Roasted Tesa, Cabbage-Apple Salad, Arbequina California Olive Oil, Dijon Mustard, Wholegrain Mustard, and Champagne Vinegar

Adapted by
November 2011
Yield: 4 Servings


4 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 bay leaves, crushed
4 sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
4 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
1 pound fresh pork belly, skin removed
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup white wine
Cabbage-Apple Salad
1 head green cabbage, shaved
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into batons and soaked in the juice of 1 lemon
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
¼ cup California Arbequina olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
Champagne vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Tesa:
Mix the garlic, salt, black pepper, brown sugar, nutmeg, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary in a broad bowl. Add the pork belly to the bowl and roll it around so that it is coated evenly in the salt mixture. Press down on the belly so that the salt mixture really sticks to it. Put the pork belly on a cookie sheet, wrap the sheet in plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator. Discard any remaining salt mixture. Let the pork belly cure for 1 week in the refrigerator. Once or twice during the week, flip the belly over and discard any liquid that has come out.

After 1 week, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove the belly (now tesa) from the refrigerator and rinse it thoroughly under running water. Pat the tesa dry. Cut a crosshatch pattern into the top, fattier side of the tesa. In a sauté pan large enough to accommodate the tesa, warm the vegetable oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tesa, fat side down. Turn the heat to medium-low. Cook the tesa until the fat is an even golden brown. This could take as long as 15 minutes. Once the tesa is browned, put it in a baking dish. Add the white wine, cover with a lid and bake in the oven until tender, about 3 hours. Remove the tesa from the oven then cool completely. Turn the oven up to 450ºF. Cut the cooled tesa into 4 equal pieces. Bake the Tesa on a cookie sheet until heated through.

For the Cabbage-Apple Salad:
Combine the cabbage, apples, shallot, mustards, oils, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss thoroughly to combine.

To Assemble and Serve:
Plate the Cabbage-Apple Salad and top with a piece of Tesa.