Recipes

Miso glazed Corned pork, with apple puree, pork scratchings, pickled enoki and herb salad

By Chef Paul Cooper

Paul Cooper

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Ingredients

  • 2kg pork jowl (or 4 large pieces) (ask your butcher to clean it so only the meat and fat remain)
  • 50g sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
  • 50g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • Mixed herbs (Dill, basil, tarragon, chives, shiso, lemon balm, your favourites)

Brine

  • 2 litres water
  • 80g salt
  • 40g pink salt
  • 50g sugar
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 8 sprig thyme

For Cooking

  • 3 litres water
  • 50g salt
  • 2 carrots (roughly chopped)
  • 2 onion (roughly chopped)
  • 2 celery sticks (roughly chopped)
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 head garlic (split in half)

Apple puree

  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 50g butter
  • 30ml olive oil
  • Salt

Pickled enoki

  • 1 punnet enoki mushrooms
  • 200ml white wine
  • 200ml apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 50g sugar
  • 10g salt

Miso glaze

  • 50g sugar
  • 25ml red wine vinegar
  • 25ml Sherry vinegar
  • 100g white miso

Method

  1. 1.
    For the Brine: Place all ingredients in a pot large enough to hold, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar does not catch. Once salts and sugar have dissolved, remove from heat and cool. Place in the fridge in a plastic or stainless steel container to chill completely. Submerge the pork jowl in the brine for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. 2.
    To cook the Jowl: Preheat oven to 90°C or the lowest setting your oven has. Remove the jowl from the brine, and place into an oven proof dish. Bring to the boil all ingredients for the cooking, and pour over the jowl, and make sure it is all submerged, add more water if necessary. Cover with foil, please ensure the foil is not touching the pork or it will stick to the fat. Place in the oven for 6 hours, or until tender and soft to touch, it will be much quicker cooking time for 100°C plus ovens, check after 2 hours. When it is cooked, allow it to cool on the bench for 1 hour, then remove from cooking liquid and place on a flat tray not touching each other and cool in the fridge for approx. 6 hours. When the jowl is cold, use a sharp knife and horizontally cut off half the fat from the top of the jowl. Collect all the fat, and portion the jowl into 8 equal size pieces, and return the jowl to the fridge.
  3. 3.
    For the scratchings: Dice the fat into roughly 1cm pieces, place in a pot and just cover with cold water. Place on medium to high heat, and bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. This will begin to render the fat. Stir this every 15-20 mins. When all the water has evaporated, liquid fat and fat solids will be left, the aim is to fry the solid pieces in the liquid fat. Keep the heat on medium, and stir more frequently, every 5 – 10 mins, scrapping any pieces that stick to the sides and the bottom. Have a strainer and metal bowl or container setup. When the fat pieces are deep golden brown, and the pan is mainly liquid fat, strain it through the strainer. The liquid will be very hot so allow to cool, reserve the liquid fat in the fridge. Mix the pork scratchings with the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, season with sea salt, and store in an air tight container in a dry dark place.
  4. 4.
    For the miso glaze: Make a caramel by heating the sugar over medium heat in small pot until the sugar melts and turns a golden colour, remove from heat and let stand for 5 mins, then deglaze with red wine vinegar, then sherry vinegar. Allow to cool slightly and whisk in the miso until smooth.
  5. 5.
    For the pickled enoki mushrooms: Cut the 2cm of root end of the enoki off, and place in a plastic or stainless steel container deep enough to allow the liquid to cover them. In a non-reactive pot, reduce the white wine with the bay and peppercorns over medium - high heat. When it has reduced by ½, add the apple cider vinegar and sugar, and reduce by ½ again. Add the water and strain over the enoki mushroom push down gently to ensure they are covered.
  6. 6.
    For apple puree: Roughly chop the apple, removing the seeds and core, but leaving the skin on. In a heavy based pan, heat the butter and oil until it starts to foam and add the apple pieces. Cook over a medium to high heat, caramelise the apple, and gently stirring (too much stirring will turn the apple to mush and make it harder to get colour on the apple). Once a golden colour is achieved, transfer all the contents of pan to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth (add a little water or apple juice to help if necessary). Transfer to a container with a lid, and keep in warm spot.
  7. 7.
    To finish and plate: Preheat oven to 180°C. In a heavy based pan place a tablespoon of the reserved pork fat on medium heat then place in the jowl portions, fat side down, and render and slowly caramelize the fat, do not flip in the pan. When a deep golden color is achieved, remove from the pan and place on an oven proof tray. Use a palate knife and smear the miso glaze over the fat of each piece of jowl and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and divide the pork scratching mix across all portions, and then a small amount of the pickled enoki on top. Place 1 tablespoon of the apple puree on to the base of each of your 8 serving plates, then the jowl on top each dollop of puree, and finish with 10 -12 leaves of your mixed herbs.