Kings and Queens of the barbecue already know that a cold beer is the perfect companion when standing, tongs-in-hand, over the grill. But what would you say if we told you that marinating meat in beer has been proven – by science! – to cut the number of potentially cancer-causing compounds that form as your meat of choice sizzles and chars. We’ll toast to that. A health-bonus is always a plus when cooking, but the real magic here is the way the mixture of miso, beer, onion and sugar come together to enhance the flavour of the pork and give the meat a crisp, caramelised surface, and a tender and flavour-packed interior.
So, bath your meat in beer, raise up a coldie and let’s toast to good health and even better pork.
1kg boneless pork belly, skin removed
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
150g white miso paste (also called yellow miso or shiro miso)
65g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp kecap manis
3 spring onions, cut into 2cm batons
20 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Radish, sliced thinly to serve
Fennel, sliced thinly to serve, fronds reserved
Seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
Micro herbs, to serve
Cut the pork into pieces about 1.5cm thick and 1.5cm wide and place in a large bowl.
For the marinade, combine onion, garlic and miso paste in a food processor and blitz into a thick paste. Transfer onion and miso mixture into a large bowl and add beer, sugar and kecap manis. Mix well to combine.
Add pork to the marinade and toss to coat evenly using your hands. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Preheat a barbecue grill to medium. Thread the pork onto the bamboo skewers with spring onion batons, reserving the marinade. Barbecue the skewers until cooked through (about 8–10 minutes), turning and basting with the reserved marinade every few minutes.
For the radish and fennel salad, toss radish, fennel and fennel fronds, pomegranate seeds, and micro herbs together with lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.