My attempt at replicating a meal I had at FIG (Food is Good) in Charleston. I could never match what Chef Latta and the staff at FIG (one of my top two restaurants in Charleston) can do, but this turned out pretty good never the less. The meal I had at the restaurant is chronicled in the article: Suckling Pig Confit, sautéed young greens, roasted beets, mustard jus, smoked bacon at FIG.
Local pork belly from Whole Foods (ask, they have it in the back) which was braised and seared ended up very good. Roasted beets and the mustard greens balanced the richness of the pork.
The biggest difference between Chef Latta’s and mine was the confit. A long slow bath in duck fat makes a car bumper taste good. Also, if I ever make this again, I’ll trim more of the fat off before starting. I would take more time for the braise and for the jus. I would strain and skim the jus several times and let it reduce and fortify.
Don’t get me wrong, this was awesome. Nowhere near FIG but pretty dang good.
- 2 pounds pork belly, skin removed
- 1-2 bunches beets
- 1 bunch mustard greens, cleaned and dried, torn in bit size pieces (collard, or other greens are fine)
- Kosher salt
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ Whole grain mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, 2 smashed, 1 minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2-3 cups low-sodium chick stock
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
- In a medium Dutch oven over medium high heat, sear the pork belly. Cook until all sides are crispy and rendered. Set aside.
- Remove all but a few tablespoons of the renderings. Add onion, celery and carrots. Season with salt and cook until slightly tender. Add 2 smashed garlic cloves and crushed red pepper (to taste). Cook a few more minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add wine, reduce by half. Add thyme, bay and the pork. Cover the pork and vegetables with stock. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover and place in the oven. Cook until tender, approximately 3 to 3 ½ hours.
- Once the pork is done, remove and strain out all the vegetables and herbs. Place the remaining liquid in a medium sauce pot and add mustard. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Reduce the sauce and skim as much fat as you can off the top. I would suggest being more patient than I was. You can see in the picture the sauce was doomed from the start, too fatty.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Trim the beets and make a few thin incisions in the skin from top to bottom (this will make removing the skin easier later). Wrap beets in tin foil and place on a sheet pan. Roast until tender, approximately 1 hour. Set aside and allow to cool to the touch. Under running water, slide the skins off and keep warm.
- In a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil. When you see the oil shimmer, add more crushed red pepper and minced garlic. Cook for one minute and a add greens. Toss until just barely wilted. Season with salt.