Thinking of pork belly sandwiches with bottom of the pan relish, I cruised by the butcher/traiteur, Trotoux. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any suitable pork bellies :(
My second option was to go over to LeClerc, the supermarket that has okay pork and an experienced butcher. He wasn’t there! On vacation! In his place I had to attempt to talk to a teen-aged apprentice who wouldn’t listen. I hate that! Finally completely frustrated, I spoke to him like his mother probably needs to do frequently, letting him know that he couldn’t help me if he didn’t listen; think of the sound of a cracking whip :) Still the little person, not from want of listening but because of his inexperience, didn’t quite understand the idea of scoring the pork skin and cut into the meat portion a bit. He shamefacedly apologized but I told him it would be okay, patted him on the shoulder and smiled encouragingly. Sometimes you have to raise other people’s children, rather than let them continue down a bad road that could possibly lead to drugs :D
This Jamie Oliver’s friend’s inspired recipe is easy, fun to make and always pleases. The mixture of fruit, herbs and aromatics is perfect for roasted pork.
This delicious, roasted garlic almost didn’t make it back into the pan with the roasted vegetables and fruits.
As taught by Roger Stowell, Photoshop is not a substitute for good photography; you can’t Photoshop a bad photo into a good one. I believe that. However, you can remove an unsightly horsefly from the picture. Where’d he go ;)
This is the way we really eat. Not elegant, but satisfying. The rest is just romance :)
Pork Belly with Bottom of the Pan Relish
3 lb pork belly, skin scored
2 onions, quartered
3 apples, cored and cut into wedges
3 carrots, cut into chunks
2 garlic heads, tops sliced off
1 cup small, pitted prunes
3 fresh bay leaves
4 large sprigs fresh thyme
2 large sprigs rosemary
1/4 cup cider
The night before, rub the pork belly all over with sea salt and refrigerate. The next day, rub again with sea salt and set aside.
Put the onions, apples, carrots, garlic and prunes in the bottom of a roasting pan/tajine, then tuck in the herbs. Pour the cider over the vegetables, then place the pork belly on top.
Place in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes, then reduce to 350 F and continue to cook for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the pork belly, slice and set aside.
Remove the garlic heads and discard the herb leaves and sprigs. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the skin into the bottom of the roasting pan. With a hand potato masher, coarsely mash together the roasted vegetables in the bottom of the pan. Place some sliced meat on a baguette with mayonnaise, some bottom of the pan relish, lettuce and tomatoes.