Pub grub like you've never seen it before. Molecular gastronomy tricks turn traditional favourites into something a world away from the local boozer.
25g/1oz dried porcini mushrooms
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
10g/¼oz fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1kg/2lb 4oz pork cheeks, trimmed of skin, sinew and excess fat
250ml/9oz dark ale
250ml/9oz red wine
500ml/18fl oz beef stock
125ml/4fl oz port
1 bunch fresh sage, leaves only, shredded
1 loaf white bread, crusts cut off
150g/5½oz clarified butter
4 slices pancetta, each 3mm/⅛in thick
250g/9oz large, waxy potatoes
165g/5¾oz shelled, roasted chestnuts
500ml/18fl oz milk
2 tbsp whisky
250ml/9fl oz chicken stock
150ml/5fl oz double cream
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 tsp methylcellulose powder (this must be a variety that gells at high temperatures)
4 free-range eggs
½ onion, peeled and chopped
2 tsp truffle oil
400ml/14fl oz semi-skimmed milk
45g/1¾oz methylcellulose powder
375ml/12½fl oz mirin
1 free-range egg, yolk only
2 tbsp mustard powder
2 tsp wasabi powder
15g/½oz alginate powder
400ml/14fl oz low-calcium water
25g/1oz food-grade calcium chloride
200g/7oz Serrano ham, thinly sliced
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
25g/1oz plain flour
200g/7oz panko breadcrumbs
rapeseed oil, for deep frying
For the pie, re-hydrate the porcini by placing them in a small bowl and covering with warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes then drain well and chop them finely.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and gently cook the onions, carrots, porcini, fennel seeds and bay leaves until the onions are soft but not brown. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then add the pork cheeks and brown well on all sides.
Pour over the ale, wine, stock and port then bring to a simmer and cook very gently for 2½ hours or until the pork cheeks are completely soft and can be shredded easily.
Remove the pork cheeks from the pan and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer the braising liquid until it is reduced and syrupy. Remove the bay leaf and take the pan off the heat. Shred the pork cheeks using two forks then return to the pan with the sage, mix thoroughly and set aside in a warm place until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Cut four slices of bread lengthways from the loaf, each about 3mm/⅛in thick. Take four metal rings, each 6cm /2½in diameter and 7cm/2¾in tall, and grease the outsides with a little clarified butter. Place the rings on a greased baking tray. Trim the slices of bread so that they wrap neatly around the outside of the rings. Wrap the bread around the rings, brush with a little clarified butter and wrap with aluminium foil to hold the bread in place.
Bake in the oven for eight minutes then remove the foil and bake for a further 4-5 minutes until golden-brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool then carefully slide the crisp bread cylinders off the metal rings and set aside until needed.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lay the pancetta slices on top. Place another baking tray over the pancetta, press it down and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until crisp. Set aside until serving.
For the mash, peel and dice the potatoes and boil with chestnuts, milk, whisky, stock and butter. When the potatoes are very soft, drain, retaining some of the cooking liquid, then blend in a food processor with the cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg until smooth. Keep very warm until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, add the methylcellulose to the warm mash, pour into a cream whipping machine (cream siphon) and charge with a nitrous oxide cartridge.
For the egg, carefully cut a hole on the side of the eggs large enough for the yolks to slip out intact. Empty the eggs, reserving the yolks, and rinse out the shells. Place the shells in a small pan of boiling water for one minutes to pasteurize then drain on kitchen paper.
Place the onion, truffle oil and salt and milk in a small pan, bring to a simmer and let stand for 15 minutes to infuse. Strain through a fine sieve, allow to cool and mix in the methylcellulose.
Blend together the mirin, reserved egg yolks and additional yolk, mustard, wasabi and alginate powder with an electric blender until the alginate is completely dissolved. Let stand for five minutes to allow the air bubbles to dissipate.
Blend together water and calcium chloride until completely clear. Use a semi-spherical measuring spoon to scoop the egg yolk mixture into the calcium solution, forming four sphere shapes. Let the spheres set for 45 seconds, then remove with a small slotted spoon and rinse well.
Bring a pan of water to a simmer. Pour some of the cooled milk mixture into the cleaned eggshells, and then slip in the yolk mixture. Cover with more milk mixture and simmer in the pan for five minutes to set the methylcellulose into a firm gel. Peel while still hot and return to the hot water until needed.
Blend the ham, beaten egg and flour in a food processor. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, coat them in the ham mixture then roll in the panko breadcumbs. Heat the oil to 170C/340F and deep-fry the eggs for 3-4 minutes until golden-brown. Drain on kitchen paper. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
For the pub atmosphere, blend all the ingredients except the dry ice in a food processor and warm through in a small pan. Divide the dry ice between four pewter tankards, filling them about halfway up. Set the tankards on the dining table, spaced evenly between your guests. Just before serving the food, pour the liquid into the tankards, allowing the vapor released to waft towards the diners. (CAUTION: dry ice can be dangerous. Use oven gloves or a thick tea towel when handling and keep away from children.)
To serve, place a bread cylinder on each plate and fill with the pork mixture. Add the Scotch egg and a drizzle of the pork liqour then pipe on the foamed mash and garnish with the pancetta.
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