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AA Gill's final column for Gourmet Traveller

We mourn the loss of a treasured member of the Gourmet Traveller family who passed awayon December 10, 2016. British writer AA Gill was a contributor to the magazine from July 2004. Gill’s travel column was as insightful as it was witty, funny as it was thoughtful – he was without peer. This is the final piece he wrote for Gourmet Traveller; it appears in the December issue, 2016. - Anthea Loucas Bosha, Editor

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Coconut crab and green mango salad

"This salad bursts with fresh, vibrant flavours and became a signature on my Paramount menus," says Christine Manfield. "I capitalised on using green mangoes in many dishes as they became more widely available. Blue swimmer crabs from South Australia have the most delicious sweet meat. It's best to buy them whole, cook them yourself and carefully pick the meat from the shell - a tedious task but it gives the best flavour. This entree also works well with spanner crab meat (you can buy this in packs ready cooked from reliable fishmongers). The sweetness of the crab, the richness of the fresh coconut and the sourness of green mango make a wonderful partnership. It's all about harmony on the palate and using the very best produce."

Pork neck cooked in whey “reinvigorated”


"It's certainly worth trying to use whey for this dish," says Garratt. "A couple of drops of rennet in milk left at room temperature will yield some curds and whey. Drain off the whey for this recipe, but keep the curd in the fridge and the next day, voila - a fresh curd to spread on toast. Ravigote is a derivation of the French verb to 'reinvigorate', which is how we have translated the components of this classic sauce to be suitable for both hot and cold preparations." You'll need to begin this recipe a day in advance.

You'll need

900 gm piece of pork neck, tied with string to hold its shape 2 tsp seasoned plain flour 2 tsp mustard powder 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped 300 ml fresh cow’s-milk whey (see note) 8 pickling onions (about 60gm each), halved 1 fresh bay leaf 1 thyme sprig 50 ml verjuice 10 gm (3 tsp) small salted capers, rinsed and drained 2 tsp lemon juice ½ cup finely chopped mixed herbs, such as chives, tarragon and flat-leaf parsley 2 tsp olive oil 1 tsp cider vinegar   Pickled yellow mustard seeds 125 ml (½ cup) cider vinegar 25 gm yellow mustard seeds 20 gm caster sugar   Brine 190 gm sea salt 80 gm caster sugar 4 each juniper berries, cloves and black peppercorns 2 fresh bay leaves   Crisp pork skin 300 gm pork skin, trimmed of excess fat 1 tsp olive oil 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

Method

  • 01
  • For pickled yellow mustard seeds, combine all ingredients and 125ml water in a small saucepan, bring to the simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, until seeds are tender (30-40 minutes). Set aside to cool. Makes 2 tbsp and keeps for 2 weeks refrigerated in pickling liquid.
  • 02
  • For brine, combine ingredients in a saucepan with 2 litres of water, stir to dissolve sugar and salt, and bring to the boil, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • 03
  • For crisp pork skin, preheat oven to 200C. Score pork skin with a sharp knife at 1cm intervals and rub with oil, 1 tbsp sea salt and crushed fennel seeds. Thread a skewer across the skin so it remains flat while cooking, then place on an oven tray and roast until crackled (30-40 minutes; if necessary, cut off outside edges when crackled and remove, putting uncrackled skin back in the oven). Cool, then pound into pieces with a mortar and pestle.
  • 04
  • Pat pork neck dry with absorbent paper and submerge in brine, weight down with a plate, and refrigerate overnight to pickle. Remove from brine, drain well and pat dry.
  • 05
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Combine seasoned flour and mustard powder, then coat pork neck. Heat butter in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat, and cook pork, turning occasionally, until golden (5-7 minutes). Drain excess fat from pan, then deglaze with 2 tbsp of whey. Add onions, remaining whey, bay leaf and thyme, and braise in oven uncovered, turning once or twice, until pork is tender (2½ hours). Transfer meat to a plate and keep warm.
  • 06
  • Reduce pan juices over high heat to a sticky, caramelised consistency (4-6 minutes). Add verjuice, 1 tbsp pickled yellow mustard, seeds capers and lemon juice, season to taste, stir and set aside.
  • 07
  • Combine herbs with olive oil and cider vinegar, and season to taste.
  • 08
  • To serve, remove string from pork if necessary, slice thickly and place on plates. Spoon onion sauce over, scatter with herbs, then crumble crisp pork skin on top.
Note At Vincent, they use fresh whey from house-made cheese curds. As a substitute for whey, you can use equal parts milk and water.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

2008 Domaine Prieure Roch “Les Suchots”, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru Pinot Noir.

Featured in

Oct 2013

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