Pork with dates and five spice


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Pig's head and tails

Pork belly

Date purée

  • 250g of Medjool dates

Pan-fried vegetables

Pork tenderloins

Place a very large, deep pan over a high heat and add the olive oil. Cook the onion, leek and carrots until nicely browned
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
Add the pig's head and pig's tails to the pan, colouring them slightly
De-glaze the pan with the wine, scraping the bottom with a spatula. Add the thyme and enough water to cover. Cover in foil and simmer for 3 hours
In a separate pan, follow the same process as steps 1-3 but using the pork belly - roasting the vegetables, colouring the pork, de-glazing with wine, adding the thyme and covering with water. Cover the pan with foil and cook for 3 hours
For the date purée, pit the dates and remove any bits of stem. Place the dates in a pan, cover with water and simmer until soft, for approximately 10 minutes
  • 250g of Medjool dates
Once the dates are soft, remove from heat. Allow to cool, then place the water and dates in a blender and blend until smooth
When the pork belly has finished cooking, remove from the liquid and press between 2 trays. Set in the refrigerator overnight, using a heavy weight to keep the pork belly pressed flat
Meanwhile, take the pig's head and tails out of the water. Once cool enough to handle (about 10 minutes later), pick out the cheek and any meaty bits from the pig's head in small pieces, discarding any bones and large pieces of fat or skin
Mix the meat from the pig's head in a bowl with the sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of sherry vinegar
Cut down the length of the tails and carefully pull out the bones
Roll the tails into sausage-shaped cylinders, wrapping them tightly in cling-film twisted at the ends. Set aside in the fridge to set for about an hour
Once the pork belly is flattened and set, cut it into rectangular pieces a little over 2cm wide and set aside
Cut the head of broccoli into florets. Blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water with the baby leeks and squash, then refresh in ice water
Melt the butter, add the five spice and cook the squash, leeks and broccoli on the stove over a moderate heat for about 4-5 minutes until tender. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper
Once the pork tails have set and solidified into a sausage shape, cut them into 2cm pieces
Place the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs onto separate plates. Roll the tail in the flour, then the eggs, the breadcrumbs, the egg and the breadcrumbs again, coating lightly each time
  • 100g of plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g of breadcrumbs
Weigh the head meat into 30g portions and shape into balls
Cut out the thick ribs of the Savoy cabbage and blanch all 6 leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds before refreshing in ice water
Wrap each ball of head meat in a leaf of cabbage, being careful to cover all of the pork and trimming away any excess cabbage to make neat parcels. Wrap in cling film. Reheat the head meat parcels in simmering water just before serving
In a pan, sear each rectangle of pressed pork belly for 1 minute on each side
Cook the breaded pig's tails in a deep-fat fryer at 190°C for 3 minutes, then set aside on some kitchen towel to drain any excess oil
Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas mark 9. Trim any sinew from the pork tenderloin, place in a roasting pan and drizzle over the olive oil. Warm in the oven for 2 minutes, along with the belly pork (if it is not still hot)
Re-heat the pan-fried vegetables in the oven for 2 minutes. Sweep a generous portion of the date purée along the bottom of each plate, then top with a portion each of the fried pig's tail, pork belly, loin, cabbage-wrapped head meat and pan-fried vegetables
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