- 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 small salted capers, rinsed and drained (3 tsp)
- 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 cider vinegar (½ cup)
- 25 gm yellow mustard seeds
- 20 gm caster sugar
- 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
- 1For 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.
- 2For 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.
- 3For 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.
- 4Pat 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.
- 5Preheat 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.
- 6Reduce 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.
- 7Combine herbs with olive oil and cider vinegar, and season to taste.
- 8To 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.
Drink Suggestion: 2008 Domaine Prieure Roch “Les Suchots”, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru Pinot Noir.