29th Nov 2017
1kg boneless piece pork belly, rind removed and fat scored
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil for frying
2 garlic cloves, bashed
few sprigs of lemon thyme
1 tsp fennel seeds
750ml fresh chicken stock
3-4 courgettes, sliced into ribbons
1 large fennel bulb, finely shredded
1 quantity of preserved lemons (see below)
extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
For the preserved lemons
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 whole red chilli
2-3 sprigs lemon verbena or lemon thyme
To make the preserved lemons, pare the lemons and put the zest in a sterilised Kilner jar. Remove the pith from the lemons then cut out the wedges and add to the jar. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil and add the sugar, salt, peppercorns, chilli and lemon verbena. Shake gently to dissolve the sugar then leave for at least a couple of hours or for up to a week.
Season the pork belly all over and cut into six pieces. Heat a layer of oil in a deep frying pan and brown the pork belly all over. Add the garlic, lemon thyme and fennel seeds. Cook for a minute more then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently, covered, for 45 minutes.
Toss the courgettes, fennel and preserved lemons together in a bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season. Serve the salad with the pork belly.
Extracted from Catalonia: Recipes from Barcelona and Beyond by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, approx €28). Photography © Laura Edwards.
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