If you are a fan of food media you couldn't have missed the adoration that has been heaped upon pork belly in the last few years. So when I made bacon this fall, with the half hog I purchased from Bare Knuckle Farms, I saved the trim pieces from my whole pork belly to cook on their own. I had planned on trying David Chang's Pork Belly but it and most of the other recipes for pork belly rely on sugar and often soy sauce for flavor and I am avoiding both for January. A little more searching brought me to this recipe for Braised Pork Belly. I loved the sound of the fennel and allspice rub and the fact that it didn't call for any sugar. I replaced the white wine with Black Star Farms verjus since I'm also avoiding all alcohol and adjusted the spices for the braising liquid somewhat. After the braising was done I knew some sweetness was needed so I dug out some locally grown boiled chestnuts. I sliced up the braised meat and broiled it just a little with the chestnuts. They were wonderful together- sweet, rich, and spicy! For something green to go with this meal I stir fried pac choi from my winter 9 Bean Rows' CSA share with local garlic, organic fresh ginger, Eden Foods toasted sesame oil and a few black sesame seeds. A great meal but I still feel like pork belly is best served as bacon. Nothing beats bacon!