Monday, 1 February 2010

Pork belly, Jerusalem artichokes, and mushrooms

The pork belly here was cooked sous vide for 12 hours at 82℃. Before vacuum packing, it was boned and rubbed with ground fennel seeds, rosemary and salt. If I'd had some, finely grated lemon zest would have been  added to the mix. After cooking, it was chilled in an ice bath and refrigerated until needed.

To serve, it was pan-fried to brown then heated through for 10 minutes in a hot oven. I haven't quite mastered the art of crisping the skin without it colouring too much (and coming close to burning) - some more experimentation needed there.

The mushrooms and Jerusalem artichokes were cooked en papillotte following this recipe from Riverford Organic, omitting the goats cheese. The greenery on the side is shreded leeks and savoy cabbage, blanched for 3 minutes in boiling water then tossed with a knob of butter and some black pepper. I've found that a teaspoon of Dijon mustard mixed into cooked cabbage just before serving gives it a real lift, but I omitted that here as the mushrooms and artichokes were cooked with lemon juice, which I didn't think would go well with the mustard.

In the past, I have braised pork belly with aromatic vegetables, then cooled and pressed it overnight before finishing as above. This "twice-cooked" pork belly is a great dish, but the sous vide version wins hands down on texture and succulence. The only downside to the sous vide method is that you don't get the delicious stock that comes with a slow braise. To make up for this, I roasted the bones with some onions and made a dark pork stock, which I then enriched with the gelatinous juices from the sous vide bag and sharpened with some sherry vinegar.

No comments:

Post a Comment