Pork Jowl Recipe with a Fennel Salad served on a round off-white plate on a dark wooden table

Pork jowl, burnt orange and fennel salad

  • serves 4
  • A little effort

Impress your friends and family at your next dinner party with this soft and tender pork with crunchy fennel salad. This showstopping dinner recipe comes from chef Johnnie Crowe of new London restaurant, Nest

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The jowl is the side of the pig’s head containing the cheek. A good butcher will be able to get this for you. If you can’t find jowl, use pork belly instead.

Ingredients

  • rock salt 100g
  • soft brown sugar 50g
  • star anise 4
  • thyme 6 sprigs
  • pork jowls (about 1.25kg total)
  • pork or chicken stock 1 litre
  • oranges 6
  • caster sugar 100g
  • butter 25g
  • fennel bulbs 2, thinly sliced
  • white wine vinegar 25ml

Method

  • Step 1

    Mix together the salt, sugar, star anise and thyme. Scatter enough to cover the base of a container, add the pork jowls and sprinkle with the remaining cure. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours (but no more than 8). Wash off the cure and pat the jowls dry with kitchen paper.

  • Step 2

    Heat the oven to 170C/fan 150/gas 3½. Put the jowls skin-side up in a baking tray and add enough stock to come halfway up the jowls. Cover tightly with tin foil and cook for 3 hours or until really tender. Drain the liquid, saving it for the sauce, and put the jowls onto a flat tray. Cover with clingfilm and put another tray on top, with some cans for weight, and chill overnight to press.

  • Step 3

    Peel 4 of the oranges, being careful not to get any pith. Juice these oranges and put aside. Put the peels into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Drain and repeat 3 or 4 times to remove bitterness.

  • Step 4

    Put 50g of the caster sugar into a pan with a splash of water and cook gently until dissolved, then turn up the heat and cook until it turns into a dark caramel. Add the orange juice, the remainder of the sugar, the butter and orange peels into the pan and reduce by 1/3. Blend in a food processor until completely smooth – this may take about 5 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Put the pork cooking liquor into a pan and reduce until it has a saucy consistency, skimming off any fat.

  • Step 6

    Remove the skin from the jowls and cut them in half, ensuring both pieces have a piece of cheek, so that you have four pieces of meat. Put the skin between two flat baking sheets lined with baking paper and cook in the oven at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 25-30 minutes or until crisp.

  • Step 7

    Put the fennel into a bowl and segment the remaining 2 oranges, then cut in 1/2. Toss with the white wine vinegar and some seasoning.

  • Step 8

    To serve, heat an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and cook the jowls, fat-side down, for 5-6 minutes or until crisp. Carefully flip and put into the oven for 6-7 minutes.

  • Step 9

    Serve each piece with the crispy skin, burnt orange purée, fennel salad and sauce.

Try more of our impressive pork belly recipes here...

Pork Crackling Recipe

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 814
  • Fat 46.7g
  • Saturates 17.7g
  • Carbs 39.8g
  • Sugars 36g
  • Fibre 5.2g
  • Protein 55.9g
  • Salt 3.6g
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