Crispy Pork Belly with Umbrian Red Wine Lentils and Salsa Verde

  • prep time55 min
  • total time 155 min
  • serves 4

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

8 Ratings
Directions for: Crispy Pork Belly with Umbrian Red Wine Lentils and Salsa Verde


Curing the Pork Belly

20 ounce pork belly, deboned

½ cup kosher salt

1 ½ Tbsp pink salt (curing salt, sodium nitrate)

1 clove garlic

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 Tbsp black peppercorns

1 ¼ tsp sugar

Cooking the Pork Belly

cured pork belly

2 L duck fat, for cooking

Umbrian Red Wine Lentils

1 cup Umbrian lentils

1 L chicken stock, kept hot; reserve 150 mL

2 cup (500 mL) red wine, preferably something good and robust; reserve 100 mL and keep the rest hot

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 celery heart, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

3 clove garlic, finely chopped

Salsa Verde

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, picked and washed

⅛ bunch mint, picked and washed

1 small clove garlic

3 salted anchovy fillets

2 Tbsp baby capers, rinsed if salted

1 Tbsp strong Dijon mustard

300 mL extra virgin olive oil

red wine vinegar, to taste

salt and black pepper, to taste


Curing the Pork Belly

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

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

3. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

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

Cooking the Pork Belly

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.

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

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

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

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

6. Cool the pork in the refrigerator.

7. Turn the oven up to 425ºF.

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

9. 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.

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

Umbrian Red Wine Lentils

1. 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.

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

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

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

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

Salsa Verde

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

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

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

4. Add the mustard and mix together.

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

See more: Dinner, Gourmet, Herbs, Main, Pork

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