This recipe might sound very unusual to you – scallops and pork on the same plate? Actually this combination works really well, as you might already know if you have experienced the joys of bacon-wrapped scallops, a similar flavored dish. The pork is cooked a day in advance with vegetables and herbs, so you get a flavorful broth out of it as well, then it is fried to crispy brilliance the following day.
Something else that finds its way into our skillet is radicchio and if you are thinking that is a leafy green salad vegetable then you are right, but it has the right character and structure for cooking (as does romaine) so you can fry that too, since the flavor is divine with the pork and scallops. Leave the radicchio out if you do not want to use it, perhaps serving some broccoli or green beans as a side dish instead. You might also like to cook some potatoes or rice to serve with this.
The pork and scallop combo is finished off with a lovely port reduction, which might sound like a fancy chef’s term but actually it is very simple to make, and all you have to do is simmer a little port wine with some of the stock you get from the pork belly, and wait for it to thicken. This rich, sweet, and thick sauce is amazing with the pork, and the seared scallops add a contrasting flavor as well, which finishes off the meal just right.
- 3 lbs pork belly, off the bone
- 8 large scallops
- 1 carrot
- ½ garlic bulb
- 1 onion
- Small bunch each thyme and rosemary
- 3 star anise
- ½ cup port wine
- Handful chopped radicchio
- A few sliced chives, for garnish
- Put the pork in a pan and cover it with cold water.
- Peel the onion.
- Add the whole carrot, the whole onion, and the thyme, star anise, garlic and rosemary to the pork belly in the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook it for an hour or 2, or until tender and cooked through.
- Take the pork out of the stock and sieve the stock.
- Save 3 tablespoons of it.
- Put the pork on a tray and put another tray on top of it.
- Weigh down the top tray then chill overnight in the refrigerator.
- Heat the port with the reserved stock in a small pan, simmering until you get a thick sauce.
- Thickly slice the pork.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over a high heat and fry it for a couple of minutes per side, or until it is golden brown all over.
- Divide it between 4 serving plates.
- Fry the radicchio for a couple of minutes, then drain on absorbent paper and ladle over the pork.
- Fry the scallops for a minute or 2 per side in the same skillet, or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Arrange the scallops on top of the pork, and drizzle the port sauce over the top.
- Garnish with the chives.
You can tell from one glance that this is a special dish, and you can see from the photo how juicy those seared scallops are going to be. Cooking scallops is very easy and you just need to fry them for a minute or two per side until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked through. The pork belly is cooked in two ways. First you will braise it and then you will slice and fry it, to give it an incredible taste and texture. This serves four as a main course (along with your choice of potatoes or rice, plus some vegetables) or you could stretch it to eight if you want to serve it as an appetizer.
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