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Thyme, Pork Belly and Spice Conserve

Thyme, Pork Belly and Spice Conserve

This recipe grew out of our fondness for the Italian method of preserving slabs of pork fat and herbs within marble caskets. The stone tombs kept the temperatures cool and even and the herbs and salt cured the fat that would be used to great effect in browning aromatic vegetables for soups and stews. Our version, while lacking the fancy containers, will contribute a welcome fat and flavor to your pan of aromatic vegetables.

Ingredients

Serves many people

  • 2 pounds of pork belly sliced into 1½ to 2 inch strips
  • 3 dry red chiles cut into small pieces
  • Coarse sea salt about 2 tablespoons
  • Coarse ground black pepper about 2 tablespoons
  • 3-4 bunches fresh thyme

Preparation

Prep: 10 min • Ready in: 48 hr

Cover the bottom of a glass or ceramic dish with 1 bunch of fresh thyme and ⅓ of the chiles. Salt and pepper the strips of pork belly all over and place on top of the strewn thyme branches.

Surround the pork belly strips with the remaining ingredients, cover the dish with wax paper and place into fridge. It will be ready to use within two days and will keep for weeks.

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