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Palm Sugar and Soy-Glazed Pork Loin, Ginger-Lime Ribs and Super-Duper Bacon

From: Chef Andy Husbands, Tremont 647, Boston. Yield: 6-8 servings.

4 star anise pods
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups palm sugar or brown sugar
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups ice cubes
1/2 cup soy sauce

4-6 lb. pork loin with ribs attached, chine off
2 lb. boneless pork belly, skin on 1 lime, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup sake
2 Tbsp. canola oil

4 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeòo, minced
11/2 lb. collard greens, cut crosswise in 1”-wide ribbons
1/4 lb. snap peas, strings removed
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
2 cups jasmine rice, cooked
1-2 Tbsp. Asian fish sauce, to taste
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted

Combine star anise, garlic, palm sugar, water, ginger and pepper flakes in sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add ice cubes and soy sauce, stirring well to melt ice. Set aside to cool completely.

While marinade is cooling, separate ribs from pork loin in 1 piece: Hold pork loin on work surface with bones pointing upward and meaty side facing you. Slide a sharp chef’s knife between meat and bones; follow the natural seams as you cut down, and peel back the meat as you work to check your progress. Continue until the bones are completely separated.

Put the ribs, loin and belly in a container large enough to hold them comfortably. Pour cooled marinade over, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 3 days, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 225°F. Place flat roasting rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Remove pork belly from the marinade and place it on the rack, skin-side up. Roast 4 hours.

Meanwhile, combine lime zest and juice, honey, ginger and soy sauce in a small bowl and mix well. Remove ribs from marinade and coat with the ginger-lime mixture. Place a flat roasting rack on another rimmed baking sheet, and put ribs on the rack. Set aside. Strain the meat marinade into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and add the sake. Bring to a boil, stirring and skimming occasionally, until reduced to about 1 cup glaze. Strain again and set aside to cool.

When pork belly is done, remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 450°F.

Dry pork loin with paper towels. Heat 2 Tbsp. canola oil in large, heavy-bottomed sautè pan over high heat. Add pork loin and brown well on all sides. Transfer pan to preheated oven, along with pan of ribs. Roast loin to an internal temperature of 130°F, about 10 minutes. Brush the loin with glaze and continue to roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 155°F, brushing with glaze every 5 minutes. Allow to rest, tented loosely with foil, about 10 minutes. (Internal temperature of pork loinwill rise to 160°F or more as it rests.) Carve loin into 1/2”-thick slices. Roast ribs until they’re brown and crusty, about 30 minutes. When done, cut ribs apart and keep meats warm.

Heat remaining 4 Tbsp. canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sautè pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, sear the pork belly skin-side down until the skin is blistered and dark golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to a carving board, and tent with foil to keep warm. With very sharp kinfe, slice bacon into 1/2”-thick slices.

Discard all but 3 Tbsp. fat in the skillet and return pan to high heat. Add sesame oil, garlic and jalapeòo and sautÈ until the garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently, about 30 seconds. Add collard greens, and sautè until greens begin to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add snap peas, carrot, and bell pepper; continue to cook and stir until vegetables soften slightly, 5 minutes more. Stir in the rice, then add fish sauce and soy sauce. Cook and stir until heated through, about 30 seconds more. Remove from heat.

For service: Mound greens on plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Arrange ribs, sliced bacon, and sliced loin alongside. Drizzle loin slices with additional glaze and serve.