Roast belly pork with ratatouille and roasted new potatoes

I was originally going to have roast chicken tonight, but I saw the pork and changed my mind.

I love belly pork, it is the most succulent meat imaginable, because of the layer of fat that keeps it moist as it cooks.

Unfortunately, the rind had been removed from the pork by the butcher so I wasn’t able to do crackling today, but you usually get lovely crackling from a roasted piece of belly.

I roasted the meat in olive oil, simply seasoned with cracked black pepper and sea salt.

To accompany the piggy goodness, I roasted some scrubbed new potatoes in olive oil and also made some ratatouille. I love ratatouille, it is such a gorgeously Summery dish, as equally nice cold as hot and great as a main course as well as a side dish with some meat or poultry.

The photo isn’t the best because the meal is a bit brown and dark in tone and there is a fair bit of liquid from the ratatouille, but it tasted lovely.

Tonight’s wine was another M&S wine, a 2007 Château du Parc, AOC Coteaux du Languedoc. This is a lovely rich, typical southern French red, made from Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache and is also an organic wine.

On the palate the wine had a lot of forward fruit, some balancing acidity and a hint of pepperiness with soft tannins. There was a kind of morello cherry taste on the finish, which was quite long and mouth-filling. There was also a kind of richness that I’d associate with good quality cherry brandy, but without the massive sweetness. It was an excellent wine that went really well with the full flavoured pork and ratatouille. It would be excellent with steak or, even better, venison or wild boar.

I have to admit that I had stopped buying M&S wines for quite a long time, their list was pretty unadventurous, not to say dull, but I decided to try them again after reading some good reviews in the press. I am pleasantly surprised by the wines I have tried so far and I have bought a mixed dozen of mainly French wines which I shall be trying over the next few weeks.

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