Recipe is from Chef Patrick Kriss at Alo Restaurant, Toronto
I first tasted pork from Fermes Gaspor St. Canut in the Laurentians when I was working at Daniel in NYC.
I was taken with it because it tastes so clean. It tastes like pork, but only pork. No chemicals, no bad feed. Those pigs are raised properly. The farm has very high standards; their consistency is perfect. —P.K.
- 1 skin-on rack of St-Canut pork (or other top-quality porcelet), about 1.5 kg (31⁄2 lb), chine bone removed
- Salt, pepper
- 50 ml (1⁄4 cup) vegetable oil
- 1 package (200 g/7 oz) of preserved umeboshi plums, rinsed, drained and pitted
- 450 g (1 lb) matsutake (or other top-quality foraged mushrooms, like ceps)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, brunoise cut
- 125 ml (1⁄4 cup) chicken stock
- 125 ml (1⁄4 cup) whipping cream
- 1 tbsp cold butter
- 12 shishito peppers
- Fine olive oil
- Sea salt
- Shiso leaves (or any Japanese micro-greens, like mizuna, daikon or tatsoi)
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
Rest pork on countertop for one hour. Season generously. Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet on medium. Add the oil, and when it shimmers, sear the pork skin side down. Baste the bones to colour. Once the skin is bronzed and crisp, remove the pork on top, skin side up. Transfer to the oven until its internal temperature reaches 135°F (60°C) — 45 to 60 minutes. Set aside to rest under a tent of aluminum foil for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince the umeboshi into a paste, and set aside. Clean and trim the mushrooms and halve them length-wise. Heat a skillet on medium, add the olive oil, and cook the mushrooms cut side down until lightly coloured — 2 to 3 minutes. Drain excess oil, add the shallots and sweat for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half — about 1 minute. Add the cream and reduce slightly. Stir in the cold butter. Taste, and adjust seasonings.
To finish, heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan on high heat, and blister the peppers on all sides. Remove when tender — about 2 minutes — and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt. Arrange mushrooms and sauce at centre of a warm serving platter. Carve the rack into single chops and arrange them on top. Scatter peppers over the pork, garnish with shiso*, and serve with umeboshi as a condiment.
*Or try shiso powder: dehydrate shiso leaves in a dehydrator or a low oven with door ajar, and pulverize.