Sunday, February 19, 2012
Pork hock with lentils
Well I may of mentioned there would be a break from pork related posts, apparently I was incorrect or at least two posts count as a break. This was a very last minute dish, a I have nothing out for dinner, I have no idea what to cook, and staring blankly at shelves in the supermarket without a clue, and then I saw it, and Sophie screwed her nose up and proclaimed "it looks like a foot with its toes cut off". So rather egged on, the pork hock was bought.
Being a week night and knowing that this cut takes time and I didn't have hours to wait for it to slowly braise, the pressure cooker was bought out, but you could do this in an oven, just multiply the cooking time by about three.
Along with the pork hock (not to be confused with bacon hock) place in the pressure cooker some celery, fennel seeds, caraway seed (lovely pumpernickel flavour that pairs so well with fennel and pork), peppercorns, mustard (dijon), onion, carrot, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of red wine. Cook on high pressure for 45-50 minutes.
While the pork cooks, cook some puy lentils with half an onion and some bay leaves, when tender drain and set aside. Very finely dice some carrot and shallot (brunoise).
When the pork is cooked remove it from the cooker and wrap firmly with some foil to keep it from drying out. Strain the liquid into a pan and reduce until it is thick (about quarter to a third of a cup) put the lentils along with diced shallot and carrot into the pan and toss.
Unwrap the pork and pull off the meat, trying to keep the muscles whole. I recommend having a bowl of cold water or the tap running as the meat will be hot and there is a lot of hot fat, so rinsing your fingers periodically helps.
Finally place a nice heap of the lentils in a bowl with chunks of the melt in the mouth meat on top, drizzle with any left over liquid from the lentils and if you have thyme flowers handy, which probably isn't likely, garnish the dish with them they add a great anise kick.