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ABALT SZALONNA - HUNGARIAN STYLE PORK BELLY
Ingredients:

1 lb slab of fresh pork belly, with skin on
6 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 t - whole black peppercorns
3 T - salt
3 T - Hungarian paprika
water

Using the tip of a thin-bladed knife, deeply pierce the fat side (not the skin side) of the pork belly in 10 or 12 places, making sure not to go all the way through the skin on the other side.

Poke whole cloves of garlic (or halved cloves, if they're especially large) into the slits.

Place the pork belly, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and 2 - 3 sliced garlic cloves in a large, heavy pot filled with cold water. Over medium heat, bring to a low simmer. Reduce the heat to just barely simmering, cover and cook about 3 hours, or until the skin is very soft and tender.

Remove from the heat, take the pork out of the pot and drain, reserving the broth for other uses. Using paper towels, pat the pork completely dry and place on a large piece of wax paper, skin side down. Sprinkle the top of the pork belly very generously with the paprika. Wrap tightly with the wax paper and a layer of aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or until thoroughly chilled.

Place thin, almost transparent slices of the pork belly on warm slices of rustic bread with a sprinkle of coarse salt - and maybe a little extra pinch of paprika. Serve with roasted peppers, sliced onions and homemade pickles.

T = tablespoon
t = teaspoon

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