Crispy Pork Belly with Umbrian Red Wine Lentils and Salsa Verde

Crispy Pork Belly with Umbrian Red Wine Lentils and Salsa Verde
55 min
1h 40 min
4 servings

Courtesy of Chef Faizal Kassam of Cibo Trattoria and UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar.



Curing the Pork Belly

ounce pork belly, deboned
cup kosher salt
1 ½
Tbsp pink salt (curing salt, sodium nitrate)
clove garlic
sprig fresh rosemary
sprig fresh thyme
Tbsp black peppercorns
1 ¼
tsp sugar

Cooking the Pork Belly

cured pork belly
L duck fat, for cooking

Umbrian Red Wine Lentils

cup Umbrian lentils
L chicken stock, kept hot; reserve 150 mL
cup (500 mL) red wine, preferably something good and robust; reserve 100 mL and keep the rest hot
red onion, finely chopped
celery heart, finely chopped
medium carrot, finely chopped
clove garlic, finely chopped

Salsa Verde

bunch flat leaf parsley, picked and washed
⅛ bunch mint, picked and washed
small clove garlic
salted anchovy fillets
Tbsp baby capers, rinsed if salted
Tbsp strong Dijon mustard
mL extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar, to taste
salt and black pepper, to taste


Step 1

Place all the dry ingredients in a blender (everything except the belly) and blend until a salt mixture is formed.

Step 2

Rub the salt mixture into the belly aggressively, making sure to get into every nook and cranny.

Step 3

Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 4

Rinse the cure off the belly for 20 minutes under cold running tap water. Dry off.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Step 6

Melt the duck fat over medium heat and place the pork in the liquid fat.

Step 7

Bring the pork up to a boil and wrap with aluminum foil.

Step 8

Place in the oven for 1 hour or until a knife can be inserted and removed easily.

Step 9

Carefully remove the hot pork belly from the fat (strain the fat and save for future use).

Step 10

Cool the pork in the refrigerator.

Step 11

Turn the oven up to 425ºF.

Step 12

Using a non-stick pan over medium heat, add canola oil and place the pork bellies skin-side down.

Step 13

Place in the oven for 7 minutes or until the skin side has crackled and crisped up. Flip and finish the belly for 2 more minutes.

Step 14

Remove and serve on top of lentils, finish with salsa verde (recipes to follow).

Step 15

In a heavy-based saucepan, add a little bit of oil and heat on medium. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic, a good pinch of salt.

Step 16

Turn down the heat and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Step 17

Add the lentils, and slowly add a little bit of stock and red wine, stirring continuously.

Step 18

Keep alternating between the stock and red wine until the lentils are soft, but still have a bit of texture, about 20 minutes.

Step 19

Season to taste with salt, pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar.

Step 20

Chop the garlic with a little pinch of salt until it reaches a paste-like consistency.

Step 21

Chop the anchovies very finely and roughly chop the capers. Put the garlic, capers and anchovies into a mixing bowl.

Step 22

Roughly chop the parsley and mint, and add to the mixing bowl.

Step 23

Add the mustard and mix together.

Step 24

Slowly add the olive oil and season with the red wine vinegar, salt and black pepper to taste.

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