pork seaweed tomatillo oyster

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pork seaweed tomatillo oysterLee Hudson is a grape grower, vintner, horticulturalist, and friend who began his vineyards at the southern tip of the valley in the early 1980s. I have been fortunate to walk and drive his enormous property with him and hear the stories of its past as a cattle ranch and, later, as the first area to be planted with phylloxera-resistant rootstock at a time when the vineyards of Europe were being decimated by the pest. Lee makes great Chardonnay and raises with care legendary pigs that have long been treasured by chefs and charcutiers throughout the Bay Area. We take the pork, cure it, and wrap it in seaweed from Mendocino. We then slowly hot smoke it over native oak and serve it with acidic tomatillos and a jus finished with oyster.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1 | Hudson Ranch bone-in pork shoulder, about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds)
  • 300 grams | 1 ⅓ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 300 grams | 1 cup kosher salt
  • 5 grams | 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 15 grams | 2 tablespoons garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 grams | ¼ cup grated lemon zest
  • 5 grams | 1 tablespoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika
  • 200 grams | about 7 ounces Mendocino wakame, soaked in water for
  • 24 hours
  • 150 grams | ¾ cup pork lard
  • 20 grams | 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • reserved shoulder bones (recipe above)
  • 240 grams | 8 ounces carrots, diced
  • 240 grams | 8 ounces celery, diced
  • 300 grams | 10.5 ounces yellow onions, diced
  • 9 liters | about 8.5 quarts chicken stock
  • 200 grams | 7 ounces fresh oyster shells
  • 100 grams | 3.5 ounces fresh oysters
  • 300 grams | 10.5 ounces dark rye bread
  • 75 grams | ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 200 grams | ¾ cup eggs
  • kosher salt
How to Make It
  1. FOR THE PORK SHOULDER PREPARATION: Bone the pork shoulder and reserve the bones for making the jus. Cut the meat into 3 roughly equal pieces, each with a rectangular shape. Combine the sugar, salt, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, and Spanish paprika in a bowl and mix well. Add the pork pieces to the bowl and coat heavily with the sugar mixture. Cure in the refrigerator for 10 hours. Rinse the pork pieces under ice-cold running water and pat dry on paper towels. Pat the wakame dry on paper towels, then, on a clean work surface, arrange some of the wakame pieces in a sheet, overlapping them slightly in a shingle pattern and making the sheet long and wide enough to enclose a piece of the pork. Place a piece of pork on the sheet and wrap the seaweed around it, covering it completely and pressing lightly to seal the ends and the long seam. Repeat to make 2 more wakame sheets and wrap the remaining 2 pork pieces. Using oak chips, hot smoke the pork at 160°F (71°C) for 8 hours. Remove from the smoker and transfer the wakame-wrapped pork to three separate vacuum bags. Add 50 grams (¼ cup) of the pork lard to each bag and seal on high. Immerse the bag in an ice bath for 2 hours, then hold the bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. FOR THE OYSTER JUS: Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add the bones and roast on all sides until evenly golden brown. Remove the bones from the pot. Add the carrots, celery, and onions and caramelize the vegetables for about 8 minutes, until soft and golden brown. Return the bones to the pot, add the stock, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and simmer for 8 hours, skimming the surface occasionally to remove any fat and solid protein. Remove from the heat and strain through a chinois into a clean pot. Add the oyster shells, return to high heat, and cook until reduced by about 80 percent, a rich amber color, and slightly thickened, about 6 hours. Meanwhile, cold smoke the oysters for 30 minutes. When the jus is at the correct consistency, add the smoked oysters and steep off the heat for 1 hour. Strain the jus through a very fine cloth filter into a container and let cool in the refrigerator.
  3. FOR THE GRAIN BREAD DUMPLINGS: Cut the bread into small pieces and place in a metal bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream and eggs until blended. Add the egg mixture to the bread and mix with a spoon to break up the bread slightly. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour, until the bread has absorbed all of the liquid. Season lightly with salt. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on a work surface and place a marble-sized dollop of the dumpling batter in the center. Use the plastic wrap to shape the dumpling into a sphere, then wrap the ends of the plastic wrap around the dumpling tightly to seal it. Repeat this process to create 24 dumplings. Arrange the wrapped dumplings in a perforated hotel pan and place in a steam oven set at 200°F (95°C) for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. When the dumplings are ready, transfer them to the ice bath and let cool for 20 minutes. Unwrap the dumplings and hold in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. FOR THE TOMATILLO JAM: Combine the tomatillos and onions in a bowl. Heat a small rondeau over high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the tomatillos and onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to caramelize heavily. Add the coriander, bay, and honey and continue to caramelize for about 6 minutes longer. When the honey becomes dark and fragrant, deglaze the pan with the vinegar and then allow the vinegar to evaporate. Season with salt and remove and discard the bay leaves. Transfer to a metal pan and let cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Transfer the cooled jam to a cutting board, cut into fine mince, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed.
  5. FOR THE MENDOCINO SEAWEEDS: Place the sea whip, kombu, nori, and bladder wrack in separate containers and add water to cover to each container. Let stand for 1 hour, until slightly softened. Remove from the water and pat dry on paper towels. Cut any large pieces into pieces no larger than 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) square. Put the seaweeds in a bowl, dress with the mustard oil, and hold at room temperature.

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