Our own choucroute of pork, pickled cabbage and smoked sausage

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • 1 kg pork belly with ribs
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp each coriander seeds and black peppercorns
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 300 ml dry white wine
  • 200 ml tawny (see note)
  • 1 kg boneless pork belly
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 large smoked sausages (about 600gm; see note)
  • To serve: boiled carrots and Desiree potatoes
  •  
  • Pickled cabbage
  • 1 Chinese cabbage (1kg), leaves separated
  • 50 gm butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 juniper berries
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 500 ml dry white wine
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 300 ml white wine vinegar
01   Preheat oven to 160C. Remove skin (discard) from pork belly with ribs, then cut meat into even slices between the ribs. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add pork, season to taste and cook, turning once, until golden (2 minutes each side). Remove pork from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to low, add carrot, celery, onion, garlic and herbs to pan, stir occasionally until just soft (4-5 minutes), add tomato paste and cook until tomato paste darkens (4-5 minutes). Add spices, cook until spices are toasted and fragrant (1 minute), add tomato, deglaze with wine and tawny and reduce by half (8-10 minutes). Transfer to a small deep roasting pan, add pork bone-side down, pushing it into the vegetables, and add enough water (about 500ml) to just cover. Cover closely with baking paper and set aside.
02   Score boneless pork belly, place in a shallow roasting pan, drizzle with oil, season generously, rub seasoning into skin, sprinkle with a little more flaked sea salt and pour 300ml water around pork.
03   Place pan with braised pork on the bottom shelf and pan with boneless pork on the top shelf of oven and roast until the braised pork is very soft and tender and the boneless pork is crisp on top and tender underneath (2 hours; if the skin of the boneless pork is still soft, place under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes to finish the crackling). Remove braised pork from liquid and set aside. Strain liquid into a bowl (discard vegetables and spices), add vinegar and mustard, stir to combine and set aside. Slice boneless pork into 6 pieces and set aside.
04   Meanwhile, place sausages in a saucepan, add cold water to cover, bring to the simmer over low heat, cook until heated through (10 minutes), cool in liquid (30-40 minutes) and slice into thick rounds.
05   For pickled cabbage, preheat oven to 160C. Trim cabbage leaves, slice stalks diagonally, cut leaves in half, place in a roasting pan and set aside. Heat butter and oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and stir until soft but not coloured (8-10 minutes). Add juniper berries, peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf, stir until spices are fragrant (1 minute), add wine and reduce by two-thirds (10-15 minutes). Add stock, bring to the simmer, add vinegar, season to taste and pour over cabbage. Cover with baking paper and foil and bake until cabbage is just turning soft (13-16 minutes).
06   Place cabbage, braised pork, boneless pork and sausage in a large serving dish, dress with braising liquid and serve over boiled carrots and potatoes.
Note Port-style fortified wine made in Australia is now known as tawny. Smoked sausages are available from select European delicatessens.

This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

JACQUES REYMOND , STEVEN NELSON, BISTRO GITAN, VIC

Photography:

JOHN LAURIE

Styling:

LISA FEATHERBY

Drinking Suggestion:

2008 CHÂTEAU CORBIN MERLOT CABERNET CABERNET-FRANC, MONTAGNE SAINT ÉMILION, BORDEAUX, FRANCE. , suggested by EDOUARD & NATHALIE REYMOND

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