Learn how to cook meat like a pro from the owner of Chiswick’s Smokehouse
Words Neil Rankin
Photography Paul Winch-Furness
PORK BELLY BO SSAM
This is a great way to get a family round the table. Korean food is all about family and sharing. If you have a Korean store nearby, buy the tiny anchovies and simply fry them up with some garlic.
INGREDIENTS:• 1 x 1.5kg thick end boneless pork belly
• Enough water/stock to cover, approx. 1-2 litres (see Braising Stock, page 147)
• 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot chilli paste)
• 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chilli powder)
• Toasted sesame oil, to taste
• 3 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
• 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
• 1 spring onion, finely sliced
For the Ssam Jam Ketchup:• Maldon salt for the ssam jang ketchup
• 2 teaspoons doenjang (Korean fermented soya bean paste)
• 4 teaspoons gochujang (Korean hot chilli paste)
• 8 teaspoons tomato ketchup
For the tempura-fried anchovies:• Oil for deep-frying
• 12 or more boquerones (Spanish marinated anchovy fillets)
• 100g tempura flour
• Cold sparkling water
• 6 baby Gem lettuces, separated into leaves
• 150g kimchi (store-bought or make your own – see note)
• 200g steamed white rice
• 100g Potato Bokkeum (see page 83)
• Bottle(s) of soju (Korean booze)
1. Set the oven to 100°C. Place the meat in a casserole or roasting tray, skin-side down. Pour in the water/stock.
2. Cover with a cartouche (see page 261) but no lid and leave to braise for 12-15 hours (or use other times/temperatures, page 146). Lift the belly out of the pot and place in a container.
3. Drizzle over some of the braising stock to keep the meat moist, then cool, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge. Once chilled, skim any fat from the surface of the stock and reserve.
4. Reduce the remaining stock until it’s roughly 400ml, then stir in the chilli paste and powder, along with sesame oil to taste. When the belly is cold, cut into slices 1cm thick and 10cm long. Keep in the fridge until needed.
5. Before serving, heat some of the skimmed-off fat in a frying pan and fry the garlic until lightly browned; remove and reserve. Season the belly slices with salt, then sear on both sides, getting a getting a good colour.
6. At the last minute, add a few spoonfuls of the stock and reduce to a sticky sauce to glaze the meat. Place on a serving plate and garnish with the sesame seeds, roasted garlic and spring onion.
7. To make the ketchup, blitz together all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Put the lettuce leaves and kimchi in serving bowls, and get the rice and Potato Bokkeum ready to serve.
8. For the anchovies, heat some oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep pan to 180°C. Mix the flour with enough cold sparkling water to make a thick batter. Dip the anchovies in the batter and deep-fry for a few minutes until crispy.
9. Drain briefly on kitchen paper. Eat by filling the lettuce leaves with the belly and any mixture of the side dishes. Play about with different fillings and drink lots of soju shots.
(1.6kg bird, serves 2-4)
Here, instead of a slow-cook in the oven, we are doing a slow-cook in the smoker.
Smoker cooking temperature: 120–130°C
Cooking time: 1–1½ hours end internal breast
1. Give your chicken your favourite rub and set your smoker to 120°C.
2. As the smoker temperature will not be as accurate as the oven, you need to be more flexible with the cooking time than with a roast chicken. Use a probe thermometer to check that the breasts hit 68°C; with touch, this is the point where the breasts just begin to firm up.
3. Don’t cook the chicken longer than this to be safe because it will self-cook a little further once it’s out of the smoker, and you can always give it more time after it’s jointed. That way you avoid cooking the whole thing dry.
4. You can either eat the chicken straight away, or leave it to cool at room temperature for an hour, then roast in the oven at 240°C for 15 minutes to get a crispier skin. Try served with Gochujang mayo.
LAST-MINUTE GRILLED SALAD
• 2 fennel bulbs, one left whole and the other thinly sliced
• 3 courgettes, thickly sliced lengthways
• 2 Tropea onions or red onions, cut in half lengthways (unpeeled)
• 3 spring onions
• 1 leek
• 4 white/purple/green sprouting broccoli stalks
• 3 English asparagus spears
• 1 globe artichoke, trimmed, quartered lengthways
• 1 small bunch dandelion leaves
• 1 romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthways through the core
For the dressing:• Olive oil
• Lemon juice
• 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 small handful chives, cut into 2.5cm lengths 2 tablespoons puffed wild rice
• 1 tablespoon crispy garlic slices
• Couple of grates of Parmesan cheese
• Maldon salt
1. Cook the whole fennel bulb in the hot coals for 10 minutes until blackened, then peel off the outer charred layer. Set aside.
2. Lay the fennel and courgette slices, onion halves, spring onions, leek, broccoli, asparagus and artichoke quarters on the BBQ grill. Cook until the vegetables are tender and heavily charred. As they are cooked, remove them from the grill. Leave the leek until it is blackened all over, then peel off the outer layer. Roughly chop up all the veg.
3. Grill the dandelion leaves for a few seconds, and the lettuce halves on one side until almost black.
4. Combine all the grilled vegetables on a large platter. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, then sprinkle with the herbs, puffed wild rice, crispy garlic and Parmesan.
Recipes taken from Low & Slow by Neil Rankin with photography by Paul Winch-Furness, published by Ebury Press, £25