SLOW-COOKED PORK CHEEKS WITH HERB FREEKEH, KALE & WHITE BEAN PUREE

Country Style - - COUNTRY CHEF -

Serves 6

⅔ cup olive oil 1kg pork cheeks, trimmed* 2 brown onions, peeled, sliced 5 gar­lic cloves, peeled, crushed 2 tea­spoons smoked Span­ish pa­prika** ¾ cup Pe­dro Ximénez sherry 1L good-qual­ity chicken stock 1 cup veg­etable oil ½ bunch kale, stalks re­moved 60g but­ter 1¼ cups freekeh, rinsed, drained*** 1 bunch chives, finely chopped 1 bunch sage, leaves picked, finely chopped 1 bunch tar­ragon, leaves picked, finely chopped

WHITE BEAN PUREE

2 ta­ble­spoons veg­etable oil 1 brown onion, peeled, sliced 1 gar­lic clove, peeled, crushed 400g can can­nellini beans, rinsed, drained ⅓ cup pure cream Heat 1/ 3 cup of olive oil in a large, heavy-based flame­proof casse­role pan over a medium-high heat. Cook pork cheeks for 8 min­utes or un­til golden all over. Trans­fer pork to a plate. Add re­main­ing oil and re­duce heat to medium-low. Cook onion and gar­lic, stir­ring, for 5 min­utes or un­til soft­ened. Add pa­prika and cook, stir­ring, for 2 min­utes or un­til aro­matic. Add sherry and sim­mer for 20 min­utes or un­til re­duced by half. Re­turn pork to pan. Add stock and bring to boil. Sim­mer, par­tially cov­ered, over a low heat for 2½–3 hours or un­til pork is very ten­der. Mean­while, to make white bean puree, heat oil in a fry­ing pan over a medium heat. Cook onion and gar­lic, stir­ring, for 3 min­utes or un­til soft­ened. Add can­nellini beans and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 6 min­utes or un­til soft­ened. Add cream and bring to boil. Set aside for 5 min­utes to cool. Trans­fer can­nellini mix­ture to a food pro­ces­sor and process un­til a smooth puree forms. Sea­son with sea salt and black pep­per. Heat veg­etable oil in a deep saucepan over a medium-high heat (when oil is ready a cube of bread will turn golden in 10 sec­onds.) Add 5 pieces of kale and deep-fry for 5 sec­onds or un­til crisp. Trans­fer to a plate lined with pa­per towel. Sea­son with sea salt. Re­peat, in batches, with re­main­ing kale. Melt but­ter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add freekeh and stir to coat in melted but­ter. Cover with wa­ter and bring to boil. Sim­mer, cov­ered, for 20 min­utes or un­til freekeh is ten­der. Drain. Trans­fer to a bowl. Add chives, sage and tar­ragon, and stir to com­bine. Spoon white bean puree onto serv­ing plates. Top with freekeh mix­ture and pork cheeks. Spoon over pan juices and gar­nish with kale. * You will need to or­der pork cheeks from a butcher. Ask for 12 pork cheeks with­out the jowls. ** Avail­able at gourmet food stores and del­i­catessens. *** Freekeh is roasted green wheat. Avail­able at health-food stores and some su­per­mar­kets.

SHAVED SQUID WITH CHIVES

Serves 6 (See pho­to­graph, page 70) 10 medium white onions, peeled, halved 40g speck, thinly sliced* 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 4 medium squid tubes, cleaned, cut into very thin strips 1 bunch chives, finely chopped small red-veined sor­rel leaves and young co­rian­der leaves, to gar­nish (op­tional) Pre­heat oven to 150°C. Place onion, speck and 12/ 3 cups wa­ter in a deep bak­ing dish. Cover with bak­ing pa­per and foil. Bake for 1½ hours or un­til onion is very soft and translu­cent. Strain broth through a fine sieve set over a heat­proof bowl. Us­ing back of a large spoon, press solids to ex­tract as much broth as pos­si­ble. Dis­card solids. Trans­fer broth to a small saucepan and place over a medium-low heat un­til ready to serve. Heat oil in a medium fry­ing pan over a medium-high heat. Cook squid, stir­ring, for 1–2 min­utes or un­til just cooked. Add chives and toss to com­bine. Spoon squid mix­ture into cen­tres of serv­ing bowls. Spoon warm broth around squid. Gar­nish with red-veined sor­rel and co­rian­der leaves, if de­sired.

Avail­able at su­per­mar­kets, del­i­catessens and some butch­ers.

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