Pork belly with cannellini beans and salsa verde

4
1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

Fennel rub

  • 1 tbsp of fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 8 pork belly strips

Cannellini beans

  • 300g of dried cannellini beans, (soaked overnight)
  • 800ml of stock, or water
  • 1 banana shallot, cut lengthways in quarters
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 sprig of sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

Salsa verde

  • 20g of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 banana shallot, very finely chopped
  • 3 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of capers, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and half the juice
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 60ml of olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Raw fennel salad

  • 1 fennel
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • extra virgin olive oil

Method

1
At least one hour before cooking, but preferably the evening before, marinate the pork with the fennel rub. Using a mortar and pestle, grind up the fennel seeds, peppercorns and salt to a coarse rub. Fold in the lemon zest then apply evenly over each of the pork belly strips. Cover and leave to cure overnight
2
Also the evening before, place the beans in a bowl of water so they are submerged by about 5cm and leave to soak overnight in the fridge
3
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Rinse the cure off the pork belly with cold water to prevent it tasting too salty, then pat dry thoroughly with kitchen towel
4
Place a pan over a high heat with a splash of oil, and once smoking add the pork belly and colour each strip on all sides. You may need to cook the pork belly in batches to make sure your pan stays hot
5
Drain the beans and place in a large overproof dish with the stock, rosemary, sage, garlic and shallot
6
Once the pork belly strips are well caramelised all over, place them on top of the beans and cover with a lid or tin foil. Place in the oven and cook for 60–90 minutes or until the beans are cooked through
7
After about 45 minutes, remove the lid or tin foil to let the stock reduce
8
To make the salsa verde, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper
9
Prepare a quick shaved fennel salad by shaving the fennel finely on a mandoline and place into a bowl of ice water to crisp up. Just before serving, drain the fennel and dress with a squeeze of lemon juice and some extra virgin olive oil
10
Once the beans are cooked through, remove the pork from the top and then fold through the salsa verde
11
Divide the beans between your plates, top with pork belly and finish with some shaved fennel salad