Ciccioli Frolli with Mostarda (Crispy Pork Belly with Mostarda)
Ciccioli, which is made by compressing, drying, and aging fatty pork trimmings, is common in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. In this preparation, the ciccioli will be similar to a dry, crunchy chip.
- 3 pounds pork belly
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, picked but not chopped
Slice the pork belly in half down the middle so you have 2 thin sheets. Then slice those into 2-ounce square portion sizes. Toss belly pieces with salt and rosemary. Lay flat on a jelly roll pan. Place another jelly roll pan on top. Place some sort of heavy weight (bricks, canned food, large stones) on top of the tray. The idea is to press the pork down as much as possible. Refrigerate and allow to press for five days. Remove pork belly and slice pieces thinly (about an 1/8 inch thick). Place on a dry sheet tray with space between each piece.
Bake in a preheated 300° oven for 1 hour, or until skin is crispy. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.
Mostarda di Bolognese
- 4 dried figs, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 slightly unripe pear, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup dried apricots, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup dried apples, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1½ cups dry red wine
- 2 teaspoons mustard oil
- ¼ cup mustard seeds
Place figs, pear, apricots, cherries, and apples into a mixing bowl and stir to mix. In a saucepan, heat sugar and wine together until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in mustard oil and seeds. Pour over fruit and allow to steep for 24 hours. Jar and refrigerate. (Alternatively, you can also purchase mostarda online.)
Place mostarda in a serving bowl and, on a platter beneath, arrange the crispy pork belly bites around it. Eat the belly plain or dip it into the mostarda.