1 hour +
This recipe takes a fair bit of time and effort but if you're feeling adventurous the results are worth it! Top chef Neil Forbes of Cafe St Honore in Edinburgh kindly donated this recipe as part of our discussion on 'nose to tail' eating. Would you give pigs head a go?
1 pigs head, eyes and hair removed, fully boned and in 2 pieces
5 litres water
6 bay leaves
Sprig of thyme
1 onion, sliced
A blade of mace
25ml rapeseed oil
Salt & pepper for seasoning
4 handfuls of kale, stalks removed
A tablespoon of Arran Mustard
A knob of butter
Buttery mash to serve
Tie each piece of the pig’s head into a thick sausage shape using butchers twine, your butcher may do this for you, but give it a go.
Next, make brine by adding the salt to the water and bringing to the boil along with 3 bay leaves, the thyme, the onion and the blade of mace. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, and when it’s cold, submerge the pork and leave it covered in a cool place for up to 7 days. I usually leave it for 3 to 4 days to take on all the flavour of the aromats.
Then braise the Bath chaps. Add them to a pan of fresh, clean water with 3 bay leaves and cook them slowly in the oven for 4 to 6 hours (at around 140-160°C) until they are very soft and well cooked. Allow the chaps to cool in the liquor, and when cool enough to handle, remove and set aside
Once they are cool, lay 2 or 3 layers of cling film on a work surface and remove the twine from the chaps. Now roll them up in the cling film - nice and tight – and pop them in the fridge overnight.
The next day it’s time for the good bit! Put a frying pan on a moderate heat on the hob and add the rapeseed oil. Cut the Bath chaps into 5mm-thick slices, and fry for 7 to 8 minutes on each side, ensuring they don't burn, you want them to turn golden
Then blanch the kale in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan, and stir in the mustard before adding the drained kale. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, divide the kale between four warmed plates and top with the crispy, browned chaps. Delicious served with a buttery mash.