Japanese Chicken Skewers with Spring Onions
20cm piece of saddleback pork shoulder, with a layer of fat running the length – about 400g
1/2 tsp Trehalose salt (page 251)
1 large cabbage leaf
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Italian herb salt
4 sprigs of rosemary
500g medium potatoes, scrubbed
200mL full cream milk
30g Parmesan, finely grated
30g unsalted butter
Pinch of flaky sea salt
Place the pork in a blast chiller on ‘meat mode’, or in a home freezer, until half frozen. Slice the meat crosswise into four steaks, 5cm thick. Even up the pieces to uniform shapes and make shallow cuts in the outside fat to encourage rendering.
Pack each piece of pork in a vacuum bag, or resealable freezer bag and divide the Trehalose salt evenly between the bags. Rub in the salt to distribute.
Seal and leave overnight at the temperature of a cool wine cellar (about 15 C) to wet age the meat for 8-12 hours.
Return to the blast chiller or freezer, until frozen.
Thaw the vacuum-packed pork at 45 C for one hour, either by steaming or sous vide. Then, cook in a rational oven on the multi-fresh setting, or sous vide for one hour at 60 C.
Place bags of pork in the blast chiller, or an ice bath to cool, but not chill.
Steam cabbage leaf for 5 minutes, until very soft. Cool to room temperature and cut into strips 6mm wide and 4cm long.
Place whole potatoes in a heavy medium saucepan and cover generously with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until soft to the core.
Drain, cool and peel. Cut into a large dice and return to the pan. Heat the milk in a separate small saucepan and mash into the potatoes with the Parmesan, butter and salt. Keep warm until needed.
Form a small bed of cabbage on four plates. Remove the chilled pork from the bags and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Heat a medium cast-iron frying pan over a low heat and place the pork pieces in, standing on their fatty edge. Render out the fat slowly, then pour off the fat and discard. Adjust the heat to high and cook the fatty edge until brown and crispy. Cook the other surfaces of the pork until well-sealed. Remove from the heat.
Sprinkle half the herb salt on a plate. Press the fat side of each piece of pork into the salt and place on top of each bed of cabbage. Sprinkle the remaining herb salt next to the fat side of the meat.
Form oval shapes of potato puree and drop them near the meat. Garnish with rosemary and serve.