Kale with Sweet and Sour Pork Belly and Quince Purée

Recipe from Kew on a Plate with Raymond Blanc.

I recently tasted a variety of kale we have been growing in the garden at Kew, called Westland Winter, and was absolutely amazed by its flavour. Iron-rich and just a little bitter, yet balanced with the hint of sweetness that comes from the first frost, it was begging to be used in a recipe. I’ve cooked it very quickly and simply to retain its powerhouse of nutrients; it’s a perfect partner to the succulent, gently spiced pork belly.

Cooking time: 3½ hours

Sweetpbelly MAIN IMAGE

Ingredients Required

For the sweet and sour pork belly
70g Acacia or Manuka honey
50g Tomato ketchup
2 tbsp Light soy sauce
4 tsp Rice wine vinegar
10g Root ginger, peeled and finely diced
1/2 Red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
1/4 Shallot, finely diced
75g Large quince (about ¼), peeled and cut into 2cm wedges
500g Pork belly, all bones and skin removed, skin scored
For the kale
100ml Water
20g Butter
1 pinch Sea salt
280g Westland Winter or Red Curled kale leaves
8 Nero di Toscana kale leaves
To serve
150g Quince Purée (see recipe)
1 tbsp Sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Quince Purée (this will make more than required, but can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks)
300ml Water
100ml Dry white wine
1 tsp Vanilla Purée or good-quality vanilla extract
40g Stevia powder
1 Quince, peeled, deseeded and segmented

Cooking Method

Preheat the oven to 120ºC/Gas Mark ½.

For the pork belly

In a medium casserole with a lid, mix all the ingredients except the pork, then add the belly and baste the sauce over the top. Transfer to the oven for 3 hours, basting the sauce over the pork every 20 minutes. When cooked, the pork will be firm but offer little resistance when a knife is inserted. Remove from the oven, lift the pork out of the casserole and place to one side to rest, loosely covered with foil. Strain the cooking juices into a medium saucepan on a high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half so that it thickly coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and reserve.

To cook the kale

In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to the boil. Add both varieties of kale and cook, covered, for 3–4 minutes, until barely cooked but still retaining a bit of bite and their wonderful colour. Strain.

To serve

Spread a spoonful of the quince purée in the centre of each plate. Add the kale, slice the pork belly and divide between the plates. Finish with a little of the reduced cooking juices and scatter over the sesame seeds.


Kew Book 120THUMB

Recipe from Kew on a Plate with Raymond Blanc published by Headline Ltd.

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2015.

Photograph © Jean Cazals 2015.