The dinner we cooked when Teun came over consisted of tuna with runner beans as antipasto, gnocchi alla sorrentina as primo, iberico pork sous-vide as secondo, and finally chocolate stuffed ancho chile with amarena cherries as dolce. The pigs that are grown for the famous jamón ibérico from Spain do not just yield the hams, but also other fine cuts of meat. The finest is called the secreto (literally secret) and is a very nicely marbled piece of pork with lots of flavor. Teun and Albert introduced me to this cut, and I absolutely love it. Cooking it sous-vide is of course a great way to enjoy it to its fullest. I thought it would be nice to combine it with celeriac fondant, and the dish did turn out great.
We made a pork stock to prepare celery root fondant sous-vide as well as to make a sauce for the meat. We added celery stalks for a fresh note. This dish is absolutely loaded with flavor and I will definitely make it again! Here’s what we did…
about 300 grams (.66 lb) ibérico secreto
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 celeriac (celery root), trimmed
4 celery stalks
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground white pepper
clarified butter (optional)
For the stock
500 grams ground pork
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
1 small carrot
1 celery stalk (in this case I used the greens from the celeriac)
fennel fronds (optional, I used them because I had them)
60 ml (1/4 cup) wine that you will have with the dish
clarified butter (or olive oil)
celery leaves (for garnish)
Cook sous-vide for 24 hours at 60C/140F or 48 hours at 57C/135F. I prefer the latter, but both are great and 24 hours requires less planning than 48 hours. (Please note that in both cases the meat is fully pasteurized. You may not be used to eating pork that is still pink, but that is absolutely fine as it is cooked for such a long time.) In this case we discarded the bag juices because we only wanted the sage on the meat and not in the sauce as well.
Now add 1 litre (4 cups) of cold water, and the veggies. Use a wooden spatula to scrape all the tasty brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
Close the pressure cooker and pressurize over high heat to the high pressure setting (13-15 psi). Lower the heat once pressure has been reached. Now cook for 2 hours. Then turn off the heat and wait until the pressure has dropped before opening the pressure cooker.
If using a regular pot, bring to a boil, cover, then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 4 hours.
Making stock in a pressure cooker is faster and provides better extraction.
Take the secreto out of the sous-vide pouch and pat dry with paper towels. Brown very quickly over very high heat, preferably in clarified butter or otherwise in olive oil. (Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of this step.) Take the secreto out of the frying pan, and deglaze it with the remaining stock. Reduce over medium heat until you obtain a syrupy sauce.
We enjoyed this with a very nice bottle of oaked chardonnay from Valle d’Aosta (northwestern Italy). A very full-bodied white is the best match for this dish, but if you prefer red then it should be a light one that doesn’t overpower the pork. An older Spanish rioja would be appropriate, but a pinot noir could also work.