Preserving and storing your summer harvest is a skill that every good cook, whether home or professional, should have.
As much as I love to have my homemade condiments in the pantry at my disposal, I find sometimes you have to find creative ways to use them so you don’t get bored with them.
Trading with other home preserving enthusiasts is a great way to provide variety in your pantry.
Inevitably, though, there will come a time you will be thinking to yourself, “What the heck am I going do with all that high bush cranberry jelly?” (Or whatever you have a ton of.) After all, you can’t eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day.
This recipe is a great way to use up any Yukon wild berry jelly you might have kicking around.
If you didn’t make high bush cranberry this year, substitute blueberry or black currant jelly. It doesn’t really matter; it will be delicious either way. Look in your fridge and see what’s already open and use it.
Like having copious amounts of jelly, I also get bored with everyday cuts of meat. I am always looking for non-traditional, new ways of cutting.
Butchering your own animals gives you the ability to create unique cuts that suit your taste – like bone-in pork belly roasts, which I absolutely love. It’s like eating the most juicy, fatty, meaty rib in the world!
Don’t worry if you don’t butcher animals yourself, the Yukon has some fine butchers that will more than likely be able to accommodate your requests.
You can connect with Stacey’s in Whitehorse, Madley’s in Haines Junction or go see Paul in Dawson City at the Bonanza Market.
If they don’t have exactly what you need, they will be able to come up with a suitable substitute to serve your need.
High Bush Cranberry and Korean Chili Glazed Bone-in Pork Belly
This recipe will work with boneless pork belly, as well as full racks of ribs from pork, moose, bison or beef. Short ribs are a nice meaty alternative as well.
3 tbsp Korean chili powder (or substitute hot paprika)
1/2 tbsp finely ground sea salt
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
1/2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns, ground (or substitute black pepper)
1.5 kg bone in pork belly roast
The Marinade and Glaze
1/2 cup high bush cranberry jelly
2 tbsp fireweed honey
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of half a lemon
1 bunch sliced green onions
Mix all the ingredients for the rub. Set aside. Mix all marinade ingredients together. Set aside.
Remove skin if attached to belly. With a sharp knife, cut the pork belly into individual steaks between the bones. If using a boneless roast, aim for about 1-inch thick slices. If using a rack of ribs, just cut between the ribs.
Lay the belly into a large oven proof dish, so that the pieces are not overlapping. They can be snug, as they will shrink a bit during the cooking process.
Take the rub and massage it into the belly till nicely coated. You may not need the entire rub that you made. Use just enough to coat all the pieces.
Pour the marinade/glaze over the belly and leave to marinate for two hours. You can do up to this step a day before serving if you wish.
Cover the ribs in the dish with foil and bake for 1.5-2 hours at 250-275F. Check periodically for tenderness. The belly should be very tender, but not falling apart. If the belly still seems tough, just re-wrap with foil and continue to bake until tender.
When belly is tender, remove foil and turn oven to 375-400F. Skim any extra fat from the surface of the sauce if needed at this point.
Turning and basting the belly, continue cooking till marinate is caramelized and belly is sticky and glossy – about one hour.
Spoon any remaining sauce from the dish over the belly on the serving plate. Sprinkle with green onions.
Serve with steamed rice and kimchi alongside wilted kale, beet tops or spinach.
Jeffery Mickelson, a professional chef, wild food fanatic and “offal” good guy, shares his passion for cooking with What’s Up Yukon