Andy Ashby, Head Chef at Salon de Co in Brisbane, shares a recipe with us.
Autumn Queensland Pumpkin, Pork Jowl and BBQ Scampi
1 Queensland blue pumpkin
100ml maple syrup
100g brown butter
50g miso paste
2kg pork jowl, skin off
1 bunch cime di rapa leaves
400ml sunflower oil
1 garlic bulb
200g butter, melted with a stick of tarragon
100ml crème fraîche
4 scampi, peeled
Maldon sea salt and peppermill
Small punnet of garlic chive flowers
Small punnet of coriander cress
Desert lime, sliced
100g table salt
3 tbsp mustard seeds
½ bunch thyme
2 tbsp whole peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 bay leaves
1L iced water
Start with the pork jowl by trimming off any unwanted muscle tissue and fat. Combine brine ingredients. Brine the jowl for 2 hours – this method helps to season and relax the protein. If you have access to a sous vide machine, set temperature to 82.2°C. Wash off the brine and bag the jowl before submerging in the water bath for 12 hours at the set temperature. This method can be done overnight, and after the cook, press between two trays.
Roast the pumpkin at 210°C with the maple syrup and seasoning for approximately 1 hour, or until tender. Allow to slightly cool down before applying weight on top of the pumpkin to squeeze out all the delicious pumpkin nectar. Remove the flesh with a spoon and add to the brown butter and miso paste. Carefully work in a heavy based saucepan and add the crème fraîche. Blend until silky smooth, adjust the seasoning to taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice for balance, if needed. Pass the pumpkin nectar through a fine sieve.
Wash the cime di rapa leaves under cold water before blanching in hot salted water for 20 seconds, then plunge straight into ice to stop the cooking process. Once cold, pat dry, finely chop and set aside.
Peel and finely dice the garlic and shallots. Place small saucepan on the stove and add 150ml sunflower oil; add the garlic and shallots and cook out at a very low temp.
For the pepitas, heat up remaining sunflower oil in a pan until almost smoking, then put in the seeds and toast off until golden. Drain well and season with a pinch of cumin powder and sea salt.
Render down the pork jowl in a non-stick pan until the jowl is golden.
Gently warm up the pumpkin nectar consommé, pumpkin crème and the cime di rapa mixed with the confit shallot and garlic.
Fire up the barbie for the scampi tails and brush them with butter before gently cooking over open flame. This will only take 2–3 mins as the scampi are delicate, and you want them to be tender.
Place the cime di rapa mix on the right side of the plate, and place the crispy pork jowl on top, then the barbecued scampi with the crushed pepitas. Add a spoon of the pumpkin crème next to your masterpiece. To garnish, add garlic chive flowers and coriander cress – these herbs will only help enhance the flavours of the dish. Sprinkle with sliced desert lime and coriander flowers.
Be adventurous and entertaining by pouring the consommé at the table allowing the aroma to fill the room with delight.