Nose-to-tail Guru, Giles Edwards, Teaches You How To Use Pork


Kirsten Macnab |

Try out these delicious recipes by Giles Edwards at La Tête

Baked Trotter with Quail Eggs

Trotters, ak.a. pettitoes, are the feet of pigs.

INGREDIENTS
1 pig cheek
coarse sea salt
200 ml cooking oil
½ Granny Smith Apple, sliced
1 head chicory
capers
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 red onion

FOR THE DRESSING
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ lemon juice
100 ml olive oil

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METHOD
STEP 1 Braise pig trotter in stock veg, wine and water until falling of the bone, allow to cool slightly and pick out all toe nails, bone and gristle. Discard.

STEP 2 This broth is ideal for storage and meal prep. You can pour it into tupperware and store it in the fridge for later. Use about a cupful of the broth for the next step.

STEP 3 Braise spring onions, thyme, bacon, Madeira, tomato and trotter until thick and gelatinous. Place in a ramekin, crack in two quails eggs and bake. Serve with a slice of sourdough toast and a glass of Madeira, done.

Crispy Pig Cheek with Apple & Chicory

Known as hog jowl in the US, pig cheek is a soul food staple.

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INGREDIENTS
1 pig cheek
coarse sea salt
200 ml cooking oil
½ Granny Smith Apple, sliced
1 head chicory
capers
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 red onion

FOR THE DRESSING
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ lemon juice
100 ml olive oil

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METHOD
Salt the cheek overnight, rinse well the next day and confit (slow cooked submerged in oil) for 1.5 hours, or until you can pull a spike of flesh clean off with minimal effort. Allow to cool completely. Slice into 2cm wedges, trying to maintain the shape of the cheek. Roast at 180 until crisp and golden.

For the dressing
Whisk all the ingredients except the olive oil together, then slowly add the oil to make a versatile mustard vinaigrette.

Assemble
Chop the chicory, keeping some of the bigger leaves aside. Place it all in a bowl along with capers, parsley and a good dollop of mustard dressing. Tumble it around and serve alongside crispy pig cheek.

Pork Rillette

Rillette: salted overnight with spices, then braised or roasted.

INGREDIENTS
1 kg pork belly deboned
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
Couple sprigs thyme
Splash of olive oil
1 Tsp ground fennel
1 whole clove garlic cut in half horizontally

Serve with Some good sourdough

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Method
Lightly salt belly over night with herbs and spices. In the morning, give it a rinse and place in a suitable-sized oven dish along with 2 Tbsp olive
oil and a splash of water.

Add garlic whole, and cover with tin foil. Bake in oven at 150 for about four hours, keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t dry out, but the fat should start to render out naturally. After four hours the meat should be falling apart, drain liquid and save. Allow meat to cool slightly. “Shred the meat – I like to use my fingers,” says Edwards. Squeeze in the garlic bulb and slowly emulsify the cooking liquid in.

Adjust seasoning, it shouldn’t need much due to the salting of the belly. You can store this for a couple of weeks if tightly sealed. Otherwise serve with fresh sourdough and cornichons (baby gherkins).

Shoulder with Braised Red Cabbage

Pork shoulder or pork butt? same thing.

INGREDIENTS
1 Pig Shoulder

FOR THE CABBAGE
½ head red cabbage, cored and
cut into 1-inch strips
2 peeled red onions, thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch thyme, picked and chopped
450ml chicken stock
Handful of semi-dried prunes

METHOD
Once the shoulder is deboned and rolled, allow to stand out for 1.5 hours before you start. How long you are going to cook it for, really depends on the size. Cooking meat from cold is a really bad idea, you want it to be at room temperature all the way through before you have even started. Get a good heavy bottomed roasting pan warm on the stove or in oven. Add a healthy amount of oil and gently start to render the fat. “Crackling should start to appear. Once all the fat is crispy, place the joint on a roasting rack, or, as I like to do, a few thick slabs of bread – the ultimate dripping crouton!” Cook slowly at about 150 for an hour to an hour and a half. (The core temperature should be at 67.) If your pork is good there is no reason to cook it slightly pink. Allow to stand for at least 30 minutes, you can even cover with tin foil. Slice and serve with cabbage, mustard and some of your finest wine.

FOR THE CABBAGE
This works so well with pork, the sweetness of the cabbage and prunes is just the perfect combination. Start in a large pan with onions, garlic and olive oil. Gently sautée until soft; avoid any colour. Add chopped thyme and listen to the crackle as it does its stuff. “Music to my ears.” Add the cabbage and ensure that it is well coated. Add a cup of chicken stock and prunes, cover and braise at 180 for 20 minutes. “I like to take it quite far, so it becomes sticky and unctuous,” Edwards suggests, “but you can prepare this all in advance and warm it up just before serving.”

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