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Middle White Pork Belly, Roast Carrot, Bagna Cauda, Chicory and Onion Tart
Middle White Pork Belly, Roast Carrot, Bagna Cauda, Chicory and Onion Tart
Over 2 hours

Whereas our chop recipe is all about celebrating pork exactly as it is, here the key is not just treating the belly well, but adding to it with other strong, distinctive flavours: pork belly needs to have the flavour eked out of it, and responds well to other ingredients on the plate. Here, the tartness of the chicory and apple along with the salty punch of anchovy give it all the support it needs.

Extracted from The Quality Chop House: Modern Recipes and Stories from a London Classic by Wiliam Lander, Daniel Morgenthau & Shaun Searley (Quadrille, £27) Photography: Andrew Montgomery

Recipe courtesy of

Pork Belly

  • 500g pork belly, skin on, bone in (ask your butcher to give you a piece of pork from the rib end of the belly and have them score the skin for you)
  • 2 leafy carrots
  • salt

Chicory Tarts

  • 50g bacon lardons
  • 2 heads of white chicory
  • 80g rendered pork fat
  • 50g butter
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 16cm disc of puff pastry, 4mm thick
  • 50g Lyonnaise onions (see below)
  • Small bunch of chervil
  • ½ Granny Smith apple
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

To Serve

  • 100g bagna cauda (see below)
  • 80g brown butter jus (see below)

Lyonnaise Onions

  • 6 small white onions, thinly sliced
  • 150g sliced beef fat
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp picked thyme leaves

Bagna Cauda (makes 550g, enough for 4 as a dip)

  • 325g garlic cloves
  • 850ml milk
  • 700ml water
  • 40g boquerones (pickled white anchovies), drained
  • 40g Ortiz anchovies, drained
  • ½ tsp Chardonnay vinegar
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 120ml vegetable oil

Brown Butter Jus (makes 400ml)

  • 200ml beef sauce (see below)
  • 250g butter

Beef Sauce (makes 1l)

  • 1.5l dark chicken stock
  • 1l dark beef stock
  • 250ml port
  • 250ml red wine
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For the Lyonnaise Onions

  1. Combine the onions with the beef fat and salt in a heavy-based saucepan and place over a low heat. Add the thyme and gently stew until the onions begin to caramelise, stirring occasionally. This takes a couple of hours to do properly. When the onions are a rich golden brown colour, remove from the heat and strain off any excess fat. If you want to store them for a few weeks, don’t discard the fat but leave it covering the onions to preserve them.

For the Bagna Cauda

  1. You need to start by making a garlic paste, which will act as the base for the bagna cauda. Peel the garlic, then cut the garlic cloves in half and remove the green germ, which can be bitter and unpleasant. Combine 700ml of milk with 700ml of water.
  2. Place your prepared cloves in a saucepan along with the milk–water mixture. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, skim the froth off the milk and discard. Repeat this four more times, then pour in the remaining 150ml of milk. At this point, the milk needs to cover the garlic, so add a touch more if necessary. Simmer the mixture over a very low heat, stirring every few minutes, until it forms a thick paste consistency and the garlic has completely broken
  3. down. Remove from heat and chill.
  4. To finish the bagna cauda, put the garlic paste into a high-speed blender with the drained anchovies, vinegar and lemon juice. Blend at a medium-high speed and gradually add the oil in a thin stream to emulsify. As with any emulsion, if it’s getting too thick before you’ve added all the oil, a dash of cold water will sort things out. Pass through a fine sieve and store in the fridge. It will keep for a couple of weeks.

For the Brown Butter Jus

  1. First, make brown butter. Gently heat the butter to 180°C, carefully skimming and discarding the froth that will form on top. Once the butter reaches 180°C and smells nutty, pass the brown butter through a fine sieve into a bowl. You can store this in the fridge for up to a month.
  2. To make the jus, warm the the beef sauce and brown butter together in a pan over a medium heat, whisking until the butter is completely melted into the sauce.

For the Beef Sauce

  1. Combine the stocks, port and wine together. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then turn down to a simmer. Leave the stock to reduce by two thirds, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.
  2. You should end up with a rich, full-bodied sauce that is almost sticky in texture. Chill and store in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze the sauce in sandwich bags for later use.

For the Pork Belly, Tart, and To Serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C. Season the pork belly with salt and place skin-side up in a roasting tray. Roast for 20–30 minutes to crisp the skin; once you’ve got some good crackling going, turn the oven down to 120°C and slow-cook for 1 hour. Check the core temperature using a probe – it should be 58°C. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, making sure that you retain 80g of rendered pork fat for the chicory, and turn the oven up to 170°C.
  2. Get on with the carrots. Remove the leafy tops from your carrots and save for the salad later. Peel and season the carrots with salt and some pork fat from the roasting tin, then roast for 15–20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, make your tart. Fry off the lardons and leave to one side. Remove any brown or discoloured outer leaves from the chicory and cut in half lengthways. Heat the pork fat in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and brown the chicory cut-side down. Don’t be tempted to rush this – you want to the chicory to be slowly caramelising. When they are golden, add the butter and flip so that the cut-side is facing up. Sprinkle with caster sugar and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 180°C and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Lay your puff pastry on the lined baking sheet and spread a thin layer of Lyonnaise onions to the edges. Sprinkle the bacon lardons over the top of the onions. Now slice the top half off the chicory and set aside. Finely chop the bottom half and spread a layer over the onions. Neatly arrange the tops on the tart and bake for 12 minutes. Carefully lift the tart up on one side to check the base of the pastry – it should be golden brown and crisp. Leave the tart to rest while you prepare the salad.
  5. Pick the chervil and carrot tops into small leaves and wash in iced water. Drain and shake off any excess water. Thinly shave the apple using a mandoline and then slice into matchsticks. Mix the leaves and apple together and season with olive oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place a large handful on top of the tart and then get on with building the rest of the plate. Carve a big slice of the pork belly, place a carrot next to it with a good spoonful of bagna cauda and finally drizzle with the brown butter jus.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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