Civet of Pork
1kg belly pork
1 pigs liver Sliced
Thyme (dried 1 teaspoon or 2 fresh sprigs)
A sprinkle of peppercorns
Flour - 1 tablespoon
Armagnac – one glass
Red wine 1 litre
Dice the carrots, onions and shallots and fry in a tablespoon of fat in a large heavy based casserole with lid. Cube the belly pork and add, along with the sliced liver to the pan. Fry quickly to seal the meat. Sprinkle with flour and stir. Add the Armagnac (or brandy) and set alight (remembering to stand well back). Once the Armagnac has burnt off the flames will die out and you will be left with deliciously aromatic pork. Add one litre of strong full bodied red wine with the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves. Cover and simmer until the meat is tender – usually about 2 hours.
NB If you would like to use fresh blood then add a small cup 20mins before the end of cooking and stir it in well. Alternatively drain off some of the liquid from the meat and add the blood to that, boiling vigorously to reduce and thicken. The remix with the main stew and stir well.
Wines to accompany the Civet of Pork need to be able to stand up to its rich flavours. Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux would be my first choice. Pavillon Rouge is the Second Wine of Château Margaux and was first made in 1908. The price ranges from £37 - £80 a bottle dependant on the vintage you choose. Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux comes from a selection of grapes harvested from young vines and the quality of the vintages of Pavillon Rouge is naturally linked to those of the Grand Vin. It now represents 50% of the overall estate production. Its vinification is the same and it, too, is aged in new oak barrels. Pavillon Rouge is bottled 3 to 4 months earlier than Château Margaux and matures faster than Château Margaux itself . It is a full bodied, supple and velvety wine, powerful and concentrated yet well balanced. The flavours are of blackcurrant and cherry with a long finish and a creamy mouth feel. It's an opulent wine and resembles Second Growth status.
Bordeaux Clairet pairs extremely well with pork and Chateau des Lisennes (£5.87) and is one of the best that Bordeaux offers, winning the gold medal in Brussels in 2006. Being a medium to fuller bodied drink des Lisennes will accompany the richness of the Civet really well. It's a fragrant wine and is a deep raspberry pink with violet reflections. The aroma is complex; it has raspberry, peach and spice overtones. It is soft and full, and the fruity taste of blackberries, redcurrants and raspberries explodes in the mouth giving intense round flavours.
Chateau Chadeuil (£4.75) is another excellent choice and is a cracking Merlot-based claret with delicious black-cherry and blackberry fruit, lifted with a hint of mocha. It is a wine that has been produced with good food in mind . It's supple, lithe and incredible value.