This is a fine accompaniment for Brawn. You will need a pig’s ears, cooked as in the recipe on page 39.
This was one of the first recipes I completed during the 24-hour cook-a-thon that happened many moons ago. Since its preparation was a solo act, I’ll just present it in the usual fashion.
Two blushing-pink pig ears are a nice sort of hello, aren’t they? My face just broke out into a broad grin as I recalled how excellent they turned out. If you like bacon on your salads, I’m going to do my best to sway you into considering fried, sliced pig ears instead. Mind you, bacon usually doesn’t need the swipe or two from a disposable razor to remove a few stray embedded hairs. This pair of ears did.
Wow, I’m not doing a great job so far swaying you. Um, moving on.
The ears went into a simmering pot of pork stock for an hour to cook. Fairly straightforward and simple, which was great because I needed to tend to other dishes I was preparing at the same time.
An hour later I fished the ears out, and set them aside to cool and firm up before I sliced them.
It’s just easier to slice pig ears when they’re firm. Here’s a tip for those of you attempting to fry pig ears: you can’t slice them thinly enough.
Really thin slices crisp up wonderfully, and the cartilage is just enough to provide an interesting textural aspect along with the rich porky flavor.
With the hard part completed all that was left was preparing the greens.
First up was the sorrel. Sorrel leaves are packed with tart, lemongrass notes that liven up salads something fierce. They’re one of my favorite discoveries so far from starting this website. I removed the stems from each leave and washed them thoroughly.
Mr. Henderson calls for two heads of chicory, but since I was the only person going to give it a shot, one would more than suffice. A few quick chops and the chicory was ready. I then mixed the chicory with the sorrel, a handful of curly parsley leaves, a small amount of capers and a shot of vinaigrette. A few choice slices of pig ear on top and the salad was finished.
Light, simple and refreshing. This recipe is an excellent way to use spare pig ears if you’ve purchased a whole hog’s head to make brawn or a terrine. And bacon lovers, how’s that salad topping looking to you? From one bacon-lover to another, you need to give this a shot.
One down, thirty nine to go.