Ventrèche is pork belly that has been rubbed with salt, pepper and garlic, rolled up into a log shape, tied and then cured. Similar to pancetta, ventrèche is beautifully marbled pork with a firm texture. The flavor is rich, salty and very porky. Since it is not smoked, this is the perfect charcuterie for cooking. A few chunks of ventrèche will bring flavor and dimension to stews, soups and beans, which is the reason it is a vital ingredient in our cassoulet recipe. Ventrèche, when seared, offers a foundation of flavor to the classic recipes for coq au vin and beef bourguignon.
But diced ventrèche tossed into a dry, hot cast iron pan can be the start of a wonderful vegetable sauté; or use the crispy lardons as a salad topper or tossed into pasta with grated Parmesan cheese. Try it sliced thickly, like Canadian bacon, and seared on a griddle to accompany eggs for breakfast or brunch.
ingredients: pork belly rolled and flavored with pepper and garlic, dry cured with salt, dextrose, sodium erythorbate, flavoring, sodium nitrite
"Chef Chris Scarduzio of Philadelphia offers this marvelous dish for fall or winter. What could be better than knockwurst and boudin blanc on one plate? Perhaps a crispy leg of duck confitand a glass of Belgian beer on the side? "
"There is one rule for venison: Get a nice sear on the meat and serve it rare. This recipe, from the Food & Wine test kitchen, will ensure caramelized, juicy meat."
"This hearty casserole of preserved duck, sausages and beans is the heart & soul of Gascon cooking."
"Traditionally, roosters are used to make coq au vin, the classic French stew. Since roosters are hard to find, we suggest using chicken in this everyday dish that can easily serve as the center of a dinner party or a great Sunday meal with the family."
"This classic recipe has many variations, but almost always includes cheese, eggs, cured fatty pork and a lot of black pepper. We've also snuck in some duck and truffle oil."