Chef - Matt Weedon
Ark of Taste Product - Oxford Sandy and Black
Producer - Fallowfields
Everything on this plate was grown or reared at Fallowfields where Matt is Head Chef and Farm Manager. The Ark of Taste rare breed pig, the orchard apples, the mustard, the squash and potatoes. Of all of Matt's pork creations, he believes this current masterpiece is the show stopper, which is not surprising if it tastes anywhere near as good as it looks!
Braised Pork Cheeks
– At this stage no seasoning is required to cook the cheeks, simply put all the ingredients into a gastro tray and cover with tin foil and put into the oven for 8 hours at 120°C.
– When cooked, strain off all the juices and reduce in a saucepan to sauce consistency. Add one tbsp of grain mustard and keep warm.
– Sweat the onion in the rapeseed oil and lightly caramelise. Add the squash and caramelise that lightly as well.
– Cover with water, season a little and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook until squash is thoroughly cooked through and the water reduced. Add more water if necessary.
– Put the contents of the pan into the thermomix (or standing blender/food processor) and blend on high speed for 5 mins with 100g of butter until very smooth. Check seasoning and set aside somewhere warm.
– Sweat the finely chopped onion in the rapeseed oil slowly to brown and caramelise. Add the Ras el Hanout and curry powder then the double cream and reduce to 100ml and nice and thick.
– Cool this mixture and in a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients with the cream mixture.
– Put the mix into a vacuum bag (double!) and cook in a water bath at 85°C for 3 hours. If you don’t have a water bath/vacpac machine, simply place the mix in a tightly sealed plastic bag (double bag!) and place in a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bag is fully submerged, and cook for 3 hours.
– Refresh the bag of black pudding mix in iced water. When cold take out the mix and roll into cling film as ballotines to 1 1/2 inches thick, tying both ends with string and place the ballotines into iced water to firm up.
– When firm (approx. 6hours) slice a 1cm piece of the pudding and grill for two mins on each side and keep warm.
Cooking the fillet
– Take 300ml of the reduced braising liquor from the pork cheeks with the mustard in and place into a medium sized saucepan.
– Add 1 pork cheek and bring to the boil. Add some peeled and diced orchard apples and poach gently.
– Add the piece of fillet and cover with the sauce and mustard. Simmer for two mins then take the pan off the heat and set aside.
– To make the crackling trim the excess fat from the pork belly skin, salt it and cook slowly in a frying pan on the stove in some rapeseed oil until crisp on both sides and crunchy
At Fallowfields, Matt likes to serve these elements with some lightly crushed potatoes (Yukon gold, from the kitchen garden), some apple compote, kale and a caramelised baby onion.