Crispy pig’s head, apple salad

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Paul Welburn's adventurous pig's head croquettes are actually a mix of slow-cooked pork jowls and shredded ham hock. These crisp, meaty bites are freshened up with crisp apple and a fragrant herb sauce.

First published in 2015







Caramelised apple purée

Sauce gribiche

Pickled shallots

  • 1 banana shallot, sliced into rings
  • 75g of sugar
  • 75g of Chardonnay vinegar
  • 50g of water
  • thyme, sprigs

To plate


  • Sous vide equipment


Mix together the brine ingredients in a large pan and heat gently until the salt has dissolved. Leave to cool. Add the jowls and leave to brine for 3 hours then rinse well. Transfer to a vacuum bag and cook at 85°C for 6 hours
Remove from the water bath and leave to cool slightly before separating the meat, skin and fat. Reserve a third of the skin and half of the fat. Dice everything, ensuring there are no large pieces of skin as these will not be nice to eat!
Meanwhile, rinse the ham hock under cold running water and leave to soak for 2 hours. Place in a pan and cover with water, bring to the boil then discard the water and cover with fresh water. Bring to a simmer and add the mirepoix
Cover with a cartouche and simmer gently for 4 hours, then leave to cool in the liquor. Remove the ham hocks then reduce the liquor over a medium heat to a syrupy glaze consistency
Once cool, pick the meat from the ham hocks, discarding the fat but retaining the skin. Chop the meat coarsely and brunoise (finely dice) the skin. Mix together with the rest of the ingredients using just enough ham hock glaze to bind everything together, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed
Roll the mixture in clingfilm into a ballotine and chill in the fridge until set, you will need to coat and deep-fry the croquettes just before serving
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
To make the caramelised apple purée, coat the apples with the oil and mix with the bay leaf and thyme
Bake for 40 minutes until the skin is blackened, then scoop out the flesh
Blend the apples until smooth, you can adjust the consistency of the purée with apple juice if it is too thick
To make the sauce gribiche, finely chop the egg white and push the yolk through a sieve. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and season to taste
To pickle the shallots bring the sugar, water and vinegar to the boil with the thyme sprig and pour over the shallots. Leave to cool
  • 75g of sugar
  • 50g of water
  • 75g of Chardonnay vinegar
  • thyme, sprigs
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced into rings
When ready to serve, remove the set ballotine from the fridge, and cut into slices. Dip first in the flour, then the eggs and finally the breadcrumbs. Repeat this process twice to build up the coating layers. Deep-fry the croquettes for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy
  • flour
  • eggs
  • Panko breadcrumbs (1)
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
To plate, arrange the croquettes on the plates with dots of the apple purée and spoon the sauce gribiche around. Garnish with the shallot rings, apple julienne and parsley leaves
First published in 2015

Paul Welburn has years of Michelin-star cooking behind him, holding a star for five years at restaurant W1.

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