Pork Belly, Mushroom & Sage Orecchiette
Pork belly is one of those meats that works in so many amazing ways. I’ve used it in a variety of dishes and it really does give a dish a sweet, juicy, salty flavour. Wild pork belly is far less fatty than store-bought, and the flavour of the meat is simply incredible. You can taste the very earth, the wildness of the sky and forest, in the meat. If you’re lucky enough to bag a wild pig, try out this recipe on some of the belly – you’ll thank me for it!
• 250g pork belly
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 150g white mushrooms, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 1 Tbsp sage, chopped
• 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
• 250ml cream
• 3 Tbsp white wine
• 250g orecchiette
• 1 egg yolk
• ¼ cup grated or powdered Parmesan
• Parmesan cheese to serve
1. Slice the pork belly into 4 long slices and then chop into bite-size cubes.
2. Heat a large pan over high heat. Add olive oil and get the pan hot. Drop in the pork pieces and fry until crispy – not a hard, crunchy kind of crispy (this is important!), but just so that the fatty end is golden and crisped.
3. Add mushrooms and garlic to the pork. Season with salt and pepper. Add sage and cherry tomatoes. Add cream and bring to a simmer, then add wine.
4. As soon as you add the cream, get your orecchiette pasta on. Fill a large pot around three- quarters full of water and bring to the boil. Cook the orecchiette, covered, for around 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
5. To the cream mix, add the egg yolk and stir through. Make sure you stir it right around the whole pan – you’ll find the cream will thicken quite quickly. Add Parmesan and stir through. Remove from heat. Add more salt and pepper to taste. 6. Toss drained orecchiette through sauce and serve with as much additional Parmesan as you like.