Created By: Chef Tony Baker
You might never encounter such a unique and exquisite blueberry recipe. Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Restaurant in Monterey, CA created this for the 2009 Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival. See note below for where to buy specialty ingredients.
Pork Belly and Blueberry Compote
- 3 to 4 lb. pork belly
- 1 Tbsp. fennel pollen
- 1 Tbsp. celery salt
- 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 Tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 3 Packages (6 ounces or 1 1/4 cup each) Driscoll's Blueberries
- 1/4 Cup orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons raw or Turbinado sugar
- 8 Tablespoons chilled butter, divided
- 3 Cups veal or pork stock
- 1 Cup red wine
- 1/2 Cup cider vinegar
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lb. cauliflower florets
- 1-2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard (Pommery preferred)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- Celery sprouts, lemon juice and Kosher salt
Pork Belly and Blueberry Compote
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine 2 packages blueberries, orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat just until sugar melts and berries are glossy. Set aside.
Cut pork belly into 3x4-inch pieces. Combine fennel pollen, celery salt, garlic powder and pepper; rub evenly over pork. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Place pork in a deep roasting pan or Dutch oven. Roast uncovered 20 minutes. Poke the fat layer all over with a roasting fork. Return to oven for 20 minutes or until fat starts to brown and render. Scrape off any excess salt and seasonings. Reduce oven to 325°F.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add onion, carrots, celery and bay leaf. Cook over medium heat until very soft. Add stock, red wine and cider vinegar; bring a boil. Remove from heat.
Add stock mixture to roasting pan. Cover and return to oven 2-1/2 hours until pork is very tender. Let the roast cool slightly, then remove roast and strain the stock left in the roasting pan.
Simmer stock in a saucepan until slightly reduced; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer remaining package blueberries and 1 tablespoon butter in another saucepan until juices release. Add the reduced stock, simmer 1 minute then strain through a fine sieve. Return sauce to pan. Bring to a simmer and whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is thick and silky.
Boil cauliflower in salted water until tender. Drain. Spread on a baking sheet and place in a hot oven to dry slightly, about 6 minutes. Purée cauliflower, mustard and butter in a food processor until smooth.
Re-warm ingredients as needed. Spoon the cauliflower puree onto serving plates. Slice pork and arrange along side of puree. Spoon the warm blueberry compote over pork and surround with warm blueberries. Garnish with celery sprouts drizzled with lemon juice and a dash of kosher salt.
Pork belly comes from a hog's 'belly' or underside and is succulent and rich in flavor. This cut is not widely available in supermarkets, but can be ordered from the meat department manager upon request. Pork belly may also be available online and in some ethnic food stores, including Chinese and Hispanic markets. Fennel pollen and celery sprouts can be found in Italian specialty food stores or gourmet spice retailers.