I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

September 18, 2010

To Market, To Market...

I've just got back from a visit to my local markets.

I love the choice and variety of produce available to me there. Asian greens and herbs, European Delis,Organic Meats, and everything in between.
Would you like to know what's in my basket?
A rack of veal ribs for braising and then baking; A slab of pork belly with skin for roasting- it makes the best crackling!; duck marylands to probably turn into a red thai curry or maybe with bitter orange sauce; 1/2 kilo of home smoked bacon; chicken wings for steaming then frying; red wine washed hard goats cheese; veal liverwurst; anchovy stuffed olives; pear,apricot and raspberry essences; fresh sugarcane stems; gluten free turkish bread and various mixed fruit and veggies. Not bad for a couple of hours work don't you think?

Hmmm.....what to make for dinner.... We decided on the pork belly.

This is another one of those budget meat cuts that's become trendy as people rediscover it's potential. It's a thin cut of meat with some seams of fat running through it, that when cooked right renders out and leaves behind a luscious softness and juicy piece of meat. Pork belly makes the best crackling and the ratio of meat to crackling is fantastic- plenty to go round.

But tonight we're having Twice Cooked Pork. I love this and always struggle to look past it on a menu. It's rich, sticky, and melts in your mouth, a perfect dining combination!

First you need to braise the pork. You can create your own master stock, but I love the folks at Changs. They make a fantastic range of gluten free products and they're available at Coles and Woolies and won't break the budget at all.
I placed the pork and master stock in a pan and added water to cover. Simmer for at least an hour and a half, or until a skewer will easily pierce through the meat. Cool in the liquid.

Put meat in a container with a lid and place something heavy on top. This compresses the meat and gives it a nice density. Refrigerate overnight.

At this point, you could stirfry the meat in cubes or slices, I worked at one establishment that would cube it at this point and then deepfry it before glazing with a sauce. My favourite though is to marinate it and bake it to a nice stickiness. I marinated the meat for about an hour with a mixture of caramel, hoisin sauce, honey and black vinegar. Just check the labels, you don't want to find any stray gluten.

Place the pork on some baking paper -yes, you don't want to forget this step- and bake in a hot oven until burnished and sticky. Remember, the meat is already cooked and you just want to heat it through and activate the sugars.

The meat is incredibly tender and just pulls apart. I think of it as comfort food- yummy, sticky, with sweetness and fat. As this is a rich dish, I served it with a bowl of plain rice and a salad of shredded bits and pieces- carrot, zucchini, capsicum, spring onions, snap peas and whatever else could be scrounged from the bottom of the fridge! Just make sure it's nice and crispy fresh for contrast.

So Readers, what do you have trouble going past on a menu?


  1. Wow thats such a gourmet sounding basket, I especially like the sound of the goats cheese.

    I have trouble going past salmon on the menu and for dessert I cannot say no to a good creme brulee!

  2. Local markets are the best! There's always so much to discover! I also love Asia and wholefood stores ... I could spend hours there!

    Have a nice weekend!

  3. Mmm luscious pork belly! That's one thing I find it hard to go past. Also seafood, especially lobster! So hard to say no to those!

  4. Was that the farmer's markets? Soy and I were there yesterday! One day we will have to finally meet and not just like in the movies where we might be in the same place at the same time! ;) I usually can't go past dessert on a menu!

  5. Seriously - this would be Mr BBB's favourite meal! I am not the hugest fan of pork belly - but his love for it well and truly makes up for it!

  6. Gorgeous! Love the shot of them all marinating - makes me salivate.

  7. I love local market visits :) Slow cooking pork is the only way I like it. It goes so tender! mmm. I find it hard to refuse a good seafood or ragu pasta when I'm out.
    Heidi xo

  8. I have shopping cart envy! And your pork sounds just amazing.

  9. Good grief, girl, who needs gluten and lactose when you can cook like this? :) I love pork belly, but try to ration ourselves - our local butcher stocks free range pork for us, and it's always so wonderful to work with! I grew up on sticky pork dishes like this, and yours looks both authentic and delicious! Can't wait to hear what you end up doing with the duck.. :)

  10. Gosh your market basket sounds fantastic. Which markets do you go to?
    And that pork looks and sounds delicious too. I had a similar sounding dish at a restaurant for lunch the other day but was disappointed because the pork was dry and tough. Not sure how you do that to pork belly of all things! It was supposed to have been braised overnight and I expected something like what your photos look like. Looks like I will just have to make it myself and follow your recipe.

  11. This is not the first time I've wanted to be one of those uninvited guests at your dining table my friend. I love the sound of this dish & find it hard to pass it up when I see it on the menu..., I've never cooked it either, so that's exciting. It is one of those old but new again cuts isn't it & I agree. Great post as always :)