Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Hog heaven,a lesson to be learnt

 Succulent rolled and roasted pork belly with crispy crackling - Hog heaven

We recently had my "father-in-law" staying. (I hear laughter from my close friends who will understand that remark).For a long time now we have been trying to impress upon him that Italian food is about more than just pizza and pasta.His retort is always that he has never had a decent Italian meal.I finally wanted to crush his myth. I decided to cook him two Italian meals, one Gennaro Contaldo´s all time classic Porchetta* (probably one of the best pork dishes in the world)and the other something a little more modern, my take on a ragu involving a classic  Portuguese ingredient, bochechas de porco ( pork cheeks).He loves belly pork so we got off to a good start, but there was some slight bewilderment  as he watched my butcher respond to my instructions of how I wanted the belly pork butchered.

 The belly and a heck of a lot of fresh herbs prior to rolling 
There was even more facial disbelief on our next visit to the butcher when I requested pork cheeks."Charming, I´ve never had pork cheeks before".
Porchetta is an all time favourite at Casa Rosada and when it comes to the cooking it is the domain of the thespian,and what a fine job he did (see above), crispy crackling et al.I backed up the Italian theme with rosemary roast new potatoes and chilli and garlic roasted sweet potato.

Put your roasting pan away thespian it was my turn now.I cooked Pork cheek Ragù with pappardelle.Mission accomplished Douglas,we believe you enjoyed it and took our point on board,well at least until next time.


*Porchetta has been selected by the Italian Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali as a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (“traditional agricultural-alimentary product”, one of a list of traditional Italian foods held to have cultural relevance).

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