Rôti de Porc Ficelé and Carré de Porc

Our charcuterie lesson had opened my eyes and closed my mind. I could do nothing but stare, gob-smacked, when I read the recipe for Boudin Noir (black sausage):
500g raw onions
300g pork back fat
350 fresh pork blood
5cl cream
10cl lard

Hang on…FRESH BLOOD??

Sang Frais

I always knew black pudding was pig’s blood and what not, but I figured it would’ve been in an unrecognisable form…perhaps reduced and dehydrated like a stock powder or something. Not drained fresh from a slaughtered pig and packed into a massive vat. It looked bizarre, almost fuschia. As soon as I looked at it I had a vivid image of Carrie being drenched at prom, and then, taking the colour into account, a really bad C-grade, low-budget slasher flick.

Boudin noir: when cooked, the haemoglobin coagulates and turns black. Coagulates is such a minging word.

Fromage de tête, literally head cheese. Nothing cheesy about it though, and it’s completely heady with five kilos of pork head in the recipe. My colleague had to pull its tongue (which is eerily long), eyes, nose and ears out. Better her than me, methinks.

Pig-headed

Pleasantly surprised when we were given relatively vanilla bit of pork, the rack, to cook during our usual pedagogie classes. The recipes are simple, but I had undercooked the Rôti de Porc, which had been rolled up and wrapped in caul fat, so didn’t want to taste it. The pork chops…the meat was over-cooked this time as I was a bit too enthusiastic about not under-cooking it, but the sauce, which was finished with mustard, was scrummy. Luuurvvvv mustard.

Roti de Porc

Perfectly cooked roti de porc: tender, firm, juicy, and no blood

Under-cooked roti de porc: blooodyyyyy

Carre de porc with mustard and cornichon (dill pickle) sauce

Rôti de Porc Ficelé
1 rack of lamb, deboned (reserve the bones)
Piment d’espelette
Peanut oil
6 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 carrot, mirepoix
1 onion, hacher
1 bouquet garni
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
500L brown stock
Salt, pepper

1. Season the rack well on both sides with salt, pepper and piment espelette. Roll tightly and tie up evenly with string.
2. Heat some peanut oil in a pan. Colour the pork well all over (including the two flat sides on both ends). Add the bones in, 4 cloves of garlic (in their skin) and the rosemary. Rest the pork on the bone so that it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.

3. Cook for a total of 45-55 mins in the oven, first 10 mins at 220C, the next 15 mins at 200C, and the rest 20 mins at 180C.
4. Once cooked, check for firmness. Reserve warm and let rest for 20 mins.
5. Degrease the pan. Add in the garniture aromatique and tomato paste, and saute till the onions soften. Deglace with the white wine. Add in the stock and reduce for 10-15 minutes till it reaches a saucey consistency. Season. Filter.
6. Remove the thread from the porc. Trim off the ends. Serve with the sauce.

Carré de Porc
1 rack of pork, sliced into 4 or 5 chops
1 carrot, mirepoix
1 onion, hacher
1 bouquet garni
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
500L brown stock
1 tbsp mustard
50g cold butter, cut into pieces
6-8 small dill pickles, julienned
Salt, pepper

1. Season the chops well. Colour them in some peanut oil and cook till the meat is firm. If some chops are bigger than others let themc ook for longer. If the pan runs out of oil, put in some more so that the chops don’t burn. Reserve warm.
2. Degrease the pan. Add in the garniture aromatique and tomato paste, and saute till the onions soften. Deglace with the white wine. Add in the stock and reduce for 10-15 minutes till it reaches a saucey consistency. Season. Filter.
3. Bring back to a simmer, add in the mustard and monter au beurre off the heat. Add in the dill pickle julienne.
4. Serve the chops with the sauce.

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