Smoked salts are usually used as a finishing salt, as they bring a delicate flavour to the dish. However Sous Chef's Viking smoked salt is a little different. Indeed, it works well served at the table sprinkled over cooked white fish, sliced tomatoes, or to to dip quails eggs at a canapé party. Yet because of the complex mix of spices in addition to the smokiness - deep yellow turmeric, onion, and spiced flavours - it also works well in cooking. Stir through kedgeree, season steak before frying, or - like we've done here - use the smoked salt with quick roast pork belly.
Pork belly is a comforting addition to a wintry salad, and pork belly cured in smoked salt is even more enticing. Adding fruit brings sweetness to the fireside-warm spice flavours, and a lightly acidic mustardy dressing cuts through the fattiness of the pork.
The pork belly is first cured in a salt sugar mixture - it becomes firmer and gives out more water, whilst taking on the Viking smoked salt-spice flavours. Pork could be replaced with deboned chicken thighs - just slice in half, and halve the marinade time.
Ingredients Serves: 4
- 25g Sous Chef Viking Smoked Salt
- 25g Muscovado Sugar
- 550g sliced pork belly (2 cm wide strips, no skin), or substitute with deboned chicken thighs
For the salad
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 3 nectarines
- 150g mixed salad leaves or rocket
- Handful mint leaves
- Mix together the Viking smoked salt and muscovado sugar and rub over the pork belly. Cover with cling film and leave to cure for 6-10 hours (half as long if using chicken).
- Pour away any watery juices from the pork, and roast in a preheated oven at 180C/160C fan for 40 mins.
- Whilst the pork is roasting, whisk together the Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar and olive oil for the salad dressing. Cut the peaches in half to remove the stones, and the slice each half into four.
- Remove the pork from the oven, and slice into 1cm wide ‘lardons’. Toss the salad leaves in the dressing and divide between four plates. Place the warm lardons and nectarine slices on top of the leaves, and scatter with the mint to serve.
Nicola is co-founder and CEO at Sous Chef. She has worked in food for over ten years.
Nicola first explored cooking as a career when training at Leiths, before spending the next decade in Finance. However... after a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant, Nicola saw the incredible ingredients available only to chefs. And wanted access to them herself. So Sous Chef was born.
Today, Nicola is ingredients buyer and a recipe writer at Sous Chef. She frequently travels internationally to food fairs, and to meet producers. Her cookbook library is vast, and her knowledge of the storecupboard is unrivalled. She tastes thousands of ingredients every year, to select only the best to stock at Sous Chef.
Nicola shares her knowledge of ingredients and writes recipes to showcase those products. Learning from Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola writes many of the recipes on the Sous Chef website. Nicola's recipes are big on flavour, where the ingredients truly shine (although that's from someone who cooks for hours each day - so they're rarely tray-bakes!).