A pork belly in the sea

In Alessio Cancedda’s dish, a hymn to Sardinian cuisine and to one of its most precious ingredients

Wild pig smoked pancetta with beer with plum sauce

Wild pig smoked pancetta with beer with plum sauce and glazed carrots by Alessio Cancedda, sous chef of the restaurant S'Apposentu in Siddi in Sardinia, the youngest among the finalists of the Premio Birra Moretti Grand Cru

My mini-menu starts with pork pancetta ("belly") a traditional ingredient available in every house in my land. I thought of giving a modern version, pairing it with a classic Birra Moretti because of its decided but not invasive flavour, that manages to maintain the balance between all the other ingredients. As for the beer pairing with the dish, I decided to use Birra Moretti Grand Cru. Its intense and multifaceted scents, from hop to fruits, perfectly match the complexity of the dish.

Wild pork smoked belly with beer, plum sauce and glazed carrots

Recipe for 4 people

400 g of pork pancetta
2 bay leaves
5 myrtle leaves 

5 rosemary needles
1/2 garlic clove

5 tablespoons of Birra Moretti
salt and pepper
to smoke the pancetta
5 tablespoons of Birra Moretti
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
1 sprig of thyme

for the sauce
the gelatine resulting from the pancetta
4 juicy plums, diced
2 tablespoons of Birra Moretti
1 tablespoon of wine vinegar 

1 tablespoon of honey
8 young carrots 

4 scallions

1 sprig of rosemary
2 bay leaves 

extra virgin olive oil

The perfect match: Birra Moretti Grand Cru

The perfect match: Birra Moretti Grand Cru

Prepare the pancetta removing nerves, fat wrapping and bones; season it with salt and herbs and leave it to marinate for 8 hours in the fridge. After this, put the sugar in a pan so it caramelizes, add the beer, then the thyme and reduce until it starts to smoke. Put a grill over the pan, place the pancetta on top, turn off the heat and cover with a pot, leaving it to smoke for 40 minutes.

Cool the pancetta in a chiller, put it in a vacuum pack, add 4 tablespoons of Birra Moretti and seal. Cook in a bain-marie at 62°C for 28 hours.
Remove the pack from the water and put it in the chiller. Once the pancetta is cold, extract it from the pack and retrieve all the resulting gelatine. Drain well, cut in 6X4 cm rectangles, put them on the griddle and roast so that the skin becomes crispy.

for the sauce
Put the honey in a small casserole, bring to the boil and add the vinegar. Reduce the mixture, add the plums and the beer. Reduce at least by another half, add the gelatine and reduce until you obtain the desired texture. Filter and keep warm.

for the carrots
Put two tablespoons of oil in a pan, heat it on a high heat, add the carrots cut in half along their length, scallions, rosemary and honey. Add salt and pepper. Add 6 tablespoons of water, cover with a lid and leave to stew on a high flame for a few minutes. Uncover and add salt if necessary. Once removed from the heat, season the carrots with some extra virgin olive oil.

Using a brush, paint a stripe of sauce on the serving dish. Cut the pancetta and place it on the sauce. Pour some more sauce, put the carrots and scallions on one side, add a drop of extra virgin olive oil and finish with some crystals of salt.

Also by Alessio Cancedda: Toasted barley and beer ice-cream


A tutta birra

The recipes and the best moments of the second edition of Premio Birra Moretti Grand Cru