Wood-fired pork collar and crackling with sage and pine nut crumb

Wood-fired pork collar and crackling with sage and pine nut crumb

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves 4


jason-atherton-75By Jason Atherton
From Saturday Kitchen


  • 4 x 150-200g/5½-7oz pork chops

For the pork brine

  • 5 litres/9 pints water
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz fine salt
  • 10 cloves
  • 5 bay leaves

For the pork collar

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 x 500g/1lb 2oz piece pork collar or shoulder, all visible fat trimmed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • small handful fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh sage

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g/9oz pork trimmings, fat removed
  • 25g/1oz fresh thyme
  • 25g/1oz fresh sage
  • ½ x 75cl bottle dry white wine
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints veal stock
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints chicken stock
  • 2 tsp Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar

For the sage and pine nut crumb

  • 2 handfuls fresh sage leaves.
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 100g/3½oz butter
  • 200g/7oz panko breadcrumbs
  • 200g/7oz pine nuts
  • pork crackling, to serve, optional


  1. For the brine, put all ingredients in a large pan and bring to the boil until the salt has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Add the pork collar to the brine, cover and chill for 4 hours. Remove the collar but retain the brine. Wash the collar under cold running water for 30 minutes, then dry well. Preheat to oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2.
  3. Put an ovenproof casserole pan on the heat. Add the oil and once hot add the pork collar and brown on all sides. Transfer the meat to a board and leave the pan to heat up again. Add the vegetables and herbs and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until coloured. Return the pork to the pan and pour in the chicken stock. Bake for 2-3 hours, or until cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, add the pork chops to the retained brine, cover and chill for 2 hours. Wash the chops under cold running water for 30 minutes, then dry well and set aside.
  5. For the pork sauce, heat half the oil in a very large heavy-based pan. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and fry, stirring, until caramelised. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the pork trimmings until coloured on all sides. Transfer to another plate.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping all the residue from the bottom of the pan. Return the vegetables and pork trimmings to the pan, then add the stocks, thyme and sage. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 hour, skimming regularly. Strain the stock into a clean pan and simmer until reduced. When it has a sauce-like consistency, strain it through muslin.
  7. For the sage and pine nut crumb, preheat a deep fat fryer to 180C. Deep fry the sage leaves in the sunflower oil, then drain well on kitchen paper. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Add the breadcrumbs and pine nuts and fry, stirring, until golden. Set aside. When the sage leaves are cool, roughly chop them and add to the pine nut mixture. Season with salt.
  8. To serve, preheat a large griddle pan. Oil the pork chops, then cook for 3-6 minutes on each side, until cooked. This will depend on the size of your chops.
  9. Cut the pork collar into portions and chargrill on all sides for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a pan and glaze with the pork sauce. Finish with the Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar.
  10. Put the pork chop and collar onto a serving plate and drizzle with the sauce. Top with the pine nut crumbs and serve with the pork crackling.

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