November 3, 2007
Excerpted from Pork & Sons. by Stéphane Reynaud (Phaidon Press, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Stéphane Reynaud.
Put the meat, onions, and leeks in a flameproof casserole and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, turnips, carrot tops, turnip tops, and bouquet garni and cook for a further 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a small skillet, add the ginger and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, until golden brown. Combine the horseradish and cream in a bowl. Place the cornichons in a serving bowl.
Place a slice of pork and a piece of belly side in each of six soup plates. Divide the vegetables among them and sprinkle with the fried ginger. Serve the coarse salt, cornichons, and horseradish cream separately.
The following is a recipe for brining your own meat. You can brine all cuts of pork with this. Pork chops take
about 12 hours; an entire loin takes 4 days.
Put the cut of meat in a nonreactive container such as a glazed pottery crock, a plastic or stainless steel bowl, or a
heavy plastic freezer bag. Fill the container with enough spring water to cover the meat then pour off the water and measure it.
For every three quarts of spring water add 3/4 pound sea salt, 3/4 pound brown sugar, 1 tablespoon peppercorns and 2 bay leaves.
Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Cover the meat with the solution and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 4 days.
Drain and completely dry the meat before using.
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.