Pork belly with herbed farro, pickled elderberries, chanterelles and sumac

Photo: Pork Belly (Image: Colin Page)

Serves 4


Pork belly
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
pinch pink curing salt
5 tbsp kosher salt + more
for seasoning
1L bottled water
900g fresh pork belly
2 tbsp ground sumac
black pepper, freshly
Canola oil

Pork stock
Makes 3 litres
1 tbsp canola oil
2.3kg pork bones
7.5L water
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
5 garlic cloves
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 fresh bay leaves

Pork jus
Makes 2 cups
1 tbsp lard
2 tbsp chopped celery
2 tbsp chopped carrot
¼ cup chopped onion
1 small clove garlic,
thinly sliced
3 black peppercorns
1 small fresh bay leaf
1 small thyme sprig

½ cup red wine
1 litre pork stock
kosher salt
black pepper, freshly
Pickled elderberries
½ cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mustard seed
10 leaves fresh eucalyptus
240g fresh elderberries
1 cup fresh lemon juice

Herbed farro
4 cups pork stock or
strong chicken stock
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1½ cups Anson Mills
farro piccolo

1 tbsp lard
20 small chanterelles,
stems scraped, caps
swirled in warm water to
clean, and dried
kosher salt
sherry vinegar

Herb purée
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp canola oil
24 reserved chervil stems
24 reserved parsley
2 tsp lard
½ lemon

kosher salt
28 pickled elderberries
pork jus
ground sumac


For the pork belly
Combine the sugar, pink curing salt, and 5 tablespoons of
kosher salt in a saucepan, cover with just enough of the
bottled water to dissolve everything, and heat over medium
until the mixture melts.
Add the remaining water and cool completely.
Place the pork belly in a container, pour the brine over it,
cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, rinse the pork belly under cold running
water for 10 minutes. Dry completely.
Preheat the oven to 100°C.
Season the pork belly with the sumac, a little kosher salt, and
a little black pepper. Place it skin-side up in a 22cm x 28cm
or similar size baking dish and cook it uncovered for 8 hours
at 100°C. No basting is necessary; the amount of fat in the
belly makes it self-basting.
When the pork has finished cooking, remove it to a rimmed
baking sheet.
Cool the pork to room temperature. Wrap it securely in
plastic wrap.
To improve the texture, compress the pork by placing several
heavy baking sheets on top to weigh it down. Refrigerate it
with the weight on it for 12 hours. When the pork is compressed,
divide it into 8 x 90g pieces. Cover and refrigerate
for up to 5 days.

For the pork stock
Preheat the oven to 230°C.
Select a roasting pan large enough to hold the bones in one
layer and put it in the oven to heat.
Heat the oil in the pan. Add the bones and toss them in
the oil.
Roast the bones, turning occasionally, until golden brown
and caramelised, about 40 minutes.
Remove the bones to a large pot. Discard the fat from the
roasting pan.
Use a little of the water to deglaze the pan, scraping up any
browned bits from the bottom. Pour the bits and resulting
liquid into the pot with the bones.
Add the remaining water and the rest of the ingredients to
the pot and bring them to a simmer over medium heat. Skim
off any scum that rises to the top.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer the stock for 12 hours,
continuing to remove any scum that rises to the top.
Add more water if necessary to keep the ingredients covered.
Gently pour or ladle the stock through a fine strainer. Do not
press down on the solids or you will cloud the stock.
Discard solids.
Cool the stock to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.
Tightly covered, the stock will keep for up to 5 days in the
refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.

For the pork jus
Melt the lard in a pot over medium-high heat.
Add celery, carrot, and onion and cook, stirring frequently,
until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Add peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme.
Add red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits
off of the bottom.
Continue to cook, stirring, until the wine has almost
completely evaporated, 6-8 minutes.
Add the pork stock and cook the pork jus over medium-high
heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables from
scorching, until it reduces to 2 cups, about 30 minutes.
Strain the jus and discard the solids.
Cool the jus to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.

Tightly covered, the jus will keep for up to 3 days in the
refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.
For the pickled elderberries
Bring all of the ingredients except the elderberries and
lemon juice to a boil in a stainless steel or enamel pot over
medium-high heat.
Combine the elderberries and lemon juice in a sterilised
glass or stainless steel container.
Pour over the hot pickling liquid.
Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for at least
one month before eating to allow the elderberries to cure.

For the herbed farro
Heat the stock, partially cover, and keep warm.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook,
stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5-7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until soft, about
1 minute more.
Add the farro, stirring to heat the grains and coat them with
the oil.
Add ¼ cup stock and reduce the heat to medium. Stir the
farro until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Continue cooking and adding ¼ cup stock at a time, stirring
frequently to prevent scorching and letting each addition be
absorbed before adding the next, until the farro grains have
expanded and are al dente, 45-60 minutes.
The farro will look creamy like risotto. Cover the saucepan
and keep the farro warm on the back of the stove while you
finish the dish.
The farro can be made up to 3 days ahead and reheated. To
do this, cool it to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.

For the chanterelles
Heat the lard in a large skillet over high heat.
Add the chanterelles and cook them, tossing, until soft,
about 2 minutes.
Season with salt and a splash of vinegar.
Keep warm on the back of the stove while you finish the

For the herb purée
Pick all the leaves from the stems of the chervil and parsley.
Reserve the stems in ice water to garnish the dish.
Make an ice bath by filling a bowl with equal parts of ice and
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
Put the leaves in a large strainer and submerge them in the
boiling water for 40 seconds.
Remove and submerge them in the ice bath until
completely cold.
Shake off the water. Drain and dry on paper towels.
Adding just enough water to make the blade spin, blend the
leaves in a blender on high until smooth.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Use immediately.

To complete
Warm the pork jus in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Working in batches if necessary, heat canola oil in a large
skillet over high heat until shimmering.
Add the pieces of pork belly and cook over high heat until
golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side.
Drain on a paper towel.
While the pork belly is cooking, add the herb purée to the
farro and heat.
Shake the water off of the stems and put them in a bowl.
Warm the lard and toss the stems with a little of the lard, a
spritz of lemon juice, and a little kosher salt.

To serve
Place herbed farro at the edge of the plate.
Place two pieces of pork belly on top.
Place five chanterelles over the pork and farro.
Place seven pickled elderberries around the chanterelles.
Sauce the pork belly with some pork jus.
Sprinkle the plate with sumac and garnish with the stems of
chervil and parsley.

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