Chef Dominic DiBartolomeo works as a Senior Sous-Chef with the Hawksworth Restaurant Group. He shared with us this delicious recipe for Pork Belly with Fermented Squash Puree, a dish inspired by what is available on local farms in the fall, conceptualized in his mind by what is in season. It takes a minimum of two days to ferment the squash in his recipe, but the pay-off is a stunning dish that really shows off what BC has to offer seasonally.
Pork Belly with Fermented Squash Puree
For Pork Belly
- Slab of pork belly
- kosher salt
- brown sugar
- 1 cup hard cider
For side of Scallops (optional)
- 6 large scallops
- 10 ml canola oil
- 1 tsp butter
- one lemon, juice of
- 2 cups madera apples
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 6 lemons, juice of
For Fermented Squash
- 1 kg (2lbs) squash, thinly sliced
- any available root veg (brussels sprouts in this recipe worked fine)
- salted water, to cover
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 50ml oil
- half head of cabbage, sliced thin
- cream, to chef’s taste
1. Season pork belly to taste with kosher salt and brown sugar. Vacuum-pack and sous vide for 12 hours at 72 C. If you do not have a vac pack, you can cook at 275, covered in a roasting pan on a riser. Add one cup of hard cider at the bottom and cover with tin foil until tender. Poke holes into tin foil. Cool and sear when ready to eat.
2. Scallops- remove abductor muscle if still attached and pat scallops dry with a paper towel. In a pan on high heat, add 10ml canola and season scallops with salt, searing until golden brown. Flip and add a teaspoon of butter and baste. Squeeze a lemon into the pan to stop butter from browning. Remove scallops from pan.
3. Poached apples- peel and add to a pan 2 cups madera apples, 2 sprigs of thyme, 3 tablespoon sugar and add lemon juice of 6 lemons, cooking on medium heat until tender. Cool the apples whole and peeled. This will make it easy to work with on the cook.
4. Add any root vegetable or veggie you enjoy in the fall. The pic has brussels sprouts.
5. Fermented squash puree- in a glass pot or bowl add 1 kg squash sliced thin, 200 gr Brussel sprout or cabbage sliced thin. Water to cover with 60 gr of salt. Mix and store in a warm place, covered with cling film, for a minimum of 2 days. If you want it funkier let it ferment longer. 4 days is my personal max. Once fermented, remove from water and add in a pot.
6. Sweat out 4 garlic cloves, 1 onion sliced thin, and 50ml oil. Cook until translucent no colour. Once cooked, add cabbage and squash and cook on low to medium heat until squash completely breaks down and is soft. Remember to stir often. Once cooked, transfer to a blender or food processor and blend with cream until mixture is smooth. Cream will be dependent on how much water is cooked out.
7. Add any sauce you want with your choice of herbs and enjoy!