This week saw a Sydney gathering of Porkstars, chefs and other pork loving friends for good food and good times on the upper level of Quay. Yes I was lucky to be there as a pork loving guest. (I was born in the Year of The Pig after all.) We watched from the Quay balcony as a cruise ship sailed away from the Overseas Passenger Terminal, while we ate delicious piggy Quay food by Chef Peter Gilmore – my favourite were the pork pies. I am puzzled though why they were served base upwards; I asked Chef and he replied “because we like them that way.” All good fun! I later tweeted I wanted to fill my handbag with them to bring some home for breakfast and second breakfast the next day. What I did bring home however was a cool PorkStar goodie bag. Love the rockabilly pig in fishnets in the logo. And in the bag was the PorkStar Secret Recipes (VOL 3) book.
It’s a pretty cool life when I see my friends in print: Richard Ousby, Stewart Wesson, Daniel Wilson (all previous winners and finalists in Electrolux Appetite for Excellence Young Chef, Young Waiter, Young Restaurateur program.) The other PorkStars are names you will know including Luke Nguyen, Colin Fassnidge, Martin Boetz, Brent Savage, Damian Heads, Don Hancey, Raymond Capaldi, Richard Ptacnik and of course Fergus Henderson. That deserves an oink of approval!
Looking very glam in sparkling gold lurex front and centre in the PorkStar group shot is the talented (fashionable and sexy) Chef Analiese Gregory. She looked very glam at the Sydney PorkStar event too.
Here’s her PorkStar Secret Recipe.
Crispy pig’s head – TOYS Collective – Photographer Caroline McCredie
Analiese Gregory Recipe
Crispy pig’s head
1 pigs head, ears attached
500g rock salt
2 oranges, zested and juiced
4 bay leaves
2 lemons zested and juiced
8 cloves garlic
250g raw sugar
2 star anise
8 juniper berries
100ml olive oil
Make a brine using all ingredients apart from the head. Bring to the boil, make sure sugar and salt are dissolved then leave to cool to room temperature.
Prep your pigs head by removing any hair from the skin then immerse it in the brine and leave overnight in the fridge.
Vacuum pack the head with olive oil using a sous vide machine and then steam at 85 degrees Celsius for 8 hours.
Remove from bag and chill in fridge before roasting in an oven on 165 degrees until crispy and golden.
Serve whole and eat with accompaniments of your choice.
Editors note: I remove the hair from the pigs head by burning them off with a blow torch. I’m not sure how Chef Analiese Gregory does it.
What makes a PorkStar?
(a) A culinary leader with a serious passion for pork
(b) The ability to cook exquisite pork dishes by instinct, from fine dining to bistro fare
(c) A chef whose pork creations always have diners’ salivating
(d) A love of the pig from nose to tail and everything in between
We reckon it’s..
(e) All of the above and then some!
Be a PorkStar and get some pork on your menu.