This is not a recipe to eat but a recipe to make a facsimile of a French ingredient – lightly salted belly pork. The result is something milder and more pork-like than green streaky bacon, which is probably the closest regularly available (in the UK) substitute. Once cured, it is used in a variety of traditional French dishes such as Cassoulet and Petit Salé aux Lentilles .
|preparation time:||7 days|
- 30g caster sugar
- 5g sodium nitrite (optional – cosmetic)
- 15g juniper berries
- 8 allspice berries
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 6 cloves
- 5 dried bay leaves
- 500g salt
- 2 kg belly pork
Sterilize your hands, the work surface and a container (large enough to hold your pork) before proceeding. (Apparently, Milton Fluid works nicely.)
Put everything down to but not including the salt into a spice grinder or food processor and blitz it all together to a powder. If you started in a spice grinder, transfer now to a food processot, add the salt and blitz for another 30 seconds. You now have Sel Aromatisé .
Cover the bottom of your sterilized container with a layer of the Sel Aromatisé . Rub as much Sel Aromatisé into the piece of pork belly as you can then place it skin-side on top of the layer of Sel Aromatisé in the container. Pour the remaining Sel Aromatisé over it and cover with a lid or cling film. Refrigerate for 7 days then rinse and soak in clean, cold water for 24 hours to desalinate. Change the water 4 times.
Refrigerated, it will apparently keep for about 2 weeks but personally, I’d set about making a cassoulet almost immediately (assuming, of course, that I also had some Duck Confit ).