Mrs Bailey’s Pork Belly in its Broth
Unlike so many other nationalities, the Japanese have never come to Mars in numbers. Which is of course not to say that they have not come, for of course they have: as families displaced by circumstance, as lone adventurers, occasionally in work-gangs to pursue one particular trade much in demand here abouts. (The tale of the Wabi-Sahib, I fear, must await a more appropriate occasion.)
And like any itinerant community, small though they be, they brought their own cuisine with them; and like any community, they have had daughters. Inevitably, some few of those girls have passed through the Crater School, and left much of their kitchen wisdom behind them, in the curious and competent hands of Mrs Bailey.
Miso was a revelation to her, savory and soluble, so handy and so tasty in itself, so readily adaptable to many different uses. She buys it by the barrel for the school, and always takes a tub to her friend’s house in the holidays.
As she says herself, with pork in the chill-room and miso in the larder, she always has a meal right at hand. She learned the pleasures of a ramen bowl from her Japanese girls too — but some days she’s just as happy to settle for a cup of the broth, refilling it as needed and calling that lunch.
1 kilo pork belly, skinned and cut into one-inch slabs
1 onion, sliced in half, skin on
1 bunch green onions
1 apple, cut in half
2 inches fresh ginger, sliced but not peeled
1 cinnamon stick
Half a head of garlic
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
50g citrus vodka (if you have it)
Lay the pork in the bottom of a pan big enough to take it all in one layer. Cover with water, and bring to the boil; boil vigorously for five minutes, uncovered.
Drain, rinse both the pork and the pan, and repeat. This time, add all the other ingredients too.
Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for an hour.
Chill the pork, to use as you wish; pass the stock through a colander and discard the solids.
You can find more of Mrs Bailey’s recipes here:
…and the further adventures of the Crater School girls may be found here: