Caramelised pickled pork with celery heart salad & parsley vinaigrette

by Al Brown | Cuisine issue #150
Serves: 6Pickled pork is one of the 'forgotten' pork cuts - you'll need to ask your butcher for it. Cooked in a similar fashion to corned beef, it can be served warm but is also beautiful eaten chilled in a sandwich with a lick of mustard.

This is a wonderful salad – I enjoy the way the savoury and slightly bitter leaves contrast with the caramelised pickled pork.

Pickled pork
1.5kg pickled pork, rolled and tied
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 stick celery, diced
1⁄3 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns

Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Add 2 litres of water then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours or until the pork is tender. Remove from the heat and allow the pork to cool in the cooking liquid. If I’m making this in advance, I like to refrigerate the pickled pork in the cooking liquid, to prevent it from drying out.

Parsley vinaigrette
2 cups flat-leafed parsley leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄3 cup lemon juice
1 cup canola oil

Place the parsley, mustard, sugar, lemon juice and oil in a small bowl. Using a small wand blender, process to produce a coarse vinaigrette. (If you don’t have a wand blender, chop the parsley then whisk all the ingredients together.) Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then refrigerate until required.

To cook & serve

canola oil for cooking
600g baby new potatoes, halved and cooked in boiling salted water until tender
1 cup celery leaves (from the inner heart of a bunch of celery)
1 cup wild rocket
6-8 radicchio leaves
1⁄2 cup flat-leafed parsley leaves
1⁄4 cup capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped

Remove the string from the cooled cooked pickled pork and slice into 1cm-thick rounds.

Heat a little canola oil in a large frying pan over high heat then fry the pork slices, in batches, for 3 minutes each side or until golden and crisp. Keep warm.

Place the potatoes, celery leaves, rocket, radicchio leaves, parsley, capers and a little of the vinaigrette in a bowl. Toss gently to combine then taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Divide the crisp pork slices among serving plates. Top with the potato mixture then spoon the remaining parsley vinaigrette over the salad.

Wine - A classic (off-dry) riesling.

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