Roast St Helens jumbo oyster with pork jowl, jamón ibérico consommé, braised mustard seeds, pickled onion rings and fennel flowers

Roast St Helens jumbo oyster with pork jowl, jamón ibérico consommé, braised mustard seeds, pickled onion rings and fennel flowers

By
From
Marque
Serves
10
Photographer
Stuart Scott

These oysters from St Helens in Tasmania are so large that they defy being eaten in their raw state. They are mainly consumed by Sydney’s Chinese community but we manage to get a few every season to do with as we will. The intense meaty quality of the cooked mollusc requires an equal partner and I delight in reducing Iberia's finest into a consommé fit for the task.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Begin this recipe one day in advance. To prepare the pork jowl, take 3 large, meaty pork jowls and trim away all glands and fatty sinew. To make the brine, bring 2 litres water, 240 grams table salt and 120 grams brown sugar to the boil then allow to cool completely. When cold, put the jowls in the liquid and leave to soak in the brine for 3 hours.
  2. Remove the jowls from the brine and rinse thoroughly under running water for 3 minutes to remove the excess brine. Pat dry. Seal each pork jowl in a separate sous-vide bag with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 crushed garlic clove and compress with moderate pressure. Steam in a combi steam oven at 65ºC for 12 hours. Remove from the oven and chill them quickly in their bags to 4ºC in a blast chiller. Remove from the bags then trim off the skin and all but 3 millimetres of fat from the meaty centre muscle of the jowl. Seal the jowls in one sous-vide bag and compress with moderate pressure. Set aside until required.
  3. To make the braised mustard seeds, place 50 grams yellow mustard seeds in a heavy-based 1 litre saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then strain off the water and start again with fresh water. Repeat this process twice more to reduce the bitterness of the seeds. Add fresh water and simmer for 2 hours until the seeds are soft and three times their original size. Strain and rinse, then strain again and cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. To make the pickling liquid for the onion rings, put 360 millilitres water, 240 millilitres white wine vinegar, 100 grams caster sugar, 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, ½ teaspoon cloves, 1 fresh bay leaf and ½ bunch dill in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the liquid has boiled, pour it into a metal tray and chill quickly in a blast chiller until it reaches 4ºC. Meanwhile, peel 10 golf ball-sized pickling onions.
  5. Seal the whole pickling onions in a sous-vide bag with 200 millilitres of the pickling liquid (reserving the rest of the pickling liquid) and compress with moderate pressure. Steam in a combi steam oven at 85ºC for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and chill them quickly in an ice bath. Remove the onions from the bag, reserving the liquid. Slice them into 3 millimetre thick slices and pick the slices into rings. Choose the most attractive rings, discarding the small centres and outer layers. Put the onion rings in a small saucepan covered with some of the reserved pickling liquid until required.
  6. Line a tray with a clean kitchen towel. Shuck 10 jumbosized St Helens Pacific oysters. Gently rinse any sand and shell shards and keep the oysters on the towel-lined tray in the refrigerator until serving.
  7. Pour 500 millilitres ham consommé into a bowl, add 1 per cent xanthan gum by volume and stir well – the xanthan gum will slightly thicken the consommé. Heat the consommé in a small saucepan with the braised mustard seeds and season to taste with sherry vinegar, Murray River pink salt and olive oil.
  8. Before serving, preheat the oven to 100°C and warm ten large serving bowls. Reheat the pork jowls in a combi steam oven at 60ºC for at least 10 minutes. About 10 minutes before serving, remove the oysters from the refrigerator to bring the temperature up a little before preparing the final stage of the dish. Add a knob of butter to the pan with the pickled onion rings and reheat over a moderate heat. Sear the oysters over a high heat until nicely coloured and slightly charred. Transfer them to the oven for a few minutes to warm through. Slice the pork jowl into 3 millimetre thick slices.
  9. To serve, place a slice of pork in each serving bowl. Place an oyster on top of each slice of pork. Stir the consommé to merge the ingredients then pour a generous spoonful over each oyster. Place the onion rings in the bowl and finish off with a sprinkle of fennel flowers and a pinch of fennel pollen.
Tags:
Marque
Mark
Best
Pei
Modern
restaurant
chef
high
end
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dining
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