One of the most underused items in the porcine library of protein is the pork heart. Rich in iron, vitamin c and that irresistible mild offal flavor. This is one of those proteins that you have two choices while cooking; really fast or really slow. I chose the slow method and knocked this pie into the bleachers at Flavor Field!
My local pork heart was obtained by my friend Rich Blazer of Harmony Hollow Farms here in Athens.
I trimmed these hearts and tossed them with fresh garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil. Then I packed them in foil and threw them into my bread oven that was cooling down from Jacob Seidels baguette baking regime here at Avalanche. The temperature was 275 and cooled on down to 250 for four hours. After taking the foil out, I let it rest for another hour on the counter. The result was a beautiful, tender heart with the infused nuance of garlic.
I decided that this heart would benefit from the smokey, umami laden goat feta from my friends at Integration Acres. I took chunks of this almost a month ago and coated them in High Desert bee pollen then wrapped them in Hokkaido kombu that was re-hydrated in dashi.
The result is fee-nom! The salt from the kombu and dashi had crystallized and the bee pollen lent a sharp medium sweetness to the salty feta whose texture broke down with a smokey mouth feel as I bit down. This was gonna be perfect on a pigs heart pie!
So, I formed a dough from my Easy Dough Recipe and pre-heated an oven to 485 degrees. I laid the feta and some sharp (12 month old) Belgium Bruge Prestige cheese (above, left), that I had been aging for six months extra for an ultimate taste of tang.
I then took some fatty Red Waddle pig cheeks from Neil Perin at Arcadian Acres and cured them with salt and tad bit of maple sugar for four days then rubbed it with my secret spices smoked them over sassafras. This was sliced thin along with a few slices of La Quercia lardo.
I chopped some of the last great heirloom tomatoes from my friend at Vest Berries that he picked green and ripened in house. tomatoes with cilantro, one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt the drizzled this sauce on top of the heart, cheeses, and guanciale, (That’s right Chumly, some pizza sauces are better served on top!) I did use some slivers of the tomato on top also.
It was time for baking so I placed a few Castelvetrano olive halves on the pie to impress the meaty heart with some Sicilian saltiness. Then I tossed the pizza in the oven. (not literally.)
When hot, I rubbed the thinly sliced lardo all across the piping crust for a great slick pork crunch on the cornicione!