A delicious recipe from the executive head chef at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Cork, Alex Petit.
This dish utilises free-range pork from Rosscarbery Recipes nearby farm
- 1 tablespoon five spice
- 3 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 5 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
- 1 head garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- Olive oil
- 1.2kg free range Rosscarbery pork belly, rind on
- 1 small pumpkin
- 1 bottle ale
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- Knob of Butter
- 150g bacon lardons
- 100ml chicken stock
- ½ head of savoy cabbage, finely chopped into a julienne
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- Watercress or mizuna leaves for garnish
- Toast the five spice and 2 tablespoons of ground coriander in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes to release the flavours, then mix them together with the coarse sea salt, half the thyme and three of the finely chopped garlic cloves.
- Add enough olive oil to the mix to make a paste, then rub onto the flesh of the pork belly.
- Cover the pork and chill skin side up for a few hours.
- Rinse off the rub and pat the meat dry with a clean cloth.
- Preheat an oven to 160C/Gas Mark 3. Score the skin finely, place in a roasting dish and roast for 1 ½ hours.
- To make the purée, peel the pumpkin with a very sharp knife, then cut in half and remove the seeds from the centre. Dice the two halves into chunks and transfer to a roasting dish. Add two more cloves of garlic, the rest of the thyme, salt and pepper, then pour over the ale. Cook, uncovered, at 160C/Gas Mark 3 for 35 minutes.
- When the flesh is tender, blitz until smooth in a food processor, incorporating some of the ale cooking juices as needed until it reaches a velvety consistency.
- To make the grilled cauliflower, toss the florets with olive oil, the rest of the garlic and the remaining ground coriander. Transfer onto a lined baking tray, season with salt and roast until golden and tender, about 15 minutes.
- To finish the pork, increase the oven temperature to 220C/Gas Mark 8 and cook for a further 20 minutes to create the crackling.
- For the fricassee, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and gently fry the lardons.
- When golden brown, add the finely chopped cabbage, shallots and thyme and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and keep warm.
- Remove the meat from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes, then cut into rectangles
- To plate the dish, spoon a generous amount of purée onto a warm plate. Add a large spoon of the cabbage fricassee followed by a piece of the pork belly. Finish by sprinkling small florets of the grilled cauliflower around the plate and garnish with the watercress or mizuna leaves.
To read more about Celtic Ross Hotel, click here.