Recipe: Steve Furgiuele’s Porchetta

In addition to being a chef and meat artisan, Steve Furgiuele is also an excellent photographer, which helps make his Fuge Fine Meats instagram absolutely drool-worthy.

I recently liked a photo Steve shared of porchetta, which is a savoury, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition. Since it is not something that Steve is selling at the markets this summer, I asked if he would share the recipe and his photo, which he graciously agreed to do.

It is no secret that Steve has a passion for Alberta pork farmers, which you can taste with every bite of sausage and salumi he creates. Fuge Fine Meats will be available at the 124 Street Grand Market and occasionally at the City Market this summer. To learn more about where you can buy Fuge Fine Meats visit www.fuge.ca. And if you happen to be a pork-belly addict like I am, you’re going to love his porchetta recipe:

What you’ll need…

1 whole pork belly, skin on

1 coppa, shoulder cut

Handfuls of your favourite herbs (I used thyme & rosemary), fresh garlic and sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil

Baking sheet with rack

Butcher twine

Directions:

Lay down the belly with the meat side down. With a sharp knife, add a series of cuts the length of the belly, just enough to pierce the skin. This will be critical for getting that crispy skin. Flip the belly over and season liberally. Spread minced garlic and fresh herbs all over the belly. Set aside.

Take the coppa cut and proceed to cut it open as you would prepare a roulade. Take your time and carefully cut lengthwise, while allowing the meat to roll open. Generously season the meat on both sides and apply more herbs, garlic and pepper, if you desire. (I marinated mine in hot Calabrese pepperonceno paste, wine and herbs). Roll the meat back up and place in the center of the belly.

Roll the belly over to wrap the coppa cut. Using a butchers’ knot, secure the porchetta firmly. About 6 across the belly and two lengthwise (to create an X) should do the trick. If you need help with this knot, view this YouTube video. 

Once tied up, rub the porchetta with the extra virgin olive oil and apply more salt to the skin. Place on the racked baking sheet seam side down. Allow to rest overnight, uncovered. This step will allow the skin to dry out.

* I cooked mine using a wood pellet smoker, the Louisiana Grills LG900 with Tennessee Whiskey Barrel pellets. With the internal temperature probe set to 140F, this is how I proceeded to cook the porchetta.

550F for 20 minutes

315F until the internal temperature was reached, approximately 3 hours

180F for an additional 2 hours for smoke flavour development

After proper resting, the porchetta probe read about 166F. The skin crackled just right and it made some damn good sandwiches!

Recap: Swine and Dine at Bündok

Chef Ryan Hotchkiss and his culinary team were the latest to take on the Swine and Dine challenge – sharing a five-course menu featuring Alberta Pork from appetizer to dessert to a packed house at Bündok last week.

Throughout the event, chef Hotchkiss showcased a variety of Alberta pork producers and artisans. To start things off, chef Hotchkiss featured Secret Meat Club by Meuwly’s Coppa made with Bear and the Flower Farm pasture raised pork. 

For our starter, chef Hotchkiss layered the coppa alongside baby artichoke, hazelnut oil, puffed wild rice, and dressed with a currant vinaigrette. The puffed wild rice added a lovely crunch to our welcome dish which featured a beautifully cured cut from Meuwly’s (which should be opening their store front deli on 124th street any day now).

Our next was one of the best bites of pork belly I have ever had, which is saying something, because I have eaten a substantial amount of pork belly since Swine and Dine started almost six years ago.

Our second course featured a glazed Irvings Farm Fresh pork belly served in a bowl alongside beans and fried leeks in pea broth.

Chef Hotchkiss ladling out my favourite dish of the evening – glazed Irvings Farm pork belly, beans, and fried leeks in pea broth.

I heard from two different guests, that while they normally don’t enjoy pork belly, that the dish was amazing. I would choose this dish again and again should it ever make its way onto the regular Bündok menu. 

Chef Hotchkiss’ gnocchi is a favourite among many of their regular patrons, so I was not surprised to see a handmade pasta on his Swine and Dine menu.


For our pasta course, chef Hotchkiss and culinary team plated a chickpea tagliatelle in a Messinger Meats pork shank ragu with fried chickpeas.

Chef Hotchkiss made me a special gluten-free version of the chickpea tagliatelle, which looked identical to the original. It is the second time I’ve had chef Hotchkiss’ gluten free pasta, and I can easily say both batches made for the best I have had since becoming diagnosed as a Celiac.

I mentioned the glazed pork belly in pea broth was my favourite, but it was a challenge to make that decision as the night went on. The hand-made chickpea pasta was a real treat for me, as was the main course of the evening – a Tonkatsu pork cutlet.

Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish which consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet, which is often served with shredded cabbage. Chef Hotchkiss and his team served a Messinger Meats Millefeuille tonkatsu stuffed with gruyere cheese, grainy mustard alongside cabbage in honey reduction and yeast.

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When I arrived at Swine & Dine last week I ducked in the back to see what chef Hotchkiss and his team were up to in the kitchen. At the time, he told me he was most excited for the dessert because he didn’t use bacon. Rather than keep it simple with a candied bacon – the Bündok team got creative.

For dessert, chef Hotchkiss and his crew served up a Saskatoon semifreddo made with whipped @bearflowerfarm lardo and topped with chicharron and candied hazelnuts. The cool smooth texture of the semifreddo against the crunchy nuts and puffed pork skin made for an interesting bite, which also made for a light and refreshing end to our swine and dine indulgence.

My friend Simone most often skips dessert. Conveniently for my boyfriend, she often hands her Swine & Dine desserts for the set-menu dinners over for him to enjoy. This time, she came to apologize to him because she did an unusual thing – she ate every last bite!

If you have yet to experience a meal at Bündok I hope this blog inspires to add it to your restaurant-hit list. Every meal I have had at Bündok from brunch to lunch to dinner have all been exquisite. Chef Hotchkiss has the ability to take seasonal, local ingredients and make them shine on the plate.

Thank you to chef Hotchkiss and his culinary team for sharing their passion for Alberta pork. It was so good they’ll have to do it again – can’t wait to see what you come up with next time! Until then – check them out at:

Bündok
10228 104 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta

Recap: RGC Bench Creek Brewery Swine & Dine

Last Thursday night, chef Steve Buzak at the Royal Glenora Club in Edmonton’s river valley teamed up with Bench Creek Brewing to deliver our first Swine & Dine of 2018. Two years ago, chef Buzak was the first to deliver a beer-paired Swine & Dine to rave reviews, and last week’s event was another Passion for Pork success.

Irvings Farm back wrapped prunes with blue cheese.

I arrived early so I could sneak a peek in the kitchen. Chef Buzak was happy to show off the sous vide Bear & The Flower pork belly, Memphis Style ribs, and devil on horseback appetizer with a prune and blue cheese twist.

Bear & the Flower Farm ribs.
Bear & the Flower Farm Alberta pork belly

Guests were welcomed to the tray passed appetizers of Memphis Style Ribs (a recipe that chef Buzak shared during a previous June is Pork month), and bacon-wrapped prunes were paired with Bench Cree Brewery’s Black Spruce Porter (5.8 %).

After all guests were seated we were greeted by chef Buzak and the Royal Glenora Club (RGC) team, who shared his excitement at hosting another beer-paired Swine & Dine.

After explaining that beer is easier to pair with food than wine – he introduced his first course for the evening – a fennel roasted pork belly served with a sweet potato puree, smoked corn, apricot and orange gastrique.

Our first course was served with  Naked Woodsman Pale Ale (5.2%), which was introduced by our Bench Creek Brewery guru Cassandra. The beer is known for notes of fresh bread and light caramel malt flavours mixed with bright floral, grapefruit and orange hop aromatics. There’s a sweetness to it – apricot and peach hop flavours combine with subdued citrus. It finishes with a star of anise spiciness that makes you think this somewhat fruit-forward brew.

We joked with chef Buzak that my boyfriend’s only complaint with the first course was that it was too small – he could have eaten six more! Chef Buzak warned us there were many courses to come – and our second surf & turf course was sure to fill us up. I loved the seafood chowder chef Buzak served with double smoked Irvings Farm bacon croutons. The potato veloute soup was velvety smooth and served with blackened prawn & scallops and topped with a citrus foam.

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Our soup was served with Bench Creek’s White Raven IPA (6.5%), a robust beer with huge aromatics of orange, grapefruit, passion fruit and mango with a touch of pine. The signature flavours of Munich and crystal malts contribute a complex toffee-caramel backbone that nicely balances the bitterness from the hops.

As our main course was being plated, I snuck back into the kitchen for a preview of our main course.

