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Suckling pig with artichokes, pine nut purée and hop shoots

  • Main
  • challenging
  • 4
  • 4 hours, plus overnight setting time, 12 hours curing time and 2 days cooking time (if using sous vide)

PT4H

PT12H

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Ingredients

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Suckling pig

  • 1 whole suckling pig, cut into 4 cutlets, 1 shoulder, 1 belly and 1 head (ask your butcher to do this for you) – reserve trimmings and bones for the sauce
  • 1.5l pork stock, if you're not using sous vide to cook the meat
  • 1.5l duck fat, if you're not using sous vide to cook the meat

Aromatic salt

To cook the pig head

Croquette

  • 30g of shallots, finely chopped
  • 10ml of rapeseed oil
  • 10ml of Chardonnay vinegar
  • 8g of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 200g of Panko breadcrumbs
  • oil, for deep-frying

Baby violet artichokes

Pine nut purée

Pig sauce

  • 1kg pork bones, and trimmings, chopped
  • 20g of rapeseed oil
  • 90g of unsalted butter, plus an extra knob to cook the mushrooms
  • 125g of button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 125g of white wine, reduced to 80g
  • 700g of pork stock

Jack-by-the-hedge oil

  • 55g of rapeseed oil
  • 55g of Jack-by-the-hedge leaves, plus extra leaves and flowers to garnish

Hop shoots

  • 100ml of water
  • 50g of butter
  • 3g of salt
  • 20 Hop shoots, tips only
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Method

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1
Place all the ingredients for the aromatic salt into a food processor and blitz to make a paste. Rub the mix all over the pork shoulder and head, then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 10 hours
2
Unwrap the pork and add the belly, covering it in the salt, then re-wrap and leave for a further 2 hours. Wipe off and wash the salt with cold water, then pat dry before cooking
3
For the pork shoulder, place into a vacuum bag and seal. Cook in a water bath set at 67°C for 48 hours. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Place the shoulder into a roasting tray and cook for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 130°C/gas mark 1 and cook for 4 hours until meltingly soft. Whichever way you cook the shoulder, the bone should be easily removed from the meat, which can then be pressed between 2 trays with a weight on top. Refrigerate overnight
4
For the pork belly, either seal it in a vacuum bag and cook exactly like the shoulder, or heat the pork stock and duck fat in a large casserole dish until the fat melts. Add the pork belly and cover, then cook in an oven preheated to 130°C/gas mark 1 for 2–3 hours until meltingly soft. Whichever way you cook the belly, once it is cool enough to handle drain and press between 2 trays with a weight on top. Refrigerate overnight
  • 1.5l pork stock, if you're not using sous vide to cook the meat
  • 1.5l duck fat, if you're not using sous vide to cook the meat
5
Make the Jack-by-the-hedge oil by placing the leaves and oil in a blender and blitzing for 8 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then strain through a fine cloth. Reserve in a squeeze bottle
  • 55g of rapeseed oil
  • 55g of Jack-by-the-hedge leaves, plus extra leaves and flowers to garnish
6
For the pigs head, place all the ingredients into a large saucepan (along with the head) and bring to the boil, skimming any scum that rises to the surface. Turn down the heat and cook just under the simmering point for 2 hours, then remove from the heat and allow to cool in the liquor. Once cold, remove the meat and skin from the head and finely chop – you will need 200g for this recipe
7
Prepare the croquette mix by heating the oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the shallots for 3–4 minutes until soft. Add the 200g of pig head meat and cook, stirring continuously, until it starts to amalgamate. Deglaze with the Chardonnay vinegar, remove from the heat and add the parsley. Transfer the mixture to a sheet of cling film and roll into a long, 2cm-thick cylinder. Place in the fridge to set
8
For the pork sauce, heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the oil and then sear the pork bones and trimmings until lightly browned all over. Add the butter and cook until nutty and foaming. Lower the heat and cook for 6 minutes, moving the pork around in the pan so that it caramelises and turns a deep golden brown. Strain through a colander and set aside
  • 20g of rapeseed oil
  • 1kg pork bones, and trimmings, chopped
  • 90g of unsalted butter
9
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once foaming, add the mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes until golden brown. Strain through the colander containing the pork
10
Bring the pork stock to the boil in a large saucepan, then add two-thirds of the reserved pork trimmings and bones, the mushrooms and the white wine. Bring back to the boil, skim and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean pan and reduce to a sauce consistency before refreshing with the final one-third of reserved pork trimmings and bones. Strain again and pass through muslin cloth. Set aside to reheat later
  • 700g of pork stock
  • 125g of white wine, reduced to 80g
11
Make the pine nut purée by placing the nuts, water and a few drops of lemon juice in a pan. Gently simmer until soft, then strain and place into a blender. Blitz until smooth, adding a little of the cooking water if needed. Season, then pass through a fine sieve and reserve in a squeeze bottle
12
Prepare the artichokes by heating the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the shallots, thyme and garlic and cook over a medium heat until completely soft but not coloured. Add the vinegar and white wine, bring to the boil and reduce to a syrup. Add the water and simmer for 30 minutes
13
Meanwhile, prep the artichokes by removing the outer leaves and use a sharp knife to trim around the hearts. Cut the stems to 3cm in length and peel. Rub the artichokes with lemon juice to prevent discolouration
14
Check the seasoning of the cooking liquor, then add the artichokes, cover with greaseproof paper and cook until al dente, about 15 minutes depending on size. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely in the liquor
15
Place each pork cutlet into its own vacuum bag and seal. Cook in a water bath set at 62°C for 22 minutes
16
Meanwhile, divide the cylinder of croquette mix into 4 and coat in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Portion the shoulder and belly into 4 neat pieces. Gently reheat the pork sauce
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 200g of Panko breadcrumbs
17
For the hop shoots, bring the water, butter and salt to the boil, then emulsify with a hand blender. Bring back to the boil, add the hop shoots and cook for 1–2 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside
  • 100ml of water
  • 50g of butter
  • 3g of salt
  • 20 Hop shoots, tips only
18
Heat a deep-fat fryer or deep pan of oil to 190°C. Deep-fry the croquettes for 5 minutes or until golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper and keep warm
  • oil, for deep-frying
19
Remove the pork cutlets from the vacuum bags and pat dry. Heat a frying pan with a little oil over a medium-high heat and add the cutlets skin-side down. Cook until the skin turns golden and crispy, then sear on all sides, season and set aside to rest
20
In the same pan, add the shoulder and belly portions skin-side down and cook until crisp. Keep warm
21
Remove the artichokes from the liquor and halve, then place on kitchen paper to dry. Add the artichokes to the pan cut-side down and cook until golden brown. Season and keep warm
22
To serve, pipe circles of pine nut purée around each plate. Arrange the pork shoulder, belly and cutlets on top, halve the croquettes and place alongside, then place the artichokes around the plate and drape over the hop shoots and Jack-by-the-hedge leaves and flowers. Drizzle with the Jack-by-the-hedge oil and serve the warm sauce in a jug on the side
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