Jack Stein’s Brined Pork Collar with Mushy Peas & Mint

Jack Stein

“During the Age of Sail, Padstow was a very important port on the way to the Americas, and a staple on board such voyages would have been salted pork and beef. This was purely a preservative measure, but modern-day cooks have discovered benefits in the kitchen of salting meat. Using a weak brine, muscle fibres begin to swell and absorb water, resulting in a meat that is both more tender and more tasty.”

SERVES 4
PREP: 45 mins
CHILL: Overnight
COOKING: 1½ hours

For the Pork Brine

  • 1.5kg pork collar on the bone
  • 3.5L water
  • 420g salt
  • 210g sugar
  • 35g yellow mustard seeds
  • 50g crushed garlic
  • 10g fennel seeds

For the Mushy Peas

  • 500g marrowfat peas
  • 18g bicarbonate of soda
  • 2.5L water
  • 100g butter
  • 12g Marmite
  • 15ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 5g salt

For the Mint Sauce

  • 5g demerara sugar
  • 15g mint leaves
  • 20ml cider vinegar
  • salt to season

For the Pork Brine

Put all the brining ingredients (except the pork) in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk vigorously until all the salt and sugar has dissolved. Chill the brine and then fully submerge the pork collar. Leave overnight.

For the Mushy Peas

Place the marrowfat peas into a bowl. Add 10g of bicarbonate of soda and 1.5L of water. Mix well and leave at room temperature for 10 hours. Rinse well in cold water. Mix the peas with 1L of water and 8g of bicarbonate of soda. Place on a high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes until tender, skimming any excess skins from the top. Mash slightly with a fork. Add butter, Marmite, Worcestershire sauce and salt.

To cook the Pork

Preheat oven to 220°C. Remove the pork from the brine and rinse in fresh water. Place the pork in a large roasting tin and roast for the first 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180°C for a further 1 hour or until the internal temperature is at 66°C. Remove from the oven and rest for 30 minutes.

For the Mint Sauce

Roughly chop the mint. Place it in a mortar and pestle along with the salt, sugar and vinegar. Combine all the ingredients.