Once our plates were ready to be served, chef Buzak came back to the dining room to introduce our next dish – the RGC signature spice-rubbed Bear & the Flower Farm pork loin. The tender Alberta pork was served with a cider jus and accompanied by Brussels sprouts and a Fuge Meats chorizo and northern bean cassoulet.

Our main was paired with Bench Creek’s Northern Grace Red Rye India Pale Ale (6.2%), which boasts flavours of rich toffee, dark caramel, dried plum, and spicy, earthy malt notes mixed with juicy orange, passionfruit, geranium, and stone fruit flavours.

For dessert, chef Buzak turned my memories of building fireside s’mores into a flavourful creme brûlée that had my spoon searching for just one more bite.

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Chef Buzak’s s’mores creme brulee & maple candied Irvings Farm bacon was accented with cardamom marshmallows, Peruvian cacao nibs, and an espresso melt away chocolate that chef made with coconut oil.

I’ve confessed it many times while recapping swine & dine dinners – I’m not a fan of chocolate, but I was a huge fan of this dessert. There were so many flavours and textures at play in this playful dessert – I would happily order this dessert again!

Our final Bench Creek pairing of the night was from the brewery’s Villainous Series – with the can showcasing an ode to Drexl Spivey from the movie True Romance. The Drexl Blackstrap Imperial Stout (11%) is barrel-aged, pitch black, dark and I’m told it paired wonderfully with Chef Buzak’s campfire creation.

I’d like to thank the chef Steve Buzak, Derek, and the entire team at the RGC for hosting another incredible Swine & Dine dinner. It was great to learn more about Bench Creek Brewing (I know a few people at my table were more than happy to claim this gluten-free girl’s beers throughout the dinner).

Chef Buzak is a great chef that is consistently hosting unique food events at the RGC that are open to non members. Check out their website or follow their social media feeds to learn more about upcoming events, including their monthly brunch series.

I’m hoping to work with chef Buzak to come up with some way to celebrate June is Pork month at the RGC, so stay tuned! That river valley patio sounds like the perfect place to enjoy some pig & pinot.

Recipe: One-pot white bean pork cassoulet

Many Alberta Pork producers across the province also grow pulses, which are high in protein and fibre and low in fat; growing pulses are profitable for our farmers and an essential element in a sustainable cropping system.

Alberta Pulse Growers represents 6,000 growers of field pea, dry bean, lentil, chickpea, faba bean and soybean in Alberta. In addition to being great for the soil and for our bodies, pulses pair deliciously with pork!  Over the past few years I have been trying to introduce more Canadian-grown pulses to my diet, but I often get stalled in the kitchen with pulses because of the need to soak dry pulses overnight.

Debra McLennan, food & nutrition coordinator with Alberta Pulse Growers, is a registered dietician who made my life a little easier recently. I asked if there was a nutritional difference between dry beans, lentils, chickpeas, and those that are in a can.

The major difference is the sodium in canned pulses. Canned pulses are convenient as they are pre-cooked and ready to use, but be sure to:

  • Always drain and rinse well before use.
  • Drain and rinse regular canned pulses to reduce the sodium content by 40% or try No Salt Added canned pulses.

With that knowledge, along with a cupboard packed with canned white beans and a fridge containing sausages (Fuge Meats Italian Fennel) and some Irvings Farm Fresh side pork I was able to create a one-pot cassoulet backed with Alberta Pork flavour and Alberta Pulse Producers fibre.

One-Pot White Bean Pork Cassoulet

What you’ll need…

500 g side pork or pork belly, cut into cubes
2 large pork sausages (e.g. Italian)
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans of white beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
1 cup soup stock (chicken, pork or vegetable)
1 cup white wine (or substitute with more broth if you prefer)
2 tbsp of mixed dried herbs (such as thyme, parsley, oregano, rosemary)
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven, brown sausages over medium heat for four to five minutes. Remove to a plate until cooled and cut into 1 cm slices.

Using the fat left in the pot from the sausages, add the side pork and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, approximately 5 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs; cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes, beans, broth and wine. Bring to a simmer and add in one cup of bread crumbs and the sliced sausage. Stir to combine. Top with remaining 1/2 cup and transfer to preheated oven.

Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours and the bread crumbs have browned. Enjoy!

* Other combinations of canned pulses would also work with this dish, so get creative with any cans of Canadian beans, lentils or chickpeas you have in your cupboard.