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Maiale con melanzane (pork with eggplant)

You'll need

125 ml (½ cup) olive oil 3 onions, coarsely chopped 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped ½ cup (loosely packed) oregano, coarsely chopped 50 gm tomato paste ½ tsp fennel seeds 750 gm canned chopped tomatoes 500 ml dry white wine 1 eggplant, thickly sliced widthways 80 gm finely grated parmesan To serve: bitter green salad   Brined pork neck 325 gm coarse sea salt 250 gm caster sugar 10 black peppercorns 6 juniper berries 2 fresh bay leaves 2 cloves 1 kg piece of pork neck


  • 01
  • For brined pork neck, combine ingredients (except pork neck) and 1.75 litres water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar, then set aside to cool completely. Place pork neck in brine, weight with a plate and refrigerate to cure (6 hours-overnight).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Heat 40ml oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Add oregano, tomato paste and fennel seeds and cook until paste darkens (1-2 minutes). Reduce heat to low, then add tomato and wine and simmer until sauce thickens (15-20 minutes).
  • 03
  • Drain pork from brine (discard brine), cut into 3cm-thick slices, pat dry with absorbent paper. Heat 40ml oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add pork in batches and cook, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes each side), then add to tomato sauce.
  • 04
  • Wipe pan with absorbent paper, then heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant in batches and cook, turning once, until golden (2-3 minutes each side). Drain on absorbent paper, then arrange over pork, pushing gently into sauce, transfer casserole to oven and roast, covered with a lid, until pork is tender (2½-3 hours).
  • 05
  • Preheat a grill over high heat. Divide pork and eggplant among 4 to 6 ovenproof dishes, spoon over sauce, scatter with parmesan and grill, in batches, until golden (3-5 minutes). Serve hot with bitter green salad to the side.
This recipe is from the May 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

"Would you please ask Sydney's Buzo for the secret to their maiale con melanzane? I was lucky enough to eat at the restaurant recently and I'd love to try cooking the dish at home."
Sally Short, Collingwood, Vic

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To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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