Roasted pork neck with peaches and nasturtium sauce

Roasted pork neck with peaches and nasturtium sauce

By
From
Deep South
Serves
4
Photographer
Andy Sewell

I love pork chops but while living in Denmark I got to know pork neck – an extension of the same muscle that runs up the shoulder blade to just behind the head. When cooked in a similar fashion, a pork neck ‘chop’, with its marbling and steak-like texture, far outperforms the leaner bone-in chop. Because of traditional methods of butchery and the need to cut into the prized top end (‘boston butt’) section of the pork shoulder, it can prove difficult to find this particular cut of meat, no matter where you are, but trust me it is worth every effort. Only the best of butchers will help you out.

Mississippi is covered in kudzu, a predatory vine native to Asia that was endorsed by government agencies as a soil erosion combatant in the first half of the twentieth century. I’ve never known a South (more specifically a Mississippi) without kudzu so, although it is now viewed as a pest, it remains an enigmatic thing of beauty for me, and a constant reminder of home. It often comes to mind when I see patches of nasturtiums that have taken over gardens, which is why I’ve incorporated them into this dish in honour of the ‘vine that ate the South’.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg pork neck
20g sea salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the sauce:

Quantity Ingredient
150g nasturtium leaves, stalks removed
a few nasturtium leaves, to garnish
100ml Light and dark chicken stock
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
200ml vegetable oil
sea salt

For the peaches:

Quantity Ingredient
4 ripe yellow peaches, stoned and cut into quarters
50ml olive oil
25ml Elderflower vinegar

Method

  1. First make the sauce. Blitz the nasturtium leaves in a blender until roughly chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and blitz until emulsified, seasoning with salt to taste. Pass through a fine sieve and store in the fridge. The sauce will eventually break and separate in the fridge, which is fine, and also very appealing to the eye.
  2. Rub the pork neck all over with the salt. Heat the oil in a cast-iron frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the pork and sear on all sides until golden. Transfer to an oven heated to 160°C and roast for 25–30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 58°C. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 30–45 minutes, wrapping the meat loosely in foil halfway through. You will be left with a medium temperature and the pork will have a pink hue.
  3. Lightly toss the peach quarters in half the olive oil. Put them in an oven heated to 220°C (or on a ridged grill pan) and cook them for 5–7 minutes, until their sugars have come to the surface. A little colour is desirable but you do not want them to break down. Dress them in the remaining olive oil and the elderflower vinegar.
  4. Whisk the sauce briefly to combine again and pour on to warm serving plates. Carve the pork neck by slicing it into ‘chops’ 1cm thick. Arrange the slices of the pork around each plate and put the grilled peaches on top. Garnish with nasturtium leaves.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
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