Winter has just passed, which means I stocked up on as much hearty food as possible to get me through hibernation. One of my absolute FAVORITE things to hunt is Savage (or Gullinbursti, even! Yum!); I mean, you get all that wonderful meat and also the hide can be made into really scratchy clothing to gift to people you don’t like during the holidays! There’s no downsides, as long as you can take them down. You non-bears might want to enlist the help of a large hunting party for this.
Once you’ve got the Savage down, take it over to a butcher to get it all chopped up into delicious bits… or butcher it yourself, if you’ve got the stomach for it. I am totally capable of butchering it all by myself! I just… want to give the butchers of Midgard something to do.
For this winter, I went for the tastiest bit of the Savage I can think of-- the Savage tummy! Who can resist all that wonderful fatty goodness? It’s definitely got the Calories I need to keep myself full during the long hibernation I’ve got waiting for me. I chose braising as my cooking method because I’m very lazy, and I need to cook it in a method that will let me nap as it cooks. Now, I’ll go step-by-step through this, so it should be pretty easy to follow along, even for the timider cooks among you. The measurements are are in both US and metric units, because I am pawsitively the most generous bear around (also I was forced).
For those of you nervous about the alcohol in the sake and mirin, I assure you that it cooks out.
Go obtain some Savage belly. I recommend heading to Prontera Field (or Dewata Dungeon, if you’re craving the high-end Gullinbursti stuff) and taking one down. Don’t be too rough with it, and DO NOT use fire spells! You don’t want to destroy the good cuts of meat or, Heaven forbid, char it before it’s time to cook! Have it butchered however you like, freeze or sell the cuts you don’t need, and keep that belly out to be cooked!
… or store-bought is fine, too. Here is a full list of the ingredients you’ll need for this:
- Around 2 lb (~0.9 kg) of pork belly or a bit more, with the skin left on
- 1 cup (~240 mL) of sake
- 1 cup (~240 mL) of mirin
- 1 cup (~240 mL)of water
- ½ cup (~120 mL) of soy sauce
- ½ cup of white sugar (~115 g)(golden brown sugar is fine, too, for a different flavor!)
- ~6 scallions
- ~10 garlic cloves
- A ~2-inch (~5cm) knob of ginger
- 1 shallot
Place the pork belly on a cutting board, and roll it up lengthwise so that it is a fat, short roll. Use some butcher’s twine to secure it every ½ - ¾ inches. Make sure it won’t unroll!
Preheat your oven to 275 °F. In a medium-size pot (big enough to hold the pork belly), add the water, sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic cloves (whole is fine). Roughly chop the scallions and slice the ginger and add to the pot. Split the shallot in half and toss it in the pot, too.
Heat the mixture over high heat until it boils. Add the pork belly and cover with a lid left a little bit open. Put the whole pot in the preheated oven and cook, turning the pork belly every 20-30 minutes, until the pork is totally tender. Put a thin knife through the roll, and if it meets little resistance, it should be done. This will take 2.5 – 4 hours, depending on the size of your roll. It is VERY easy to overcook, so keep an eye on this and keep testing! Here’s a picture after it’s done braising:
Put the lid completely on the pot, or transfer the whole belly and liquid to a sealed container. Place it in the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely. I leave it overnight. If you try to cut it while it is hot, it will just melt—which is yummy, but uncontrollable!
Remove the container from the refrigerator, and place the pork belly on a cutting board. Strain the liquid left behind, throwing away the solid portions and retaining the liquid as a sauce for the meat.
Remove the butcher’s twine, and cut the belly into thin pieces. You’ll notice the spiral in the center of the pieces from the rolling (and that I overcooked it a bit… I told you it was easy to do that).
Store the cut belly and sauce in the refrigerator until ready to cook. You’re done! Ish!
There are many ways to prepare this now. This makes a good topping for homemade ramen, if you want to put in the work for that! Even adding it to some cup ramen will really make the dish look… well, appetizing I guess? I like to make rice bowls out of this, so head over to get some rice (conveniently, a Straw Rice Bag is dropped by Event Gullinbursti, so go hassle those GMs to spawn one in an invasion or something). Steam it, and get ready to prepare your rice bowl:
Reheat the pork belly slices in a skillet until they are tender, flipping them with a spatula to cook both sides. You’ll know they’re tender enough if you can cut them with your spatula. You can also drizzle some of the sauce on them to give it some extra yummy flavor.
Prepare your toppings for your rice bowl. I like some scallions (which I have left over from the sauce) and jalapeños on mine. Also reheat a small amount of the sauce (around ¼ to ½ cup).
Scoop rice into a bowl. Chop the meat into small pieces and place it on top of the rice. Add your toppings, and drizzle some of the sauce over the whole thing. You’re done! Ish! Again!
You can go even further, if you want… I like to add some Japanese mayonnaise, as well!
You can go EVEN further if you want, too… I also like to use a torch to give the whole thing a good char, and it gives the pork and peppers a great flavor. Also it makes all the toppings really hot!
Now you’re ACTUALLY done! I usually add green onion AFTER I torch it, by the way. I don’t like the green onions to be charred. Here’s a picture!
I hope that sounds good to everyone! There are so many other ways to prep your braised Savage belly that this recipe will keep you entertained for a while, I hope!
With all my love,