Reprinted from THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK: Classic Recipes for a New Century by Amanda Hesser. Used with permission of publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
|1 3/4 cups extra-fine sugar||3 bay leaves|
|2 1/2 cups coarse sea salt, plus more for seasoning||4 quarts plus 1 cup water|
|12 juniper berries||2 1/2 pounds bone-in pork belly with skin|
|12 whole cloves||2 onions, chopped|
|12 black peppercorns||Olive oil|
Combine the sugar, salt, spices, and bay leaves in a large pot. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cool completely.
Transfer the brine to a large bowl and add the pork. Let stand, loosely covered, for 3 days in the refrigerator.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the onions in a roasting pan. Rinse the pork and score the skin with a sharp knife. Place skin side up on the onions, rub the skin with a bit of olive oil, and season lightly with sea salt. Roast, uncovered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours; do not let the pork skin burn. The skin should be crisp; if not, transfer the pork to a hot broiler.
Cut the pork into thick slices, and serve with the onions.
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