mish-mash of Mexican, West Indian, Salvadoran and Mayan influences. Rice and beans, Salt Cod, Pupusas, Ceviche and tasty curries. Its a cuisine I had not explored too much, so our time there became this exciting journey of discovery, and I could fill a book with everything I learned in the few weeks we were there. One dish, in particular, piqued my interest and its somehow extremely simple, yet at the same time complex flavors presented quite a challenge to recreate.

A West Indian Salt Pork Blaff. Now, traditionally a Blaff is made with fish, poached with vegetables, lime and aromatics. Indeed, the name Blaff itself comes from the sound the fish makes as it hit the water.
The steaming bowl placed before us in an unassuming shack on the outskirts of Belize City did away with the traditional poached fish, opting instead for crispy, fatty, salty pieces of dry cured Pork. I have long been obsessed with anything to do with curing and smoking meats, so I couldn't wait to try one out for myself.

Plus, its fun to say... Blaff

Singapore Chilli Crab
You will need.

Salt Pork

  • 1kg Pork Belly, with skin
  • 300g Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice

The Rest
  • 3 Carrots,
  • 2 Large Plantains (or Green Bananas if you can't find any)
  • 1/2 a green cabbage,
  • 2 White Yams (or Sweet potato)
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 2 limes
  • Whole Cloves
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 Bunch Parsley

Singapore Chilli Crab
Salt Pork

Combine all your spices and liberally rub over all the surfaces of the pork.
Place in a ziplock bag, along with all the rest of your salt mix, and refrigerate for around 4 days. 
Tip: If you are short on time, cut the belly up into cubes first. This allows you to get better coverage and you can get the desired result in just 24 hours.
Once your pork has finished curing, remove it from the bag and rinse well, removing all of the salt mixture. Pat dry and set aside.

It's That Simple.

Whats Next

Roughly chop your Carrots, Cabbage, Leek, Plantains and Yams into approx 1 " cubes and set aside. Feel free to add any other veggies you prefer. Parsnips, Sweetcorn or even Potatoes work great.

Take your Salt Pork and cut it up into 1" Cubes. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Press around 10 cloves into your peeled onion and add this to the pot along with 1/2 a bulb of garlic. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer the pork for around an hour. Once your pork is nice and tender, carefully drain off your cooking liquid into another saucepan. DO NOT THROW THIS AWAY!  It is full of salty, fatty flavor and will become the broth we cook everything in.

Let the pork steam dry for a bit, and place it in a large roasting tray with a few tablespoons of Peanut oil. Be sure not to pile it up too much, the more spread out it is, the crispier it will get!
Place in a 350F (180 C) oven for around 15-20 minutes or until the pork has become all crispy and bubbly. Make sure to try one now, for quality control of course.

While your pork is cooking, add your chopped vegetables and chillies into your broth. Let them simmer for 20-30 minutes until starting to soften.
Finally, add your crispy salt pork, a big handful of chopped parsley and the juice of 1 or 2 limes to taste. Add a good pinch of black pepper (You shouldn't need any salt, but feel free), and serve over some steamed rice, or just on its own.

Ku Meejtech Uusil


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