Matt Powell recipes.
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Every so often we will add new recipes to this section. Some will be simple, some more advanced. If you require any assistance, please contact me and I'll do my best to help.

Recipes

Pork belly, quince cheese and quince puree, pickled elderflower and pork's own juices


Picture (to follow)

This recipe calls for different elements from ingredients that are available at different times of the year. This shows how important an understanding of preservation techniques are to ensuring ingredients are available in leaner times.

I use a sous vide and water bath technique and  cook my pork belly for eighteen hours but you could prepare the pork belly on its own and cook in a low oven for a long period of time.

Pork belly

1 whole 2kg piece of Organic Pork belly
Bones removed
Skin/rind removed but retained

Brine

1 litre water
600g coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons pink salt
4 large shallots (peeled and roughly chopped)
3 large carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
10 peppercorns

Bring all the ingredients to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until the salt has dissolved completely.

Leave to go completely cold in the fridge before use.

TO COOK THE PORK BELLY

Mirepoix

1 carrot, 1 leek, 1 stick celery, ½ a large onion all peeled and cut equally to size.

Bouquet garni

2 nice sprigs of Thyme
½ garlic clove sliced thinly
5 peppercorns
1 shallot sliced lengthways
Roll all these ingredients into a small piece of cling film and cut off the ends.
500 ml White chicken stock or water

METHOD FOR THE PORK BELLY

Place the pork belly in the cold brine and cure for 12 hours.

After the curing process wash the pork belly in fresh cold running water to remove traces of salt.

Set a water bath to 68.5 degrees centigrade.

Now place the pork belly flat into a clean sous vide bag with the bouquet garni, mirepoix and liquid.

Seal in a vacuum packer at medium to high, place into the water bath for about 18 hours but check by pushing the meat with finger and thumb to check for doneness.

When the pork belly is cooked take out of the bag retaining the essential juices and pass them through a fine sieve discard the bouquet garni and the mirepoix.

Place the pork belly onto a large enough tray place another tray on top cling film tightly and place a weight on top of the top tray to press the pork belly.

Leave in the fridge overnight.

Trim the pork belly down taking off any excess fat and now portion into equal squares.

Re-sous vide until needed.

Reduce down the pork juices until you get a rich glaze.

When needed, place the pork belly pieces in the bags and into the water bath to heat through.

Then gently heat a small frying pan take a little butter and gently caramelise each side of the pork belly square.

Crackling

Season the pork skin or with sea salt flakes and fresh ground pepper, slice into long strips and now neatly lay the strips out flat onto a tray lined with  a silicone mat on a tray then another silicone mat on top with another tray with a weight on top of that to keep the pork crackling flat. Place in the oven at gas mark 4/160oc and keep checking until the pork skin is crispy.

You can now cool these strips down and keep in airtight containers until required.

Pickled elderflower

A large bunch of fresh prime elder flowers
1kg Sugar
1 litre Water
400ml White balsamic (but do taste)
4 slices un-waxed lemon
Sterilised jars

METHOD

Gently wash the elderflowers and again gently pat dry.

Place the flowers into a large enough sterilised kilner jar to hold the flowers.

Bring the water and sugar up to the boil to dissolve the sugar.

Add the vinegar and leave to cool down to about 60 oc.

Now pour the slightly cooled vinegar syrup onto the flowers.

Place the sliced lemons on top to hold the elderflowers under the syrup.

Cool completely and place in the refrigerator the flowers will be ready after one week and will keep for about one year.

Quince cheese

1kg good firm quinces
Juice of one un-waxed lemon
600g Caster Sugar
Enough water to cover the quinces.
2 medium sized sterilised plastic containers gently oiled.

METHOD

Wash the quinces.

Chop up the quinces to equal size.

Cook the quinces with enough water to cover them and then cook out gently until completely broken down and the quince has become a pulp.

Now push this pulp through a muslin cloth and for every 500ml of puree weigh out 375g of caster sugar.

Put the Quince puree into a pan and cook out gently, bring to a simmer and add in the sugar bit by bit.  Make sure you do not burn the bottom of the pan.

Cook out the quince until you can drag a wooden spoon through the mix and it leaves a trail behind.

Quince puree

Retain some of the quince above at about halfway before you can drag the spoon through the puree.


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Chef Matt Powell can be contacted on 07515 380 169. For security, we only supply our address to our customers.
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