Saturday, 2 November 2013


Pork Two ways- confit & fried, Potato & caraway puree, Pork fat potatoes, Red Sauerkraut, Apple cider paste, Pickled brown mustard, Crackling chip, Beer bubbles and Pumpernickel crumb.

           'Schweinefleisch mit rotem sauerkraut' is german for 'Pork with red pickled cabbage' and this dish is in honour of my father, he would be proud of this one. With this attempt to re-modernise my childhood memories of home cuisine, I've tried to capture my German food heritage from my fathers side. I have so many trigger memories of german foods, like dads lunchbox had this permanent scent of pumpernickel as this is all dad had for lunch with either salami, mortadella, or brawn and mustard. Another one is the weekly german meal mum would cook for dad such as pork chops, fried red cabbage with bacon and mash potato or german sausages, sauerkraut and potato cakes. It was those cherished special times around the family table and those trigger smells and memories that has inspired this entire dish. I can just see Dad smiling or smirking rather.
           This dish had some preparation involved as it has eight different components and each demanded its own attention. To start off I trimmed up a piece of pork belly removing any meat, scoring the skin and rubbing with salt and olive oil, before placing into a hot oven. Rendering the fat from the pork during the cooking process, after about twenty to thirty minutes I removed the crackling pouring off the fat and setting aside and further trimming the crackle of any fat before salting again and placing into the oven to finish the crackle off. I peeled and cut potatoes and placed them on the stove to boil, removing a few pieces after par-boiling and set aside to finish in pork fat. With the remaining potatoes I added some roasted caraway seeds and boiled until tender. Draining, removing seeds and blending with a little seasoning, butter and cream to form a puree. The par-boiled potato pieces were then cooked on a medium heat in half of the rendered fat until just starting to show colour. With the other half of the pork fat I cooked some small pieces of pork confit style at 75 deg. c., this keeps the meats' fibres relaxed throughout the whole cooking process resulting in a tender finish and an almost gamey taste to the meat, the pork was then removed from the fat to drain once cooked. The fat was then heated to red hot and I fried off some small chunks of pork until golden, by doing this the meats' sugars are caramelised giving a contrasting taste to the confit pork, they were then removed from the fat and drained. For the kraut I followed the old recipe pictured below. I pickled the brown mustard seeds as per usual equal parts rice wine vinegar and water with sugar and salt, simmering on low heat until seeds are soft. To make the cider paste I simply brought Three Oaks sweet apple cider and some agar to the simmer whisking to dissolve the powder and set aside at room temperature, mixing occasionally to form a paste. The pumpernickel crumb was made by blending the bread to a coarse crumb with a little oil and toasting under the grill, tossing frequently to avoid burning, before placing on a plate to cool down and stop the cooking process.
            And my final component to the plate, the beer bubbles were made just before plating and was made by adding Golsch beer, sugar and some soy lecithin to stabilise the bubbles, into a tall tumbler and mixing with a stick blender until thick bubbles form, these were chilled before being spooned onto the dish as a garnish. The plate was constructed with a bed of puree first, arranging the pork fat potato, pieces of pork, the sauerkraut and the crackle onto top of the puree. Spooning the mustard and the the apple cider to accompany and to finish scattering the crumb around, garnishing with the beer bubbles.



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