Recipes

Pork belly, onions, Gai lan, sunflower, quince

By Chef Ashley-Maree Kent

Appetite for Excellence 2019 Young Chef National Finalist

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Ingredients

Pork belly

  • 2-2.5kg pork belly skin on
  • 2 stars anise
  • 1 cinnamon
  • 4 each black peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 3 litres chicken stock
  • Pressure cooker

Pork and quince sauce

  • 800g-1kg pork skin and trimmings/bones
  • 1 each carrot
  • 2 each brown onion peeled
  • 5 each quince cut into ¼ s
  • 2 each bay leaf
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 200ml white wine
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • Pressure cooker

Charred and pickled onion shells

  • 5 each pearl onions cut in half
  • 125ml rice wine vinegar
  • 125ml water
  • 65 gm sugar
  • 25gm salt

Sunflower seed puree

  • 400gm fried sunflower seeds
  • 200 sake
  • 200 mirin
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • White wine vinegar
  • 100ml-200ml warm chicken stock
  • Olive oil 100ml
  • Seasoning
  • Vitamix

Blanched Gai lan

  • 5 medium Gai lan leaves (cleaned stem)
  • Boiling salted water
  • Ice water bath in medium bowl

Garnish

  • 1 leek

Method

  1. 1.
    Pork Belly: Place stock and aromats into pressure cooker pot. Turn oven on to 180 degrees Remove the skin from pork belly carefully and reserve skin for stock. Heat up cast iron pan and a little oil and pan sear each side of the belly and place belly into pressure cooker. Close the lid and place on highest setting and pressurise for 50 minutes Whilst waiting for pork to cook set up 2x blue steel trays both lined with baking paper and turn on blast freezer. Once pork is cooked be careful removing will be soft and place on top of lined tray, baking paper on top of pork then tray. Place in blast freezer with weight on top for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut into 4x 180gm rectangles and keep refrigerated. 30 minutes before plating remove pork from fridge and allow to sit a room temperature for 20 mins. Heat up cast iron pan add vegetable oil and pan sear and place in oven for 5 minutes Remove from the oven and place on a tray with a wire rack ready for plating.
  2. 2.
    Pork and quince sauce: Place bones, skin and trimming on a gastro and place in an oven set at 180 degrees. Turn pressure cooker on high and on sauté. Whilst your waiting pressure cooker to heat up chop up carrot, onion and quince. Add vegetable oil and mirepoix to the pressure cooker and sauté fruit and veg Once bones are roasted and caramelised add them to the pressure cooker. Add in chicken stock and bay leaves. Close lid and place on highest setting for 1 hour When hour is up release pressure from the cooker, open the lid and strain in a chinois and an oil filter/chux cloth into a medium pot, making sure to crush the quince down further to release more flavour. Heat up a shallow pot add white wine and thyme and burn off alcohol. Add stock and reduce by half. Once reduced strain again in a chinois into a small service saucepan. Ready to heat and plate.
  3. 3.
    Charred and pickled onion shells: Put cast iron pan on stove to heat up nearly smoking, add a small amount of vegetable oil, place onions exposed side down first and leave on high for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes place in oven for another 4 minutes remove onions from the oven and allow to cool slightly, whilst waiting for onions to cool heat up all ingredient on stove till sugar and salt is dissolved and remove off heat onions are slightly cooled trim the root end and start peeling the onion shells out from each other like petals, once all 5 onions are done place in a container and pour over pickle liquid. Leave at room temp until needed.
  4. 4.
    Sunflower seed puree: Place sake and mirin in a saucepan and reduce by half and set aside. Place ½ of sunflower seed in a hot deep fryer and fry until an even light golden brown colour and lift out of fryer and place on a tray lined with paper towel to soak up access oil, repeat step above. Set up vita mix. place sunflower seeds, sake and mirin reduction, and 100ml chicken stock into the blender add more chicken stock if needed. Puree on high and use a tamper to make sure its silky smooth, whilst pureeing add 100mls olive oil to the pure will help give a nice shine to the puree when u feel its nearly to the point of finishing’, season with white wine vinegar, fish sauce, salt and white pepper. Keep pureeing until seasoning is where you want it. Pass through a tamis and place finished product in a small saucepan ready to be reheated and plated.
  5. 5.
    Blanched Gai lan: Bring seasoned water up to boil. Hold Gai lan leaves in hand and place stems into boiling water for one minute once minute is up place the whole leaf into the water for 30 seconds, refresh into ice water bath for 2 minutes. Strain water and separate and lay the Gai lan leaves between chux cloth to remove excess moisture. When ready to plate heat up cast iron pan a little bit of veg oil and sear each side of the leaf to heat up. Remove from pan and drizzle with white wine vinegar ready for plating.
  6. 6.
    Garnish: Cut leek in half and remove the green from the leek and cut in half again. Julienne the leek and place on a blue steel gastro pan and spread out evenly. Place in drop oven at 200 degrees. Cook until black and with even colour. Season and place on small pizza tray till ready to be served.
  7. 7.
    Plating: Place bowl plate in oven to heat up 2-4 minutes. Place sunflower seed puree to the off-centre right. Place hot pork left off centre. Put warm Gai lan leaf over the top of the pork stem closest to yourself, with tweezers place 2 petals of pickled onion, one ontop of gailan other one to the left of the gailan. Garnish with 3 burnt leek sticks and 3 table sppon of pork and quince sauce.