what is 'harisse' as in a menu item "Harisse Braised Kurobuta Porchetta " thank you in advance!

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3 Comments

pierino November 6, 2010
And to add to the cultural confusion you are as likely to find porchetta in N. Africa as would in Israel. Both kurobuta and wagyu are almost brand names now for a pig that's bred for fat and flavor. In a way it's backlash against the old "the other white meat" era when pork was being bred to be lean and dry. At that time the weight of the pig sent to slaughter was on average 30% less than it had been in the past.
 
Mr_Vittles November 6, 2010
Harissa is a spicy chili sauce that hails from Tunisia, but is also known from Morocco and Algeria (all being from N. Africa). It is normally used in stews, couscous preparations, and chickpea dishes. I am intrigued by the fact this item is using Kurobuta pork, a very prized breed of Japanese pig (akin to their famous Wagyu cattle), that would make for some excellent porchetta, if only their technique of cooking matched how porchetta is supposed to be prepared.
 
pierino November 6, 2010
Harissa is a spicy North African condiment which may include tomatoes but will always include hot peppers. However the term porchetta is misused here (and this always bugs me) because true porchetta is roasted and not braised. The recipe may be good but it's not porchetta.
 
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