Jacob Brown is a Wellington chef who's currently working at the Bouloctt Street Bistro.
4 litres water
225 gms sugar
40 gms pink salt
1/2 bunch thyme
6 garlic cloves (crushed)
4 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
2 kg pork belly
Combine all the brine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to the boil and remove from heat and refrigerate until chilled.
Add pork belly and weigh down with a plate to keep it completly submerged. Refrigerate for 48 hours.
Remove the pork from the brine, and rinse under cold water. Pat the pork dry.
Place it on a rack and set over a plate (or tray) and refrigerate uncovered for 12-24 hours.
Hot smoke the pork in a box smoker - to an internal temperature of 65ºC. Allow to cool.