Returning to those ’nduja-filled faux cinnamon buns I made a while back, or rather to the ’nduja itself, let me offer another suggestion for using that chili-pork spread: as an instant stuffing-cum-seasoning for a piece of meat.


Starting point: Pork belly from Flying Pigs Farm in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Edward Schneider for The Washington Post)


Phase two: Rolled and braised, with shallot, red peppers, wine and stock. (Edward Schneider for The Washington Post)

Rather than devising, say, an herb-spice-garlic-oil-salt-pepper mixture to rub into it before rolling, I simply smeared one side of the meat with soft, spicy, spread and tied it into a little cylinder (’nduja side in) before seasoning, browning and braising it over low heat in a covered straight-sided saute pan with a shallot, red peppers (a sweet echo of the hot chilies in the ’nduja), white wine and a splash of whatever stock I had in the fridge; it was chicken as it happened, but meat or vegetable would have been fine as well. If I hadn’t had any stock, I would have used water (perhaps along with port wine) and the outcome would have been hardly less delicious. Every now and again, I turned the meat and added a couple of tablespoons more stock.

After about 90 minutes, the pork belly was nice and tender and prettily glazed from the reduced juices. I could have cooked it for another half hour; it just would have been even softer. The ’nduja filling lived up to its promise. It enhanced every bite (the dish was perfect with mashed potatoes).


At the plate: Tender meat, enhanced by the ‘nduja from within. (Edward Schneider for The Washington Post)