Recipe: Lacquered rack of pork and red onion confit

This dish is a tribute to the crossroads of cultures prevailing in our islands. In this dish, the basics of French cuisine are associated with Asian flavours and spices of the Indian subcontinent. A rather technical recipe, but one rich in taste and texture.

Lacquered rack of pork and red onion confit

Lacquered rack of pork and red onion confit

Ingredients (serves 4)

The meat:

  • 1 rack of wild pig or suckling pig, 2kg
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 20g honey
  • Peanut oil: as required
  • salt/pepper

1. Open out the rack of pork, trim it, and cut the bone to uniform height and tie it. Season it with salt and pepper.

2. On the hob or griddle brown all the sides and then bake at 160˚C for about 40 minutes. Remove it from the plate and let it rest.

3. Mix the ketchup, honey and soy sauce into a preparation which will be used to lacquer the rack of pork.

The pork juice:

  • 20g honey
  • 1 lime
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 4g ginger
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tonka bean
  • 1 cinnamon stick

1. Brown the bones and trimmings in the oven.

2. Prepare a small mirepoix of vegetables (onion, garlic, carrot) and add it to the bones. caramelise everything together. Once a good good colour has been achieved, deglaze the plate with white wine. Put everything into a bowl and moisten it on the top with water. Cook for about 3 hours, skimming well.

3. Pass the stock through a cheesecloth sieve and reduce it to three-quarters.

4. Caramelise a little honey in a saucepan. Add 1 stick of cinnamon, 3 black peppercorns, half a chopped Tonka bean, 4g of chopped ginger, the zest of 1 lime and its juice, and 100ml of balsamic vinegar. Add the pork juice and cook it again for 30 minutes until it reaches a consistency which will coat the meat.

5. Strain it and save it.

The garnish:

The potates with cinnamon:

  • 500g large potatoes
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 litre peanut oil
  • 50g butter
  • Sea salt: to taste

1. Wash the potatoes, cut them into thick wedges with skin still on, blanch them in an oil bath at 150˚C for the first cooking. Drain and store them.

2. Place the butter into a pan to heat. Add the potatoes with the cinnamon sticks and bring them to a nice golden colour. Drain them on paper towels and season them with sea salt.

The red onion confit:

  • 300g red onions
  • 20g butter
  • 1/4 litre red wine
  • 10ml crème de cassis
  • Thyme: as required
  • 2g black cracked pepper
  • Salt/pepper

1. Peel the onions finely. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and lightly salt them. Bring them to a golden colour and then deglaze them with crème de cassis and red wine. Add the thyme and pepper. Cover and cook until completely evaporated. take them out and set them aside.

Finishing and presentation

  • Pink peppercorm: as required
  • Aniseed: as required

Warm the rack of pork in the oven for about 5 minutes. using a brush, coat it several times and finish it off under the grill so that it glistens.

Add some pink berries roses and star anise. The rack can be cut in front of the guests or arranged earlier on a plate. Put the onion confit in a saucepan along with the apples.

Present the sauce separately.

Sommeliers’ suggested wine

Strong red wine:

  • Swartland, Kloof Street Rouge, Mullineux Family, 2009 South Africa
  • Côtes-du-Rhône Brézème, Charles Helfenbein, 2009 France

 

Healthy holiday menu for kids

Discover a family holiday in the Maldives where elegant luxury goes hand in hand with a warm, child-friendly welcome.

On the beach at Halaveli

On the beach at Halaveli

Sit back and relax in a deluxe hotel where you know your children aren’t simply an afterthought, fobbed off with chips and ice cream, but are catered for by top chefs with a healthy holiday menu designed to inspire them.

Halaveli chef Holger Joost believes that the secret to a successful children’s menu is in the combination of fresh healthy ingredients and comfortable tastes and textures kids crave.

‘We treat the kids with just as much attention as the adults, we consider that luxury,’ describes Chef Holger, and that means giving them food they love.

Healthy eating

‘It all has to do with finding the balance between comfort and healthy. So, for example, offering frozen yogurt with berries instead of ice cream – there’s still that comfortable icy-cold feeling but it’s healthy.

‘Instead of soft drinks we are implementing a smoothie program with organic honey – it still has the sweet refreshing taste but none of the preservatives.’

Picky eaters

That’s all very well for most kids but for some parents a major concern about a family holiday can be a child who is reluctant to try new things.

Chef Holger claims fussy eaters don’t faze him, ‘We can cater to any child who has particular aversions to foods. That is what luxury is, tailoring everything to better serve our guests.’

Fresh smoothies at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Fresh smoothies at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

An organic approach

At Halaveli the children’s menu is almost entirely organic because Chef Holger believes that growing kids need their intake of pesticides limited.

He also slow cooks the food to ensure they get the maximum nutrients from the fresh, organic ingredients. ‘Instead of fast, flash fried food we are cooking foods at a lower temperature for a longer period of time to preserve more nutrients. The main concept is staying away from premade foods and preservatives.’

Sophisticated tastes

Chef Holger recognizes that many of the children who stay at Halaveli are already familiar with the more sophisticated flavours of good dining and he intends to stimulate and satisfy those with a taste for great food.

‘So many kids today are raised to enjoy quality food that most of the time their standards are higher so we cater to those high standards.’

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