(From Kallstadt in the Palatinate, Germany; a Roman province of 2000 years ago.)
Bernd Philippi’s most famous German Riesling is called Saumagen, a name derived from the shape of a one-time Roman limestone quarry – where the vines now grow – and reminiscent of a pig’s belly. The sturdy winegrowers of the Palatinate enjoy a culinary speciality that bears the same name – Saumagen: a stuffed pork belly, simmered and then served roasted or in slices.
Saumagen stuffing consists of potatoes (or seasonal chestnuts), onions, carrots and ham, spiced with marjoram, nutmeg and white pepper; cloves, coriander, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, cardamon, basil, caraway, allspice, and parsley are options. It is either served directly as a roast, with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, or refrigerated for later use, sliced and then fried or roasted.
Ingredients: (for 12)750g of trimmed lean pork belly without rind (soak in salted water for one hour)750g of lean ham deboned and rind-less, cut into cubes of about 2cm,750g of cubed boiled potatoes,500g of pork sausage meat2 - 3 bread rolls soaked in milk4 -6 eggs
Mix the eggs, ham cubes, potato cubes and pork sausage meat with the bread rolls soaked in milk. Spice with salt, ground black pepper, nutmeg and marjoram (and other optional spices) to taste. Layer the mixture onto the flat pork belly (fat side out), do not over do it, as the belly may burst. Sew up the belly and simmer in a pot of water at about 80°C. for 1 hour – it should not boil and must float freely. Allow to drip-dry for a short while, then it can be roasted or fried to become crispy, if served directly.
Enjoy this main course with a glass of Mont du Toit 2003 – it’s a very different option for your Christmas family-dinner!