For the main course of our Christmas dinner I wanted to prepare iberico pork, as I had liked it so much when I tried it for the first time. Because REMCooks’ pork with pomegranate sauce had looked so Christmas-like with the red and green colors when I first saw it, I thought it would be nice to do a pomegranate sauce for this pork as well. I prepared a very simple sauce: reduced pomegranate juice mixed with pork demi-glace, garnished with fresh pomegranate arils. It worked very well with the pork.
For a side I got some chervil roots and thought it would be nice to make them look like christmas trees by sticking fresh chervil on them. I used pork demi glace as the ‘glue’, which was so sticky that I got frustrated and gave up on making them look like christmas trees. I was tired after a long day of cooking, and adding the fresh chervil could only be done at the last minute. The plate still looks nice, although I suppose I could have used a bit more of the pomegranate sauce.
Secreto is a thin shoulder cut of the iberico pig. The meat has beautiful marbling and a wonderful flavor. I cooked it sous-vide for 24 hours to serve it tender and juicy. I wanted to serve it as bigger slices, so I used transglutaminase to ‘glue’ a few layers of secreto together. This worked like a charm.
600 grams (1.3 lbs) iberico secreto
about 6 grams transglutaminase
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
arils of 1 pomegranate
120 ml (1/2 cup) pork demi-glace (pork stock reduced to 10%)
clarified butter for searing
8 chervil roots
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
60 ml (1/4 cup) pork demi-glace as ‘glue’
Build a stack of the the slices, making sure that there is transglutaminase wherever they touch and that the ‘grain’ of the meat is the same in all of the layers (so you will be able to cut it ‘against the grain’ later). Season the outside of the ‘roast’ you’ve just created with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Scald briefly in boiling water to prevent a bad smell.
Slice the meat across the grain and arrange the meat on warm plates. Garnish with the pomegranate sauce and pomegranate arils. Arrange the chervil roots on the plates, and cover them with chopped fresh chervil.
We had this with an oaked chardonnay from Alto Adige, but in hindsight it did not work as well with the pomegranate as I had hoped. I would recommend a rosé champagne with this, or a full-bodied dry rosé.
Two years ago for Christmas we had sous-vide pigeon breast with smoky pigeon jus (made by smoking the pigeon carcasses before turning them into stock). Pigeon breast is one of those meats that really benefits from sous-vide as it is very easily overcooked and will then have a ‘liver’ taste.