Pork Neck in preparation
Heat to oven to 160 °C. Pat the pork neck dry on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large shallow ovenproof pan with a thick base. (You can do this in a heavy rectangular roasting pan, but you will need to watch the onions closely so they don’t catch or burn.)
When the oil is beginning to shimmer, add the pork neck. Sear it over a high heat on all sides, until it is golden-brown all over. You may find that the meat sticks to the bottom of the pan for the first few minutes, but it will loosen with a gentle nudge once its surface has browned. This process should not take more than about 6-7 minutes, if your pan is hot enough.
Remove the meat from the pan and set aside on a plate. Add the onions, carrots, celery, apple, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Cook over a low heat, uncovered, stirring now and then, for 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are soft and a glorious golden colour. Don’t allow the onions to burn, or you risk a bitter flavour.
Now add the garlic and cook for another minute, without letting it brown.
Turn up the heat and add the wine and vinegar. Deglaze the pan by stirring and scraping briskly to dislodge any sticky bits.
Pour in the water and place the pork neck on top of the veggies, along with any juices that have collected beneath it. Cover the pan (use a double layer of tin foil if you don’t have a lid that fits snugly) and bake for one hour at 160 °C. Remove the lid or foil, and add a few more tablespoons of water if the onions seem dry.
Turn the heat down to 150 °C and roast for another hour, uncovered.
Remove the pork neck from the pan, place it on a warmed platter and let it rest, loosely covered with a sheet of tin foil, for 15-20 minutes.
When you’re ready to serve, gently reheat the vegetables on your stove top and stir in the mustard. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Snip through and gently tear away the netting on the pork neck, then carve it into thick slices. Arrange these on a warmed platter, pour over any juices that have accumulated under it, and serve hot with the caramelised veggies.
If you’d like to try my-not-very successful low-carb ‘gravy’, remove two-thirds of the onion mixture, set aside and keep warm. Heat the pan containing the remaining veggies, add two-thirds of a cup of water and bring to a gentle boil. Use a stick blender to blitz the mixture as finely as you can, adding more water if necessary. Stir in 3 Tbsp (45 ml) cream and a little more Dijon mustard, if you think it needs it. Season generously with black pepper and serve hot.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE