Shambar con Chicharrón

Shambar con Chicharrón

David Loftus

La Libertad-style Pork Belly & Pulses. When I was a child, the journey to visit my grandmother in the Andes was long and tiring. Along the way, though, roadside restaurants served delicious dishes, such as the fortifying soup version of this dish. I love the combination of pulses and crunchy pork belly.


Quantity Ingredient
10ml white wine vinegar
800g pork belly, skin on and scored
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
a few coriander micro herbs or leaves, to serve
pork scratching popped corn, to serve

For the shambar

Quantity Ingredient
150g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
100g split yellow peas, soaked overnight and drained
100g wheatberries, well rinsed
1 tablespoon Picante de Lengua, achiote oil
50g smoked gammon knuckle or ham, cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Picante de Huevos, amarillo chilli paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Rub 1 tablespoon of salt and the vinegar over the pork, making sure there is plenty of salt on the skin. Place in a deep roasting tin. Add the garlic slices and peppercorns around the pork, then pour in enough water to cover the meat, but leaving the skin uncovered. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C and cook for a further 2–2 1/2 hours until the skin is crisp. Check the water levels regularly and top up as necessary. Remove from the oven and cut into 4 pieces. Strain the stock, skimming off any fat, and set aside. Keep the pork warm in a low oven.
  2. Meanwhile, start the shambar. Put the drained chickpeas and split peas in a saucepan or casserole with the wheatberries and cover with plenty of water. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Boil fiercely for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chickpeas are cooked, and the split peas are cooked but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
  3. When the pork is cooked you can finish off the shambar. Heat the achiote oil in a large casserole over a medium heat. Turn down the heat and add the smoked gammon or ham and the onion and sauté for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chilli paste, stir and cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the cooked chickpeas, split peas and wheatberries. Sprinkle over the cumin. Taste the pork stock – if it is very salty, dilute it with water to taste. Add 500ml of the pork stock to the casserole. Bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced to give you a thick sauce.
  4. Using a stick blender, blend the sauce very briefly so that you retain some whole chickpeas. Alternatively, transfer half the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse a couple of times, then stir the blended sauce back into the unblended half.
  5. Divide the shambar between 4 bowls. Top with the pork, sprinkle with the coriander and popped pork, and serve immediately.
Martin Morales
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