Secreto is a highly prized cut from the shoulder of the Spanish Iberico pig that has dense marbling running though its dark grained meat. Normally found on restaurant menus, its now sold by speciality butchers and online. Harissa is not traditionally paired with pork, but the combination of crispy, fatty meat, rich spicing and slow burning heat is an addictive one, whilst the slightly sweet Moscatel vinegar and cucumber salad provide the necessary counteraction.
1 cucumber, washed
2 -3 pinches table salt
4 spring onions, washed
1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp Kasha
2 tsp Moscatel vinegar
1 decent handful flat leaf parsley, lightly chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste
600g Iberico pork secreto
2 tbsp Rose Harissa
Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, then cut each half into 1cm thick slice, on a diagonal angle. Put the cucumber in a bowl, sprinkle with table salt, mix well, making sure to separate the slices so the salt can mingle properly. Leave for around half an hour to allow the salt to draw out the water from the cucumber.
Peel the first layer from the spring onions, then finely slice every one, only stopping when the green part looks a little dishevelled. Set aside.
Take the secreto out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it to allow it come up to room temperature. Put a large frying pan on a high heat and wait for 2 -3 minutes for it to become very hot. Season the secreto generously with sea salt on both sides and drizzle a little olive oil to coat it. Carefully place in the pan and sear the secreto for 3 minutes, before turning over and cooking for another 3 minutes. Prod the secreto and see how soft it feels. If it feels very soft then keep cooking for another 2 minutes on each side. What you are aiming for is the meat to have some springiness to it, without being too tense. This type of pork can be eaten pink so you are looking to cook it like a medium steak. If the idea of pink pork freaks you out, then keep cooking it – it will still be delicious but less tender.
Remove from the pan and put on a warm plate. Smear the Rose Harissa on both sides and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
Thoroughly Drain the liquid from the cucumbers. Add the spring onions, caraway seeds, Kasha, parsley and the Moscatel vinegar and season with black pepper. Mix well and taste. It might not need any salt as the cucumbers have been salted. Add the Early Harvest olive oil and mix well again. Divide the salad between plates. Slice the secreto and arrange next to and on top of the salad, then spoon over the juices that have built up on the plate.