Bacon and Egg Salad

Adapted by StarChefs.com
April 2009
Yield: 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Pork Belly
2 fresh pork bellies, skin on
1 cup white wine
1 bunch fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic
water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Macerated Apples
2 Fuji apples, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt
Apple-Bacon Vinaigrette: (makes 1 quart)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
¼ cup bacon fat
1 pint canola oil
apple cider or juice, as needed
salt
Brioche
8 ½-inch slices of brioche
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Poached Eggs
water
salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
10 eggs
To Assemble and Serve
canola oil
2 heads frisée, washed and dried, stems removed
1 bunch watercress, leaves only
8 slices bacon, cooked, cooled and chopped
1 bunch chives, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

For the Pork Belly:
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the pork belly skin side up in a casserole or shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold the meat. Add all of the remaining ingredients, using just enough water to cover the pork belly by about a ½-inch. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat and cover with a piece of wax paper. Weight the meat down with a dinner plate and cover with foil or a lid. Cook for 6 hours or overnight.

Once cooked, remove the pork belly from the oven and allow to cool to about 115°F (hot tub temperature). Without breaking the belly, lift it into a hotel plan and place another hotel pan on top of it, pouring a gallon of water into the top pan to weight the meat down. Allow to press for about 8 hours until the pork belly is cold. Strain the braised pork belly (and use the liquid to make bean soup, poach sausage, etc.).

With a slicing knife, remove the skin from the belly in one piece, leaving on as much fat as possible. Remove any thyme sprigs or garlic that are pressed into the meat, and cut the pork belly into ½-inch by ½-inch slices, depending on the length of the belly. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

For the Macerated Apples:
Toss the apple slices with the cider vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Allow the apples to macerate for 30 minutes.

For the Apple-Bacon Vinaigrette:
Combine the apple cider vinegar and mustards in a Vita-Prep blender, adding the bacon fat and canola oil little by little. Add the apple juice as needed to thin out the vinaigrette. Season with salt to taste.

For the Brioche:
Using both small and large circle cutters, punch out the brioche into donut shapes. Warm the butter in a large sauté pan and toast the brioche circles until golden brown. Place on paper towels and keep warm.

For the Poached Eggs:
Put a wide, shallow pot of water with a large pinch of salt and a splash of white vinegar over a medium flame, bringing the water to a low simmer. To make poaching easier, crack 10 eggs into individual ramekins and set aside until you are ready to plate.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat a sauté pan over a high flame and cover with a film of canola oil. Flash sear the pork belly until crispy on the outside but still juicy in the middle—not too dry; drain on paper towels.

Toss the frisee, watercress and macerated apples together; season with the vinaigrette, and salt and black pepper. Toss the pork into the salad. Spread a little vinaigrette on each plate along with a small mound of salad, adding a brioche round on top.

To poach the eggs, stir the simmering water and drop in the 10 eggs, one by one. Poach them until soft and remove individually with a slotted spoon. Briefly drain the eggs against a paper towel and gently place one egg atop each brioche. Season each with salt and black pepper, and garnish with chopped bacon and chives. Serve immediately.