Warm salad of new season peas, pork crackling, sorrel and béarnaise ice cream

Warm salad of new season peas, pork crackling, sorrel and béarnaise ice cream

Stuart Scott

Spring peas with pork crackling. What is not to like?



  1. Begin this recipe one day in advance. Finely dice 2 small shallots with 2 garlic cloves and put in a saucepan with 200 millilitres white wine vinegar, 100 millilitres dry white wine, 1 thyme sprig, 1 fresh bay leaf, the stalks from ½ bunch tarragon and 20 toasted white peppercorns. Gently simmer for 30 minutes, then strain, return to the pan and reduce down to 1 tablespoon.
  2. To make the béarnaise ice cream, whisk 10 egg yolks in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Bring 750 millilitres milk and 250 millilitres pouring cream to the boil in a saucepan, then pour it over the egg, whisking constantly until combined. Put the bowl on top of a saucepan of boiling water. Whisking evenly, but being careful not to aerate the mixture too much, bring the temperature of the mixture up to 80°C then strain it into a clean bowl. Chill the mixture quickly in a blast chiller or an ice bath. Season to taste with the vinegar reduction, Murray River pink salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour into Pacojet beakers. Freeze until solid. Churn in the Pacojet just prior to serving.
  3. Pass 1 kilogram belly-side pork skins over a gas flame to burn any bristle. Trim all of the fat from the skins – you need 200 grams pork skins. Put the trimmed pork skins in a saucepan with 1 diced onion, 1 diced carrot, 1 diced celery stalk, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 fresh bay leaves and ½ bunch thyme. Fill with water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the skins are soft . The skins should be soft and yielding without falling apart when pressed between the fingertips and thumb.
  4. Remove the pork skins from the braising liquid and lay on cloth-lined trays and allow to cool slightly. Using a tablespoon, scrape the remainder of the fat from the skins. Line dehydrator trays with plastic wrap. Place the skins on the dehydrator trays and dry in a food dehydrator at 65°C for 12 hours, or until dried and hard. Scrape any remaining soft fat from the skins.
  5. Pod 3 kilograms fresh baby peas, reserving the pods. To make the pea stock, wash the pods and roughly chop them. Finely slice 2 shallots with 1 garlic clove and sweat with a small knob of butter in a saucepan. Add the pea pods, 1 fresh bay leaf and 1 thyme sprig and lightly sweat until soft ened. Add enough chicken stock (see note) to cover the solids then bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, skimming occasionally. Strain the pea stock, then divide into two portions: one-third and two-thirds. Pour the smaller amount into a clean saucepan and reduce a little to boost the flavour, but leaving enough liquid to cook the peas.
  6. To make the beurre monté, reduce the larger quantity of pea stock to 75 millilitres in a clean saucepan. Using a wand blender, mix in 200 grams cold diced butter piece by piece to form a thick buttery emulsion. Season to taste with Murray River pink salt and freshly ground black pepper and finish off with a squeeze of lemon juice. Be careful not to split the emulsion. Keep warm until serving.
  7. To make the shallot confit, finely dice 5 shallots and 10 garlic cloves. Melt 2 tablespoons clarified butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, add the shallot mixture, cover with a cartouche and gently sweat until soft ened. Strain off any excess butter and reserve until required.
  8. Use a small set of kitchen scissors to cut the leaves, with a little bit of stalk, from 1 punnet baby sorrel. Keep the leaves in cold water until serving.
  9. When ready to serve, heat 2 litres canola oil in a heavy based saucepan to at least 200°C. Fry the squares of dried pork skin one at a time. Use tongs to hold the pieces under the oil so they will puff properly – this should only take a few seconds, so use caution as they will more than double in size. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with Murray River pink salt. Blend in a food processor to make a coarse crumble.
  10. Before serving, bring the pea poaching liquid to the boil and season to taste with Murray River pink salt and freshly ground white pepper. Cook the baby peas very briefly in the poaching liquid and then strain. Take a large spoonful of the shallot confit and gently heat it in the beurre monté. Add the warm peas and stir to coat.
  11. To serve, place a good spoonful of the pea mixture in the base of small soup plates and garnish with the crackling, sorrel leaves and béarnaise ice cream.

Chicken stock

  • Chop 5 kilograms chicken carcasses into smaller pieces. Transfer to a stockpot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and strain off the first water. Rinse the pot and return the blanched bones to the pot. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves, 15 white peppercorns, 3 fresh bay leaves and ½ bunch thyme. Cover the bones with water. Bring to a simmering boil and cook for about 4 hours, occasionally skimming the fat and coagulated proteins that build up on the surface. Strain through a chinoise then refrigerate until needed. We usually use this stock as a base for other stocks. It’s very light, and needs reducing for any other purpose.

    Makes 4 litres
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