Sticky Vincotto Pork Belly
Here we have another superb Julie Le Clerc recipe, sure to stimulate your senses. Marinating pork belly overnight in fig vincotto and mustard, roasting it in the marinade, and reducing the pan juices into a wonderfully sticky, syrupy sauce to finish, ensures that the magnificent sweet and sour notes from the vincotto shine and balance out the richness of the pork. Texturally, this dish is also a winner. Perfectly crisp crackling complements the ultra-tender flesh of the pork belly. Enjoy!
¼ cup Calogiuri fig vincotto
2 cups Foundation chicken stock
1–1.2kg free range pork belly
1½ Tbsp Accoceberry espelette wholegrain mustard
Sal de Añana spring salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Creamy polenta, to serve (see our creamy quick-cook polenta recipe here)
You will need to start this dish a day in advance. Combine the vincotto and ¾ cup stock in a low-sided, ceramic oven dish that’s just big enough to hold the pork and marinade.
Score the skin of the pork and pat it dry with a paper towel. Smear the mustard all over the meat, keeping the skin clean.
Add the pork to the marinade in the dish, skin-side up, making sure that no marinade goes onto the skin and that the liquid level stays below the skin. Refrigerate overnight, uncovered (this helps dry the skin to produce the crispest crackling). Bring the pork to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Rub the pork skin liberally with salt (about 1 teaspoonful). Roast in the same oven dish, surrounded by the marinade, for 30 minutes to crispen the crackling. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C and continue roasting for a further 1.5 hours, adding the remaining stock ½ cup at a time as the liquid evaporates.
If the crackling is not quite crisp enough, place it under a hot grill for 3-5 minutes until puffed and crisp.
Remove pork to a plate to rest for 10 minutes, loosely covered with a tent of foil. Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a small pot, skim off all the fat from the surface and bring liquid to the boil. If the liquid is quite runny then simmer for a few minutes to reduce to a syrup consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the pork into thick slices. We recommend serving this sticky vincotto pork belly with creamy polenta, the hot pan juices and a green vegetable of choice.
Recipe by Julie Le Clerc