Pork, black garlic, cabbage

  • 10
  • 3 hours plus several days for fermenting the cabbage and curing the pork

In this punchy pork belly dish, cured pork belly is slowly cooked confit in duck fat, then served in small portions with black garlic, lardo shavings, pickles and a slightly sweet and sour pork sauce.

First published in 2023




Fermented cabbage

Cucumber pickles

  • 1 large cucumber, chopped into four large pieces
  • 300g of water
  • 200g of vinegar
  • 100g of cane sugar
  • 1 handful of dill, chopped

Cured pork

Pork sauce

Pork glaze

Black garlic purée

  • 190g of black garlic
  • 85g of water
  • 1.5g of Sosa Gelespessa
  • 2.5g of salt
  • 15g of white wine vinegar
  • 15g of caster sugar


  • lardo, for shaving
  • wild garlic capers, to serve (optional)



Start by making the fermented cabbage. Bring water and salt to the boil then allow to cool slightly but not completely

  • 500g of water
  • 10g of salt

Pour the water over the cabbage in a sterilised jar and leave for 3–5 days until fermented. As the cabbage ferments it will release water – press the cabbage down underneath the water level. It can help to use a fermentation weight to do this


For the pickled cucumber, bring the water, vinegar and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar

  • 300g of water
  • 200g of vinegar
  • 100g of cane sugar

Add the cucumber pieces and dill to a sterilised jar and pour over the brine. Cover and, once cool, refrigerate


To make the pork cure, blend all the whole and ground spices together, and then mix with the salt


Cover all sides of the pork belly in the cure and cure for 12 hours in the fridge, uncovered


Brush off the cure and pat the pork belly dry, then preheat the oven to 75°C


Place in a large casserole dish and cover with duck fat. Cover with foil or a lid and cook in the oven for 12 hours


Remove from the oven and set aside to cool


To make the pork sauce, brown the pork trim on all sides in a large, heavy-based pan. Remove from the pan and then brown the vegetables in the pork fat


Add the pork trim back into the pan, and then add the wine. Simmer until the wine reduces to a glaze. Add the vinegar and honey and reduce to a glaze as well

  • 750g of white wine
  • 250g of white wine vinegar
  • 250g of honey

Add herbs and spices then the stock and bring to a simmer


Cook at a simmer then strain the solids out through a fine mesh strainer


Return the liquid to a pan and then reduce until the liquid is thick enough to glaze the back of a spoon


Meanwhile, add the chicken stock and apple juice for the pork glaze to a separate pan and cook over a high heat until reduced by half


For the black garlic purée, add everything to a Thermomix and set to 60°C. Blend until smooth and then pass. To make it without a Thermomix, simply put everything apart from the black garlic in a pan, warm up to 60°C then add with garlic to a blender. Blend until smooth and then pass

  • 190g of black garlic
  • 85g of water
  • 1.5g of Sosa Gelespessa
  • 2.5g of salt
  • 15g of white wine vinegar
  • 15g of caster sugar

When ready to serve, first slice the pork belly into chunks


Sear the chunks of pork belly in a pan until golden and then transfer to an oven tray


Brush the pork belly on all sides with the pork glaze and then warm through the oven in the oven


While the pork belly warms through, dice up a few spoonfuls of fermented cabbage, add them to the pork sauce and heat it up on the stove


To plate, spoon or pipe some black garlic purée onto each dish. Slice two thin piece of cucumber pickle per person and add to the plate, along with a thin sliver of lardo. Garnish the pickle with wild garlic capers. Add a few pieces of pork to the plate along with a spoonful of cabbage and pork sauce

  • lardo, for shaving
  • wild garlic capers, to serve (optional)
First published in 2023

Joe Laker built his culinary foundations at the likes of The Black Swan, Pollen Street Social, Anglo and Fenn, before setting out on his own. Today, he shows what's possible with produce from the British Isles at his Shoreditch chef's table restaurant counter 71.

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