Thom Eagle shows off the culinary creativeness afforded by ferments
For the sour plum sauce:
Coarse sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp kefir or live yoghurt
1kg pork neck
A splash of olive oil
2 kohlrabi, peeled
A small bunch of tarragon (about 50g)
Coarse sea salt
Over a bowl, halve and stone the fruit, then cut into chunks. Depending on ripeness they may collapse quite a lot at this point, which is ok. Ideally you should have chunks of fruit swimming in juice. Weigh the pulp and juice and calculate 2.5 per cent of its weight in salt. Add this to the bowl.
In a dry pan toast the peppercorns, coriander and fennel seeds just until their aroma begins to rise, then crush gently in a mortar. Add the spices to the bowl with the chilli, red pepper flakes, garlic and kefir. Mix well and then pack into a jar, leaving a good couple of centimetres of space to allow for expansion. Leave at room temperature for around 3-5 days; it should be starting to fizz and sour. Once it is fermented transfer to the refrigerator, where it will keep happily for weeks.
If possible, take the pork out of the fridge 1 hour or so before you want to cook to bring it to room temperature. Rub a little oil all over it and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 200C.
Heat a pan big enough to hold the pork in one piece over a medium heat. Brown the pork well on all sides then transfer to an oven tray and roast for 30 mins. The pork should be slightly pink. Place on a clean plate to rest with all its cooking juices.
Peel the kohlrabi and cut into 2cm dice. Toss in a bowl with a good pinch of salt, then add the resting juices from the pork and 2 tbsp plum sauce and mix well. Gently mix in the tarragon.
Carve the pork thickly and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with coarse salt then spoon the dressed kohlrabi over the meat. Pass around extra plum sauce at the table.
Recipe: Thom Eagle