Dominic Jack has created this wonderfully unique recipe for pork ballotine with gooseberry and crackling grissini

  • 4
  • Hard
Gooseberries work in savoury or sweet dishes, but regardless of how you’re cooking them, they need a bit of sugar to be enjoyed at their best. The sharp, zesty flavour can work really well with meat, especially pork, as it cuts through the fat in a way that other fruits, like apple, can. Equally, gooseberries make a great match for fish – particularly oily fish like mackerel. When it comes to desserts, traditional fools and crumbles can work, as well as sorbets or Pavlovas. Gooseberries can vary quite a lot in flavour. It is best to start with two parts gooseberry to one part sugar, but keep tasting as you add the sugar. Generally, the younger and greener the berry, the more sugar you’ll need to counter its sharpness. It’s all about tasting, adapting and seasoning accordingly to get the right balance of flavour. If you get it right, you can enjoy their delicious, juicy flavour in lots of summer dishes.

Ingredients

  • 4 portions of good quality pork ballotine or terrine
  • Gooseberry jelly, reduction, purée
  • 200g green gooseberries
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp agar agar
  • For the crackling grissini and powder
  • 30cm square pork skin
  • 3g salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 125g flour
  • 30g butter
  • 30ml water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3g fresh yeast
  • white of one egg

Method

Pork ballotine with gooseberry and crackling grissini

For the Gooseberry jelly, reduction, purée

Top and tail the gooseberries. In a medium-sized pot bring to the boil the water, lemon juice and caster sugar.

Turn down to a low simmer and add the gooseberries. Simmer for 30 minutes (do not touch or stir the liquid to keep it clear, you don’t want to break the gooseberries). Take the pot off the heat and cling-film the pot to infuse the flavour.

Leave to cool. Carefully strain the liquid from the gooseberries through a sieve and muslin cloth, keeping the berries and the liquid separate.

For the jelly

Put 150ml of the gooseberry liquid into a pot with ½ tsp of agar agar. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Once boiled, pour through a fine sieve into a shallow tray. Leave to set. Once set, cut into 1cm cubes.

For the reduction

Put the remaining liquid into a pot and gently simmer until reduced to a syrup-like consistency. Leave to cool.

For the purée

Place the cooked gooseberries into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve.

For the crackling grissini and powder

For the crackling powder

Using a sharp knife make approximately ½cm spaced
cuts on the top side of the pork skin, horizontally and vertically, being careful not to cut right through. Sprinkle with salt and vegetable oil and rub in with your hands. Roast in the oven at 160C/Gas Mark 3 for approximately 1 hour or until the skin has puffed up and crisped.

Once cool, put in a food processor and blend until smooth (it will end up like a paste). Spread out evenly on a paper towel. Keep changing the paper to draw out the fat and dry it out.

For the grissini

Sieve the flour into a bowl. In a pot add butter, water, olive oil and salt. Place somewhere warm and heat to 37C. Add yeast. Add the wet mixture into the flour and knead with your hands until it forms a firm dough.

Cling-film the bowl and leave to prove for 2 hours. Once proved, roll out the dough to approximately 2mm thickness. Then cut into a 30 x 30cm square discarding the excess. Brush the rolled-out dough with egg white and sprinkle it evenly with the crackling powder. Cut into 2mm strips. Place on a baking tray and bake at 170C/Gas Mark 3 for 5 minutes.

To serve (optional)

If you have a metal cone or cylinder, make a spiral by carefully wrapping the grissini around it and bake as above. Garnish the pork with the gooseberry jelly dice and spots of reduction and purée.

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Picture: Marc Millar

About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.