Monday, 12 November 2007

Pork, Sausage & Borlotti bean Stew with Greek yoghurt and Gremolata

This dish came about after a gander around Broadway Farmer's Market in Hackney. This is definately one of my favourite markets to shop at in London as it is a great source of locally grown produce that doesn't make it as far as the higher priced and more popular Borough Market. Even if it is a fair few miles from where I live, this market is well worth a visit. This dish became supper for four, having bought some organic free range pork belly, equally delicious Toulouse style sausages and a few tins of Borlotti beans.

1kg Pork Belly
A few pork ribs
I large bulb of Fennel
6/8 Shallots
300ml Vermouth
Bay leaves
Rosemary sprigs
4 fat Toulouse Sausages
6 Garlic cloves
2 tins of Italian Plum Tomatoes
2 Tins of Borlotti Beans

This dish requires a bit of patience, but takes minimum effort and fuss, as it is essentially a stew with various slow cooked components. First cook the pork belly; creating a bed of sliced fennel, shallots and pork ribs, to which the pork belly is layered over. Nestle bay leaves and sprigs of rosemary and douse everything with the vermouth and a good drizzle of olive oil. Season well and cover your roasting dish with foil. Place into an oven at 180C and cook for two hours until the meat is soft and succulent. Let the meat rest then remove the skin and any layer of fat that is left. (The skin can be roasted separately with plenty of salt and pummeled herbs to create a fabulous crackling). Drain the juices, skimming off most of the fat and discard the ribs. Set aside the cooking liquor.
In a deep frying pan drizzle some good olive oil and slowly cook the sausages with the garlic cloves and bay leaves, making sure the sausages caramelise nicely without the garlic burning. After 10/12 minutes remove the sausages and set aside and then add the tins of tomatoes to the lovely garlicky, sausagey oil. Season, add also a pinch of sugar and the saffron fronds. Turn the heat down and reduce for 40 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes have broken down to a soft sauce. Add the pork belly (now in lovely, thick chunks) sausages, and drained beans and toss through the sauce. Pour in the cooking liquor that was reserved earlier and transfer it all to a deep roasting dish and cook for a further 30/40 minutes on a moderate oven until the sauce has deepened in flavour and texture, and the sausages and beans are plump and juicy.
Serve hot with generous spoon of greek yoghurt and a gremolata (a finely chopped garlic clove, the zest of half an unwaxed lemon and a good bunch of parsley - all finely chopped together to create a clean, zesty topping), and a drizzle of your best olive oil.

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