PORK BELLY & SCALLOPS
by Neil Clifton
A lot of the dishes I cook at home are inspired from either something I have eaten or the availability of ingredients. For this dish, I found myself with left over redcurrant and bacon jelly that I had made for Christmas day. I really wanted to create a dish that looked like a restaurant quality dish and the colours of the scallops against the pork belly worked really well. While the belly is slowly cooked, it is compressed by a brick which gives it a uniform shape and looks much better when served.
Chilling the pork in the fridge before cooking not only allows you to cut the pork more easily, it also allows a second chance to crisp the skin as you warm it up!
500g organic pork belly
Handful of chopped sage
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
200ml good red wine
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
500ml chicken stock or 1/2 stock cube
A knob of butter
2 Scallops (per portion)
Butter for cooking
1. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cover the meat side with the sage.
2. Place the fat side down onto a preheated baking tray, cover in foil and place a brick or another heavy object on top to ensure the pork stays flat while cooking. Cook for 4 hours on gas mark 3. When cooked, allow to cool and then place in the fridge (still under weight)
3. Place the red wine, redcurrant jelly and balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and reduce until it starts to get sticky and dark.
4. Add in the chicken stock and reduce by 3/4.
5. Whisk in a knob of butter and then take off heat.
6. Sear the scallops for 2 minutes each side while basting with the butter.
7. While the scallops cube the pork to inch size and fry gently, fat side down basting with the butter from the scallops, plate and serve.
HINTS & TRICKS
You can dress the scallops with some very finely chopped shallots and friend pancetta for an additional porky flavour.
WINE SUGGESTION: Pork belly goes well with a light red, and this is a perfect half way house for a meaty shellfish and crispy and soft pork belly.