Cajun pork & celeriac mash, for me this is absolute food heaven. It’s got everything, crispiness, creaminess, sweetness, spice…so much texture and flavour going on here, for me it doesn’t get any tastier! Using celeriac instead of potato cuts the carbs quite significantly and the flavour goes beautifully with pork, so it’s a winner all round.
As always, the better the ingredients the better the dish, so buy the best local pork you can get your hands on and you’ll reap the benefits when the sweet smell of roast Cajun pork fills your house.
We’re so fortunate to live in the beautiful Cotswold town of Stroud, which happens to have one of the best farmers’ markets in the country. It’s such a brilliant place to spend a Saturday morning, with so many amazing people and the most delicious local produce, it really is a winner. Pretty much all the ingredients for this dish came from the market and if you’re in the area it is so worth a visit! If you don’t live nearby, it’s definitely worth checking out which farmers’ markets are near you, as the produce is so much fresher, tastier and often better value than the supermarkets too, not to mention being better for the environment, everyone wins…apart from the big boys!
Serves 4 with leftovers (or maybe not…)
Ingredients Cajun pork belly 2tsp fennel seeds 2tsp cumin seeds 2tsp sea salt flakes 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper 1 ½ tbsp sweet smoked paprika A generous grind of black pepper 1.2kg piece of pork belly, fat scored 1 ½ tbsps olive oil Celeriac mash 1 large celeriac, washed, peeled & cut into 1cm cubes (1) 300ml veg stock (low salt) 2 tbsp unsalted butter Other ingredients A handful of fresh leaves (such as baby spinach or some peppery micro-greens)
Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F.
Dry the surface of the pork with kitchen paper. Grind spices into a rough powder and rub all over the pork (2). Brush with oil. Roast skin side up for 40 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 160°C / 320°F and roast for one hour. Rest for 20 minutes.
Whilst pork is cooking, bring stock to boil and add celeriac. Simmer until soft (approx. 15-20 minutes). Strain stock. Add celeriac and butter to food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste and season generously with salt and pepper.
Serve the mash topped with pork and fresh leaves. Add a splash of water to Cajun pork juices in tray and stir. Drizzle pork with juices. Oh my.
(1) Carefully slice the bottom off the celeriac so you have a flat base to work with. It will make it much easier when cutting into cubes.
(2) Rub all over the fleshy part of the pork and down in between the scored fat. Try not to get too much on the surface of the fat, as this is likely to scorch in the hot oven.