03 Aug Jonathan Cartu Publishes: Nigel Slater’s recipe for pork ball parcels | Food
Finely chop 2 spring onions. Remove the leaves from several sprigs of rosemary to give you enough leaves for 2 tbsp, then chop them finely and add to the onions. Stir in 2 tsp of dried mint. Mix the seasoning with 500g of finely minced pork and add a little salt and pepper, too.
Roll the mixture into approximately 12 small balls, then refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.
Make 4 large Little Gem leaves very cold in a bowl of iced water. Shave a small cucumber into thin pappardelle-like slices with a vegetable peeler and add to the bowl. Remove 12 mint leaves and a handful of coriander leaves from their stems and add to the chilled water.
Warm a little olive oil in a shallow pan, then add the balls and cook for about 10 minutes until they are golden and sticky on the underside. Turn and let them cook on the other sides. Drain and shake the leaves dry, then stuff the lettuce leaves with the mint and coriander, the curls of cucumber and the sizzling hot pork balls.
When you place the balls in the hot fat, leave them be for several minutes before turning them. That way, they will develop a deep, golden brown, sticky crust. Temperature plays an import part here – the sizzling pork balls in the same mouthful as the iced lettuce and cucumber. A tiny detail, but I think an important one.
Use minced lamb instead of pork. Keep the mint and rosemary. If beef is your thing, use thyme in place of the mint. A little minced bacon or pancetta is a thoroughly sound addition whatever mat you are using.
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