Tag Archives: pressure cooker

Braised pork belly, leek and noodle with vinegar broth

Slow cooked pork belly with noodles in vinegar broth

This is one of J’s all-time favourite year-round dish. Using the pressure cooker, it takes only 35 minutes for the pork belly to become soft and meltingly tender. The soup is fragrant from peppercorns and bay leaf, with the big and bold vinegar taste adding depth to the soup. The key here is to use a good broth, such as Simon Gault’s beef or chicken concentrated stock pouches (not sponsored to say this, I always have these in my pantry).

Slow cooked pork belly with noodles in vinegar broth

Always pour the soup in just as you are ready to serve to avoid soggy noodles.

If you have enough pourers, you can serve the soup in individual vessels and let each person add their own portion of soup into the bowl. (We’ve just picked up our handmade ceramic pourers from a Christmas workshop and they are perfect for this!)

Slow cooked pork belly with noodles in vinegar broth

Slurping is unavoidable and would bring smiles to the chef.

Slow cooked pork belly with noodles in vinegar broth


Meat & soup

  • 1kg free range pork belly, boneless, with skin
  • 3 tbsp rice bran or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 leek, white stalk section – washed and cut into thick rings. Green stalk section – chop into half.
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 big slices of ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • ½ cup chinese black vinegar
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 4 medium sized eggs (optional)


  • 200g ’00’ flour or just plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks +1 yolk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

To serve:

2 spring onions, green part only, thinly sliced

Soft boiled eggs (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker over a high heat. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, leeks, spring onion, ginger and garlic and fry for a minute.
  2. Add pork and fry each side till golden.
  3. Pour in stock, soy sauce and black vinegar and bring to the boil. Close the pressure cooker lid, ensuring it is locked in.
  4. Set it to high pressure and cook for 35 minutes. When the cook time has been reached, release pressure. Don’t remove the lid straight away, let the pork rest in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove lid from pressure cooker, remove pork and set aside.
  6. Place a sieve over a deep saucepan and pass the braising liquid through and into the pan. Heat and reduce the sauce until slightly syrupy (about 10 mins). Adjust flavor to taste by adding extra sugar, light soy or hot water.

*we sometime serve this soup with a soft boiled egg, as you sometimes would for Japanese ramen noodle soup. Place eggs into a pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn off the heat, cover and leave for 2 minutes. Remove immediately after and place into iced water to cool completely. Peel shells and set aside.

Egg noodles

  1. Place flour and salt in a bowl. Add eggs, yolk and oil. Stir with a fork until mixture forms a dough. Place onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and rest for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Using a pasta machine, beginning on the widest setting, work the dough through. Repeat down to the second or third setting. Use the thinnest cutter to make thin noodles and toss in flour.
  3. Bring to the boil a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Boil noodles for 3 minutes, refresh in iced water and drain well.

*Alternatively, use packets of noodles from Asian supermarkets and cook according to packet instructions.

To serve, thinly slice pork to 1cm thick slices (you may want to cut off the fatty skin). Divide noodles between serving bowls, place 3 slices of pork, blanched vegetables, a soft boiled egg and spring onions, and pour over the reduced braising liquid.

It looks like this before closing the lid on the pressure cooker:

Braised pork belly and leek noodle soup

Slow cooked pork belly with noodles in vinegar broth

Tender beef cheeks with beer, spiced carrot purée and prunes

Beef cheeks is gaining in popularity, having seen quite a few recipes using cheeks and gracing more restaurant menus. This recipe here is one that I’ve developed over the years and I make it with different cuts of meat on a monthly basis: cheeks, tongue or crosscut. My local butcher has the freshest of them and I stock up when I see them. This is a cheap cut and with some tender loving care (i.e. slow or pressure cooked) it produces the most amazingly tender and texturally different meat. I have anchovies in my recipe for the added depth in flavour. Carrots are favoured to meet the cost but you could substitute with pumpkin or potatoes.

The beauty of this dish is that it keeps on giving. Beyond dinner. Any remnants and sauce can be scooped up for next day’s pasta. Or tipped into a pastry lined dish and baked as a pie. Or mixed with boiled baby potatoes for a quick salad. Oh and if desperate, mix it with left over rice, a sprinkling of paprika and chopped coriander for a quick Mexican-style lunch. I often make double batches and save the beef to use in any of the above dishes. You can also make a quick curry by cooking spices and adding beef and coconut milk, it doesn’t take much time at all as the meat is already tender. Super delicious and clean plates afterwards, always. It has saved me so much time in cooking for the week and I can spend more time doing things with my family.


  • 4 pieces Beef cheeks, About 1.2 kg
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 1 Carrot, Diced
  • 1 stalk Celery, Diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 4 fillets White anchovies, Often found in small jars
  • 250 ml Beer, Guinness or any dark beer
  • 500 ml Beef stock, Stock cubes used here

Spiced carrot purée 

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 5 Carrots, Large size
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled and roughly chopped
  • 250 ml Beef stock, Stock cubes used
  • 500 ml Water, Hot
  • 8 Pitted prunes, Whole
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 3 Pitted prunes, Reserve for garnish + add to shopping list


  1. Preheat oven or your pressure cooker, depending on which one you are using.
  2. Season beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in the thick-bottomed pan to brown the beef in several batches.
  4. Brown onion until it softens. Add carrots and celery and cook till they are soft. Add garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, tomato paste and anchovy fillets.
  5. Add beer to deglaze the pan.
  6. Return all the beef to the pan and add stock. Bring to the boil. Cover and fan bake in the oven at 180C for 2 hours (or you can use a pressure cooker like I did and it’s all done in 45 minutes!)
  7. When done, remove beef and set aside.
  8. Reduce the stock further by gently heating the stock, till it has thickened. Pass it though a strainer and pour sauce into a jug for serving.

For the carrot purée:

  1. While the beef cheeks are cooking, prepare the carrot purée.
  2. In a medium hot pan, add a small amount of oil and cook the cumin seeds slightly.
  3. Add carrots and garlic, cook slightly till you see caramelisation around the outsides of the carrot dices and add warm stock and water. Add 8 prunes.
  4. Cook till the water has reduced and carrots are very soft, about 20 minutes. Using a stick blender, blitz the carrots and prunes. Add smoked paprika and salt to taste.

To serve, place a large spoonful of carrot purée on each plate. Place one beef cheek on top of the purée. Quarter each of the 3 reserved prunes and place three quarters on each plate, in with the carrot purée. Drizzle the reduced sauce over and around the plate.