My Dish Competition Entrant

Stephen Garrett’s Pork Cheek  creation for the Wellington On a Plate My Dish Competition for Boulcott Street Bistro

I came up with this dish one standing the in the meat section of Moore Wilson Fresh ….

Weigh the pork cheek, and calculate 2%, that’s how much salt you need. Mix rock or kosher salt, with some thyme and Szechuan pepper.

Coat the pork in the salt mix and place in a container (or zip-lock bag) in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 90ºC.

Melt enough lard to completely submerge the pork cheek in the casserole/dutch oven you’ll be using.

While the lard is slowly melting, take the pork out of the fridge and rinse all the salt off it.

Pat the pork dry, and place it in the casserole dish, scatter in some star anise and szechuan pepper.

When the lard is completely liquid pour it gently over the pork, making sure it is fully submerged.

Cover with tinfoil, you want to make as airtight seal as is possible, you don’t want any moisture to escape. Place it in the oven and forget about it for 12 hours.

Take two baking dishes (glass or ceramic is ideal), one needs to sit inside the other, Line the bigger of the two with some baking paper, and the bottom of the smaller one with cling film.

Remove the dish from the oven, and take off the tin foil, check to see that the meat is indeed cooked and tender.

Carefully lift out the pork and place it in the larger baking dish, carefully placing the the smaller one on top, weigh it down with a few cans, and wrap the whole thing firmly with some cling film.

Place it in the fridge for 12 hours to press.

Get the oven on and preheating to 200–220ºC.

Remove the pork from the fridge and unwrap, remove the top dish with a little caution.

Portion up the pork

When the oven is up to temperature, get a heavy based, ovenproof frying pan on to the heat, we want it to be scorching hot.

Add a few drops of oil to the pan, place the pork skin side down in the pan, pressing down gently, cook for 1 minute then transfer to the oven for 15–20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven (don’t forget the handles hot!), and place the pork on a wooden board skin side up, to rest.

Serve with some wilted greens and an apple-fennel sauce dusted sparingly with fennel powder

Apple Fennel Sauce

simmer sliced peeled apple and sliced fennel in cider with ¼ tsp of citric acid

when the apple and fennel is tender puree with a stick blender and pass through a sieve.

taste and season accordingly

Fennel Powder

toast fennel seed in a dry pan until lightly brown and aromatic

grind with a mortar and pestle

sieve to get rid of large particles.


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