Rob says: “When people talk about pulled pork, I personally dream of America; nice heavy juicy bits of meat slapped between two slices of bread and dressed with the widest variety of sauces. And it sounds all good to me. But if we want to stick to a broad definition of pulled pork, then it’s pork shoulder or mixed pork cuts simply slow cooked and pulled apart afterwards.”
“Bollito is a stew made from different meat cuts and veggies,” he says. “It’s particularly popular in the north of Italy. We like serving it in two or three different ways for guests to experiment the versatility and deliciousness of this traditional slow cooked pork dish. But just for six out of ten’s lovely readers, I tried a new and unusual serving style. It’ll leave your guests speechless both from presentation and the combination of flavours.”
So here it is! Bollito con Mostarda di Arance e Pesto di Salvia, or Pulled Pork Hock with Italian Orange Spiced Chutney and Sage Pesto. Yum!
Peel 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 3 garlic cloves and 1 onion. Put them whole in a deep pot of boiling water and add a handful of coarse salt. Leave it to cook at low flame for about 30 minutes to allow all flavours from the vegetables to be absorbed by the water. After 30 minutes it should be reduced by at least a third. Your stock is ready, just leave it to one side.
While you’re waiting for your stock, make the sage pesto. Melt the butter together with the sage leaves in a bain marie. Allow 20 minutes to cool down. Pre-heat a pan and toast your pine nuts. They’ll be nice and toasted after 2-3 minutes. Put the pine nuts, butter, sage mix and Parmesan in a blender and blend until you get a creamy paste. Leave to one side.
Peel and dice the remaining carrot and celery, and finely chop the remaining onion and garlic. Season pork with salt and pepper, and rub with oil.
It’s Bollito time. Put 6 generous tablespoons of oil in a deep pot. Add the garlic and onion you just cut. After 2-3 minutes the onions will start browning, then add carrot and celery and leave it on high for 5 minutes.
Place the hock in the centre of your pot and sear. With the help of a food tong (or two spoons) turn it around inside the pot so all sides are seared. When the hock starts browning after 3-5 mins, add the wine and vegetable stock until your meat is completely covered. Wait for the stock to come to a boil, then put on a low flame, put a lid on the pot and leave to cook for 5 hours.
After 5 hours, the pork will pull apart easily. Remove the skin and take the meat off the bone. You can make wonderful crackling out of the skin: just grill it or put it in the oven.
Now, take a plate and pour some syrup from your Mostarda onto it. Place thin slices of spiced orange or clementine all around the plate (of course you can use all different fruits, I just prefer the citrusy bits). This doesn’t just make it look pretty – the contrast with your sage pesto will be a perfect balance of flavours.
Place the pulled pork in the middle and top with drizzles of pesto so all the meat can benefit both from the spiciness and sweetness of the Mostarda, and the rich, fresh aromas of your pesto. Sprinkle some chopped parsley and enjoy!
If this all sounds a bit too much like hard work, their next available supperclub is on Saturday 4th May. It’s called Ask Chef and He’ll Go Freestyle, featuring prawns and strawberry syrup, duck in a Port reduction and cocktails. Amazing. If you’re a bit too far to join in, why not sign up to BackDoor Kitchen’s newsletter to get updates and recipes, as well as vouchers for future events? And as always, thanks to Fabio Forin for his fantastic photos.