Native Scallops with Pork Belly and Spiced Carrots
METHOD:For pork belly:
Soak pork belly overnight in water. Preheat oven to 250°F. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan and slowly cook onions and celery until caramelized. Place the pork belly skin-side down in a sauté pan and sear it on all sides over a high flame. When browned, add pork to onions and celery, along with star anise, 3 cardamom seeds, ginger, garlic, and herbs. Add chicken stock, port, honey, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Braise pork slowly in oven for 2 –2 ½ hours. When cooked remove it from the pan and place it in a container. Press it down with heavy weights and refrigerate overnight.
For carrot puree:
In a medium saucepan, cook carrots in water with butter and sugar, along with star anise and cardamom seeds. When cooked, remove carrots from liquid and puree them to a smooth paste, reserving the cooking liquor in pan. Add a touch of cream to puree, season to taste, and then pass through a fine sieve.For carrot-butter sauce:
Place baby carrots in the reserved carrot stock and cook for 5-6 minutes until soft. Remove carrots, keeping them warm on the side, and reduce carrot liquid by half. Add Gewurztraminer, reduce again by half; then add cream and reduce by a third. Whisk in butter, season to taste, and then pass sauce through a fine sieve.
Slice pork belly lengthwise. Heat a little butter in a sauté pan and caramelize pork slices. Deglaze pan with a splash of balsamic vinegar and set aside. Sear scallops in a little vegetable oil, caramelising them on one side for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown; turning over and searing scallops on other side. Leave them to rest for 1-2 minutes.
Warm through the carrot puree and place a large teardrop on a plate. Place the pork beside this, with the scallops on top. Warm through the baby carrots in a little butter, season them lightly and arrange these around the plate. Then warm the carrot-butter sauce through, adding chervil at the last minute. Check the seasoning and drizzle sauce around the scallops.