Porchetta ala Africa
22 December 2019
A Legendary Foods Project
Africa has a rich history of meat curing. Unfortunately, it is also a lost history. Our Legendary Foods Segment is dedicated to bringing these dishes back to life. Much can be accomplished through inference! We combine European recipes with what we know for certain was and still is African recipes. Our goal is not to reproduce the African recipes to the last detail. No, we don’t know enough to be able to do that. We take what we know for certain to be African and we combine it with European recipes to create something legendary!
Porchetta by Robert
Today we do something with pork belly. Robert did an excellent one which we use as the basis of our own creation. Porchetta [porˈketta] is a savoury, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition. The carcass is deboned, arranged carefully stuffed with liver, wild fennel, all fat and skin still on spitted, and/or roasted, traditionally over wood for 8+ hours. Porchetta is usually heavily salted in addition to being stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel, or other herbs, often wild. Porchetta has been selected by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy as a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (“traditional agricultural-food product”, one of a list of traditional Italian foods held to have cultural relevance).
Ala is French and is defined as prepared in a certain way or for a particular person.
Africa is the great unexplored continent, rich in culinary tradition.
There is a rich tradition among most of the African tribes of Southern Africa where meat is salted with either salt or through ash with high salt content. The meat is dried. When you want to cook it, the meat is pulverised by beating it with an object like a rock. When it is broken down into fine parts, it is cooked in a stew and ground nuts such as peanuts are added.
I am sending this to our product development team to see how nuts can be added to the dish to bring about the “fusion” with African meat culture.
The dried meat reminds me off bacon shavings which we have in abundance in our factory. The belly is an expensive cut which is difficult to cut as bacon due to the amount of belly trim created. With this dish, we are focussing on the belly and creates a unique roast with a decent selling price, a good margin to take care of profitability and by making it for Africa and by Africans, we are able to put something truly delicious on the consumer’s table with a great story!
Adapted from the work of Robert Goodrick.
Link to his post: