From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
2 tblsp rapeseed oil
900 g pork shoulder (boned and rolled and tied)
2 carrots (diced)
1 onion (diced)
600 ml stout
1.2 l beef stock
600 ml apple juice
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
4 tblsp clear honey
4 tblsp light soy sauce
1 tsp freshly grated root ginger
2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
150 g loin pork chops (per person, trimmed)
3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tblsp light soy sauce
2 tblsp rapeseed oil
1 tblsp rapeseed oil
100 g carrot
75 g celeriac
1 tblsp softened butter
175 g savoy cabbage (finely sliced)
100 ml cream
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
roasted root vegetables (to serve)
To prepare the caramelized shoulder, preheat the oven to 160C (325/Gas 3). Heat one tablespoon of the rapeseed oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the pork shoulder and brown all over, turning regularly with tongs.
Transfer to a casserole dish. Add the carrots and onion and cook for another 5 minutes until golden brown, stirring regularly to ensure they cook evenly.
Tip the vegetables over the seared pork shoulder and then stir in the stout, beef stock, apple juice, thyme and garlic. Cover tightly with a lid or with foil and bake for 3 hours until the pork shoulder is meltingly tender. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 1 hour in the braising juices, then remove, cut string and wrap twice in tin foil.
Reserve the braising juices to add to the stout jus. All this is best done 24 hours in advance so that everything can be well chilled down in the fridge. Any excess fat then can easily be removed from the braising juices and discarded.
To make the stout jus, place the balsamic vinegar in a heavy-based pan with the tomato puree, sugar and thyme. Reduce by half, then add the reserved braising juice and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until reduced to a sauce consistency, stirring occasionally. Season to taste, then pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan and keep warm or reheat as needed.
To prepare the grilled loin chops, place the chops into a non-metallic shallow dish, and add the thyme sprigs, soy sauce and oil. Turn until evenly coated and then cover with clingfilm and leave to marinade for 2-3 hours or overnight is fine.
Remove the loin chops from fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Heat a griddle pan until really hot and smoking, season the pork chops and carefully place on the pan, cook for 5-6 minutes on either side until golden brown. Keep warm.
Remove foil from the cooked pork shoulder and trim off the ends to neaten, then slice into six pieces that are about 2.5cm (1in) thick. Heat the rest of the oil in an ovenproof pan and very gently sear the pork for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and warmed through. Mix together the soy sauce, honey and ginger and pour over the seared pork shoulder. Cook for another 4-5 minutes to caramelize and sweeten the pork.
Meanwhile, make the creamed cabbage, heat a pan, add oil and gently sweat the carrot and celeriac for 3-4 minutes. Then add the butter and once it has melted tip in, the cabbage and cook for 2-3 minutes until the cabbage is wilted. Pour in the cream, stirring to combine and then allow to simmer and reduce until slightly thickened. Sprinkle over the parsley and season to taste. Keep warm.
To serve, place a large spoonful of the creamed cabbage in the centre of each warmed bowl and carefully arrange the loin on top, place the caramelized shoulder beside. Drizzle over the stout jus and serve with a separate dish roasted root vegetables, if liked.