Mouthwatering Mustard Bacon
In Italy we have a great culinary heritage. You could visit a city a day for a year and in each one you’ll have the opportunity to sample a typical recipe little known to most people, that you can only find there. What make our traditional dishes so special is their simplicity: a few simple ingredients, but together with balance and method.
Every time I go abroad I meet a dish that is not Italian but I’d love it to be: the Pork Belly. Do not make the mistake of confusing it with a dish greasy and cloying. Here the raw material makes all the difference in the world. The Pork Belly is not made with the lower part but with what many butchers call “flank”, the lean part of the pig’s belly, the rib cage part. For comparison, the same used to make the Bacon.
In this recipe, we prepare the belly making him stand on the salt, from the side of the rind so to dry it out and make it more crisp, and the other with a sauce made of wholegrain mustard, broth and thyme. The taste is simply delicious: balanced, the kind that you can keep on eating without having enough, with the delicate and intriguing note of mustard as a backdrop. In many ways it reminds me of the Porchetta but with a middle european character.
For cooking we use the Weber Summit Charcoal that we presented here. The great insulation of the gear allows us to get to very high temperatures if necessary, with a quantity of fuel actually contained.
Ingredients (per 12 people):
1 Pork Belly (flank)
1 cup of Broth
2 spoons of Wholegrain Mustard
3 spoons of Brown Sugar
2 tea spoons of Thyme
1 tea spoon of Black Pepper
1 tea spoon of Salt
500 gr. of Rough Sea Salt
- Turn the belly rind side up and lightly incise it in the two directions, with the aid of a sharp knife
- In a container, sprinkle some cooking salt. Rub the rind side of the belly on the salt, then let it rest at this location
- Aside, in a blender put brown sugar, thyme, salt and pepper and reduce it to a powder. Put in a saucepan the broth to heat, then add the mustard and the contents of the blender mixing. Let simmer for about twenty minutes until reduced to about half. Allow to cool, then apply with a brush on the meat side of the belly. Have no fear for the rind: The salt will absorb any leakage, continuing its slow work. Let the sauce is acting for about two hours.
- Prepare an indirect heat in two points on your charcoal or gas device and stabilized it at 180ºC. Place the belly on grid with the side of the rind upwards. If you like, add a handful of apple chips.
- The Pork Belly is done at 84ºC to the heart. When about twenty degrees will miss, give full air to your charcoal device or fully turn up the knobs of your gas device, to raise the temperature above 200ºC. This help frying rind on itself, making it even more crispy.
- Now you just have to let it rest a few minutes and slice it directly to the table on a wooden board.
This is a dish for a king, but simply prepared and with very simple ingredients. It would looks as the story of many Italian dishes…
Do you think of any traditional dish that we could cook in this way?