Roasted Cabbage, Pork Broth and Smoked Cheese – Chef Tom Martin
Chef Tom Martin
Chef Notes; this dish comes from my love of Tonkotsu-style Ramen. The process of making the broth goes against the rules of western-style stock making. It’s boiled for a significant length of time so that the fats emulsify, and create a more full-bodied broth to carry all of the lovely smoked pork flavours. The roasted cabbage adds substance and umami, while the smoked cheese adds a further sweet, smoky element. The dish has a comforting feel about it, and works perfectly into my style of cuisine using Welsh ingredients seasoned using influences from all over the world.
For the broth:
8 litres of bottled mineral water
2 pigs trotter split length way
4 pig tails
1 smoked ham hock
500g smoked bacon (diced)
2 onions (cut in half)
4 sheets of kombu
200g shiitake mushrooms
Shirodashi (a highly seasoned Japanese stock concentrate)
For the roasted cabbage:
1 head of hispi cabbage
10ml sunflower oil
For the puffed pork skin:
Skin from belly pork
For the coriander oil:
300g sunflower oil
150g fresh coriander
To make the broth, place the bones, tails and trotters in a large stock pot and cover with tap water. Bring the pot to the boil and keeping at a rolling boil, blanch the bones for 30 minutes (in this recipe it’s important that the stock is continually boiled, and not simmered, unless stated otherwise). Remove the bones discarding the water, which should have a pinkish hue as this process removes any excess blood and impurities from the bones. Place the bones in a clear bowl, and wash them thoroughly- removing any scum and greyish marks from the bones.
Place the kombu in a clean pot and cover with the mineral water. Bring to a simmer, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the kombu (keep for another use), and add the clean white bones, tails and trotters. Bring to the boil, and boil for 6 hours- removing any grey matter that may arise from the broth. You’re looking for grey foam, not clean fat.
After 5 hours add the remaining ingredients and continue to boil for another hour. The broth should now have a smokey aroma, and a full-bodied mouth feel. Strain out the ingredients (reserving the ham hock, and shredding the meat off the bone) and season with broth soy and shirodashi.
To make the roasted cabbage:
Preheat an oven to 180°C and quarter the cabbage length ways. Brush the cut sides with oil and season with salt, then sear in a pan on a medium heat until deeply caramelised. Place the pan with the cabbage in the oven for approximately 15 minutes until tender and roasted.
To make the puffed pork skin:
Place the skin in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, and continue to boil for 2 hours until the skin is soft, and almost falls apart. Place the skin on a wire rack, fat side down and into the fridge for an hour. Once chilled, remove from the rack and scrape off the fat from the skin. Dice into small pieces, and place on a tray into the oven on the lowest possible setting until completely dry. Once dried, deep fry in batches in oil at 200°C until puffed and crisp. Remove onto a tray, lined with paper towels and season immediately with salt.
To make the coriander oil:
Place the oil and coriander in a blender, and blend on full power for 5 minutes. Pour mix into a saucepan and bring up to 100°C, while stirring constantly to prevent burning the herbs. As soon as the mix reaches 100°C, strain through a coffee filter or Muslin cloth – (do not push through, as this will also push through any impurities) into a bowl over another bowl of ice. Once strained, stir the mix over the bowl of ice gently (as not to incorporate air). Once the mix is cold, it should be a vibrant green, and full of flavour.
Warm the broth and add a small amount of the oil to split the broth and release the aroma of the oil. Once warmed, place the cabbage in the centre of the bowl, cover with the shredded ham hock meat, the puffed pork skins, coriander cress and grated smoked cheese. Pour the broth into the bowl.