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Rare Breed Pancetta, Candied, Radish, Rocket

Try this impressive recipe by Dan Hunter, demonstrated at Langham Melbourne MasterClass during the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.


  • Pancetta

  • Note – for the correct curing process to occur it is necessary to cure an entire belly which will result in excess pancetta.

  • 1 Greenvale Farm Wessex Saddleback pork belly, about 2.5kg, skin removed

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 60g Mt Zero pink salt crystals

  • 25g brown sugar

  • 20g black pepper, coarsely ground

  • 10g juniper berries, crushed

  • 6 sprigs thyme

  • Radish

  • 8 small watermelon or red meat radishes

  • 50g caster sugar

  • Radish

  • 8 small watermelon or red meat radishes

  • 50g caster sugar

  • Rocket

  • 8 small leaves of wild rocket

  • 32 wild rocket flowers, if available

  • olive oil


  • Pancetta :

  • 1.

    Trim the edges of the belly so that it is a uniform shape. In a bowl combine all curing ingredients except for half the pepper and rub the mixture over the entire surface of the belly.

  • 2.

    Transfer the belly to a container just big enough to hold it and cover it with any remaining curing mixture. Leave it covered and refrigerated for 7 days turning every day so that the brine that has been created distributes evenly.

  • 3.

    After 7 days check the belly to see if it is firm. If there are parts that still feel raw leave in the brine, refrigerated, for 2–3 more days.

  • 4.

    When you are happy with the firmness and feel that the curing is sufficient remove the belly from the brine and rinse it with cold water. Dry completely and then cover the meat side with the remaining pepper.

  • 5.

    Starting with one of the long sides roll the belly over itself as if it were a thick towel and tie it with butcher’s string at roughly 5cm intervals.

  • 6.

    Wrap it with one single layer of cheese cloth and leave to hang in a cool, humid place for 2–3 weeks. A wine cellar is a good place but anywhere with a temperature of around 15°C and around 60% humidity is good.

  • 7.

    Once dry, the pancetta can be stored in plastic in the fridge for 3–4 weeks or better still

  • 8.

    Freeze for finer slices for up to 3–4 months.

  • Radish:

  • 1.

    Cut the radishes into halves and blanch them quickly in salted water. Once just cooked, strain off the radishes and dry them.

  • 2.

    Sprinkle the sugar across a wide-based pan and place the pan on a medium heat. When the sugar is a light golden caramel place the radishes cut side down and allow them to gently caramelise.

  • 3.

    Once they are all evenly covered remove them from the pan.

  • Rocket:

  • 1.

    Trim the rocket leaves using scissors ensuring that they are of a similar size – 8 larger and 8 smaller. Dress them evenly with olive oil and season with salt.

  • To Serve:

  • 1.

    Place a thin slice of pancetta in the centre of a small plate and allow to come to room temperature. Using a heat lamp works well as it warms the pork and starts to render the fat. Place 4 halves of candied radishes on top of the pancetta and then the rocket leaves.

  • 2.

    Scatter the flowers and serve.


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