Jackie Cameron’s homemade brawn
HOMEMADE BRAWN AND BACON-INFUSED PANNA COTTA Head chef, Hartford House, KZN Midlands "My grandfather was a butcher in Pietermaritzburg and made the best brawn in town."
- 675g beef tongue
- 1kg beef shin
- 1kg pigs' trotters, cleaned
- 5 fresh bay leaves
- 15ml (1 tbsp) Maldon salt
- About 5 litres filtered water
- Bacon-infused panna cotta:
- 200g rindless back bacon, chopped
- 700ml fresh cream
- 3 sheets/leaves gelatine or 7.5ml (1½ tsp) gelatine granules
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the brawn, place all the ingredients in a large pot, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 4 hours. Separate the meat from the liquid. Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth into a pot. Shred the meat finely, add to the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer to a thick porridge consistency. Line a mould with plastic wrap and pour in the brawn, ensuring a good balance of meat to liquid. Place in fridge to set overnight. This makes about 2.5 litres; freeze leftover brawn.
For the panna cotta, heat a pan and sauté the bacon to release the flavour and juices. Add 500ml (2 cups) of the cream. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Liquidise and strain. Soak the gelatine leaves in water, squeeze and add to the warm cream mixture. Strain and measure how much liquid is left. Add enough extra cream to make 500ml (2 cups) of liquid. Season, pour into a container, cover with plastic and place in the fridge to set overnight.
Serve the brawn sliced with the panna cotta, garnished with crème fraîche, fresh apple slices, crispy bacon chips, pea shoots, pea purée, a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper. It is very good with pea soup.