Main course Mediterranean Pork

Chorizo and pork belly with polenta chips

Pork belly is amazing, it just needs alot of cooking, it goes well with chorizo (double pork!) Polenta chips are a good addition but any carb will work with this dish


Cooking time
3 hours

750g Boneless pork belly
Olive Oil
150g diced pancetta
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
200g chorizo chopped (use a good quality one from a deli counter)
1 tin plum tomatoes
150ml red wine
1 heaped tsp sugar
Bunch of coriander
Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
Polenta chips
1 cup polenta (I used non-instant)
2 cups cold (room temperature) water
1 1/2 cups boiling water (approx)
2 tbsp butter
Sea salt
1/3 cup polenta, extra, for coating
Vegetable oil for frying
Rosemary leaves, chopped
Finely grated parmesan

Heat the oven to fan 140C. Cut the pork belly into large chunks and fry in some hot olive oil until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Add the pancetta and cook for a few minutes until golden, then reduce the heat slightly and add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft which will take about five minutes, then stir in the paprika and chorizo and cook for a further minute.

Return the pork to the pan and add the tomatoes, add the wine and bring to the boil and cook for a couple of mins before adding enough water just to cover. Season then cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours until the pork is falling apart.

In the meantime add 2 cups cold water and stir in the polenta. Turn on the heat to medium and stir the polenta constantly until it starts to simmer. Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water, and then bring the polenta mixture to a simmer again.
Turn down the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the polenta from clumping. Stir in the butter and add salt to taste. Pour the mixture into a baking dish or pan lined with clingwrap. Spread it evenly and smoothen the surface. Set aside to cool, and if necessary, pop it into the fridge for a while so that the polenta cake firms up.
Remove the polenta cake from the baking dish and slice into cubes or bite-sized nuggets (about 1/3 inch thick).
Place the extra 1/3 cup polenta in a shallow dish and toss in the sliced polenta cubes to coat evenly. Shake off excess polenta. Heat sufficient vegetable oil in a pan/wok for deep-frying. Deep-fry the polenta cubes in batches, for about 5-7 minutes until golden and crisp.
Remove and drain on kitchen paper, and then place in a serving bowl. While they are still hot, sprinkle with salt, rosemary and plenty of grated parmesan. Serve with the stew
Note: For a healthier alternative, you may choose to bake these in the oven at 200C (400F) instead of deep-frying them.

Stir through the coriander and parsley. Serve with potatoes, toasted sliced ciabatta with melted gruyere and a fine vino.

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