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
|For the sweet and sour pork belly|
|70g||Acacia or Manuka honey|
|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|
|1 pinch||Sea salt|
|280g||Westland Winter or Red Curled kale leaves|
|8||Nero di Toscana kale leaves|
|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)|
|100ml||Dry white wine|
|1 tsp||Vanilla Purée or good-quality vanilla extract|
|1||Quince, peeled, deseeded and segmented|
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.
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.
Recipe from Kew on a Plate with Raymond Blanc published by Headline Ltd.
Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2015.
Photograph © Jean Cazals 2015.