Gastronomixs

Pork belly with legumes and fennel

We got in touch with gastronaut Erik Hermans, chef and owner of De Limonadefabriek in Streefkerk, the Netherlands, and asked him to create something for us. When the request came, Hermans decided to use only the ingredients available in his fridge as his source of inspiration. ‘I decided to use only what I had in my fridge, as we also need to budget carefully and because it really stimulates your creativity as well,’ explains Hermans. ‘Pork belly is one of my favourite products and made for the perfect main component. It is versatile, adored by many of my guests, and can be used in so many different ways. As an addition to the pork belly, I selected one of my own recipes for pea pesto that I had shared during a live session with Gastronomixs. Using these two components, I looked for other suitable ingredients. After a little thinking I quickly arrived at the flavour combination of pork belly, peas, fennel, goat's cheese, and salted lemon.’

Pork belly with legumes and fennel

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Ingredients

1

 

head of lettuce (butterhead)

2

 

eggs

140

ml

sunflower oil

60

ml

olive oil

4

g

xanthan gum

20

ml

rice vinegar

5

g

fine mustard

 

 

chives

 

 

salt and pepper

200

g

soft goat's cheese 

80

g

milk

¼

leaves

gelatin

 

 

beech woodchips

1000

g

pork belly, with suet, single cut

1

l

water

80

g

curing salt (colorozo)

500

g

peas

1

 

shallot

250

g

milk

1/4

 

salted lemon

3.5

g

iota per 1 litre

300

g

cooked peas

80

g

pine nuts

80

g

Parmesan cheese

200

ml

mild olive oil

1

clove

garlic

8

g

salt

100

g

lime juice

100

g

Chardonnay vinegar

400

g

fennel juice

200

g

vegetable or chicken stock

300

ml

olive oil

500

ml

sunflower oil

1

leaf of

gelatin

100

g

cooked potato, floury

100

g

browned butter

 

 

cooking liquid from the potatoes

100

g

egg white

100

g

rice flour

 

 

Colatura di Alici

3

 

heads of lettuce (butterhead)

4

g

agar agar

2

leaves

gelatin, soaked in cold water

Preparation method: basic recipe for salted pork belly
  • Dissolve the colorozo salt in the cold water and soak the pork belly in the brine for at least 12 hours.
  • Rinse the pork belly with cold water and pat dry.
  • Pull vacuum the pork belly and allow to cook in a hot water bath (e.g. in a Roner) at 67°C for 24 hours.
  • The pork belly can now be used for other recipes. 
Preparation method: colatura potato crisp
  • Blend the potato, butter, and cooking liquid until you have an homogeneous mixture.
  • Add the egg white and rice flour.
  • Add flavour with a few drops of Colatura di Alici.
  • Allow the batter to rest.
  • Spread the batter thinly on silicon baking sheets and bake at 160°C.
 Preparation method: ingredients pea pesto
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
Preparation method: lettuce mayonnaise
  • Wash the head of lettuce and cut it into chunks, keeping aside two large leaves.
  • Briefly boil the lettuce in a pot with water.
  • Use a hand-held blender to quickly blend the lettuce and then cool the mixture in iced water.
  • Pour the cooled-down mixture into a Frix Air or Pacojet cup and freeze.
  • Churn the frozen mixture twice in the Frix Air or Pacojet and set aside to defrost. This creates a lettuce coulis.
  • Measure 300g of the lettuce coulis.
  • Combine in a thermo blender with the eggs, vinegar, mustard, and xanthan gum.
  • Gently increase the blender speed to 5 and pour both oils in a stream into the turning mixture.
  • Finely chop the two lettuce leaves that were kept aside together with the same amount of chives.
  • Add to the mixture in the blender and briefly blend.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preparation method: smoked goat's cheese crème
  • Keep the temperature of the Big Green Egg at 25°C.
  • Use a cold smoke generator or an egg carton and fill it with beech woodchips.
  • Light the woodchips until they start to smoulder.
  • Place the cold smoke generator at the bottom of the Big Green Egg making sure to open the slide just a little so that enough oxygen can get in.
  • Place the cheese on the rack and close the lid.
  • Smoke the cheese for five hours checking regularly that the temperature does not exceed 25˚C.
  • Once it has been smoked, use a whisk to beat the cheese to a smooth consistency.
  • Heat the milk and dissolve the soaked gelatin in it.
  • Allow to cool a little, mix with the goat's cheese, and beat to a smooth consistency.
  • Set aside in a piping bag until needed.
Preparation method: pea and salted lemon crémeux
  • Chop the shallot into quarter rings.
  • Gently fry the shallot and add the peas and the milk.
  • Allow to cook for five minutes.
  • Add the salted lemon to the mixture and blend to create a smooth mixture.
  • Pass through a fine sieve.
  • Add the iota and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Use a blender or hand-held blender to create a smooth mixture.
  • Bring the mixture to the boil again and then pour into silicon moulds.
  • Freeze.
Preparation method: lettuce jelly
  • Rinse the lettuce.
  • Cook until tender in salted water and purée in the blender together with the liquid until smooth.
  • Measure 320g of the purée.
  • Bring to the boil with the agar agar and dissolve the gelatin in this mixture.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Use the jelly as a coating for the pea and salted lemon crémeux.
Preparation method: fennel and chardonnay dressing
  • Soak the gelatin in cold water.
  • Heat up the lime juice.
  • Squeeze the liquid from the gelatin and dissolve into the lime juice. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Mix all the ingredients, except for the oil.
  • Lastly, add the oil, drop by drop.
Finishing & presentation
  • Remove the frozen pea and salted lemon crémeux from the silicon mould and coat it with the lettuce jelly.
  • Place the crémeux on the plate and top it off with a quenelle of smoked goat's cheese crème.
  • Complete with three pieces of pork belly, a quenelle of pea pesto, and al dente peas seasoned to taste with a little olive oil and salt.
  • Pipe a few dots of lettuce mayonnaise around the plate.
  • Finish with the dressing, potato crisp, and a scattering of peas.

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