Pork with vegetables from the farm

  • Main
  • challenging
  • 8
  • 4 hours, across 4 days, plus lots of hands-off cooking time and 7-10 days to ferment the pears

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Ingredients

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Pear ketchup

Pork belly brine

Pork belly

  • 1 pork belly, (approx. 2-3kg), ideally from the thicker end, skin-on and bone-in
  • 3l pork fat, melted, or vegetable oil, to confit

Pork shoulder

Pork loin

  • 600g of pork loin
  • 50g of koji grains, or flaky sea salt

Pork sauce

  • 1 dash of vegetable oil
  • 500g of pork trimmings
  • 8 shallots, sliced
  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled
  • 2 apples, roughly chopped
  • 50g of mixed herbs, such as thyme and sage
  • 1 knob of unsalted butter
  • 568ml of dry cider, (1 pint)
  • 2l chicken stock, ideally homemade
  • 2l veal stock, ideally reduced and intense – Will makes his own but sourcing some from a top-quality supplier is fine
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

Green mustard

  • 100g of Dijon mustard, Will makes his own but shop-bought is fine
  • 50g of mustard greens, washed and roughly chopped (you could also use Jack-by-the-Hedge leaves if in season)

Vegetables

1
This is a beast of a dish to prepare, but with careful forward planning it can be pulled off at home. Almost all of the elements can be (and need to be) prepared in advance, so have a good read through the recipe and come up with a plan of action
2
Begin with the pear ketchup, as this can be made up to six months(!) in advance (Will says to keep it in the fridge and try it on bacon sandwiches). Add the salt and 200ml of the water to a pan and heat until the salt has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the remaining 800ml of water, then leave to cool completely. Once cool, submerge the pears in the brine, ensuring they’re fully submerged (you may need to weigh them down). Cover with a muslin cloth and leave to ferment at room temperature for 7-10 days
3
Once the pears have fermented, drain them and blend – pips, core and all – in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. It should have a nice dolloping consistency thanks to the natural pectin in the seeds and skin. Pass through a fine sieve into a sterilised jar and reserve in the fridge
4
3 days before you plan to serve, brine the pork belly. Bring all the ingredients for the brine to a simmer in a pan, until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Cool completely, then fully submerge the pork in the brine. Cover and place in the fridge for 12 hours overnight
5
The next day, lift the pork belly out of the brine, then place into an ovenproof pan that holds the belly snugly. Cover with melted pork fat or vegetable oil, then cover with a double layer of foil. Set aside
  • 3l pork fat, melted, or vegetable oil, to confit
6
For the pork shoulder, place the shoulder in a deep roasting tray or large casserole dish and pour in the chicken stock. Cover tightly with foil and set aside
7
Preheat an oven to 120°C. Once heated, place both the shoulder and the belly in the oven and leave to cook for 12 hours overnight
8
The next day (so 1 day before you plan to serve the dish), remove the pork shoulder and belly and turn the temperature down to 60°C. Leave to naturally cool in the fat and braising liquid
9
Once cool, lift the pork belly out of the fat and carefully pull out the bones (you can reserve the fat or oil to deep-fry the crackling later). Remove the skin in a single piece and set aside to make crackling out of it later. Scrape away the fat from the top of the meat and remove any pieces of cartilage, retaining the structure of the meat as much as possible. Tightly wrap in cling film, then place in a tray and weigh down with something heavy to help it set tight. Keep in the fridge overnight
10
Return the reserved pork skin to the oven and leave it in there for the rest of the day to dry out completely
11
Once the shoulder has cooled, gently lift the shoulder out of the liquor and set aside. Strain the liquor through a sieve lined with muslin cloth (or a j-cloth) into a clean pan, then bring to a simmer and leave to reduce by three-quarters
12
Meanwhile, pick the meat from the shoulder and place in a bowl along with the parsley, gherkins and capers. Once the braising liquor had reduced, pour it into the mixture too, along with the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then pack the mixture into a shallow tray, pressing it down to compact. Place in the fridge to chill and set overnight
13
For the pork loin, Will uses koji salt to add an incredible depth of flavour to the meat, but if you can’t source any, regular sea salt is fine too. Simply rub the koji or salt all over the pork loin, then leave to cure in the fridge overnight
  • 600g of pork loin
  • 50g of koji grains, or flaky sea salt
14
For the sauce, place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the pork trimmings, shallots and garlic with a dash of oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is caramelised and beginning to catch on the base of the pan (around 20 minutes)
15
Add the apples and herbs to the pan and continue to cook, stirring often, until the apples begin to soften. Add the butter to help scrape up the bits catching to the bottom of the pan, then pour in the cider and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and leave to reduce by half
  • 2 apples, roughly chopped
  • 50g of mixed herbs, such as thyme and sage
  • 1 knob of unsalted butter
  • 568ml of dry cider, (1 pint)
  • 2l chicken stock, ideally homemade
16
Once reduced, add the veal stock and reduce by half once again, skimming away any scum that forms on the surface. Taste for seasoning, adding a little salt if needed, then pass through a fine sieve lined with a double layer of muslin cloth (or a j-cloth) into a clean pan. Cover and place in the fridge, ready to reheat before serving
  • 2l veal stock, ideally reduced and intense – Will makes his own but sourcing some from a top-quality supplier is fine
17
The last thing you need to do the day before is make the mustard. Place the mustard and mustard leaves into a blender and blitz for several minutes until smooth and a vivid green colour. Transfer to a container, cover and store in the fridge
  • 100g of Dijon mustard, Will makes his own but shop-bought is fine
  • 50g of mustard greens, washed and roughly chopped (you could also use Jack-by-the-Hedge leaves if in season)
18
On the day you plan to serve, most of the hard work has been done. Begin by portioning the pork belly and shoulder into neat rectangular pieces – any leftover pork will keep in the fridge for a few days. Set the portioned belly and shoulder aside along with the rest of the ingredients and elements ready to begin the final push
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19
Take the dried-out pork skin and cut into pieces. Bring a deep pan of oil (use the reserved confit oil if you have it) to 180°C and deep-fry the skin until puffed up and crisp, then set aside
20
Around an hour before you plan to serve, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
21
Place a pan over a medium heat and add the pork loin skin-side down, allowing the fat to render out. Turn and cook on all sides until the meat takes on some colour. At this point, Will continues to cook the pork on a barbecue, but you can leave it in the pan to continue cooking. Add the portioned belly and shoulder and cook on all sides until coloured, then transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 8 minutes
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22
While the pork is in the oven, gently reheat the sauce and ensure the ketchup and mustard are out of the fridge. Place the carrots in the boiling water and blanch for a few minutes, then drain, halve and season with salt
  • 1 bunch of baby carrots, washed and trimmed (reserve the tops if they have them)
23
Remove the pork from the oven and set aside to rest. In the same pan, add the carrots and cook over a medium heat until they take on a little colour. Set aside, and pour any remaining juices or fat in the pan into the reheating sauce
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24
Add the chard and spring onions to the pan, adding a few tablespoons of water to help deglaze. Add in the butter, then cook until wilted. Add the wild garlic leaves (along with any carrot tops), bashed garlic cloves and summer savoury, then continue to cook for a minute or 2
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25
To serve, place a spoonful of pear ketchup and green mustard on each plate. Arrange the carrots, chard and onions alongside, then carve the pork loin into slices and add to the plate. Place the pork belly, shoulder and crackling alongside, then garnish with the wild garlic buds and chive flowers (if using)
  • chive flowers, and/or pickled wild garlic buds, to garnish (optional)
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26
To finish, add the cider vinegar to the sauce, then spoon over the pork. Enjoy!
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
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