The Catalonia region in Northeastern Spain is one of the most celebrated culinary regions in Europe. With deceptively simple, rustic dishes created from humble, high-quality produce and local ingredients like eggs, olive oil, salt cod, cheese and bread (to say nothing of the jamón), this is one part of the world where you’re guaranteed to eat well every meal of the day. Join London-based chef José Pizarro on a journey through this storied cuisine, and get inspired! This pan-fried pork belly is truly sublime.
Over time, the local Catalonian breeds of pig have sadly disappeared. I’ve recently had some amazing meat from a new breed, El Ral d’Avinyó, which has been created by some really innovative butchers in the region, but some great quality British pork will work perfectly for this recipe.
Pork belly usually feels quite wintry, but I think this makes for a really refreshing salad at any time of the year, especially if you add some preserved lemons to help cut through the fat.
- 2 pounds 3 ounces boneless piece pork belly, rind removed and fat scored
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil for frying
- 2 garlic cloves, bashed
- Few sprigs of lemon thyme
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 25 ounces fresh chicken stock
- 3-4 zucchini, sliced into ribbons
- 1 large fennel bulb, finely shredded
- Preserved lemons
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
For the pork belly
Season the pork belly all over and cut into six pieces. Heat a layer of oil in a deep frying pan and brown the pork belly all over. Add the garlic, lemon thyme and fennel seeds. Cook for a minute more then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently, covered, for 45 minutes.
Toss the courgettes, fennel and preserved lemons together in a bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season. Serve the salad with the pork belly.