Thomasina Miers’ recipe for lemongrass and coconut pork with corn and herb salad

Thomasina Miers

When I was young, celebrations always involved my father heading to the butcher on his motorbike. To him, restaurants were a scandalous waste of money, and cooking a beautiful piece of meat or fish at home was the proper thing to do. On a recent trip to Madrid, I was reminded of those family feasts at a barbecue where a friend had grilled the skirt of an Ibérico pig. This cut, the secreto, from behind the shoulder and marbled with fat and flavour, is most definitely for special occasions, and boy does it make for a treat.

Lemongrass and coconut pork with corn and herb salad

Marinate the pork for as long as you can. If you can’t find secreto, use thin slices of pork belly, neck or flattened chops instead.

Prep 20 min
Marinate Overnight
Cook 10 min
Serves 4-6

1 large thumb-sized piece fresh ginger
3 large garlic cloves
lemongrass stalks, tough outer skins removed
green chillies
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric

60g bunch coriander
, leaves picked, stalks roughly chopped
120ml coconut milk
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and black pepper
pork secreto (skirt; see note above about alternatives)

For the salad
2 corn cobs, husks removed
1 x 300g packet beansprouts
1 baby gem
3 mint sprigs
A handful of Thai basil leaves
2 tbsp sesame oil

Peel and roughly chop the ginger, garlic and lemongrass, and put in a blender. Roughly chop the chillies and add those, too (if they are extremely hot, start with two and add more to taste). Briefly toast the coriander seeds, then grind them in a mortar and add to the mix with the turmeric and chopped coriander stalks. Blitz, then gradually loosen with the coconut milk, adding it bit by bit and blitzing again until you have a puree. Season to taste with the juice of one lime and plenty of salt.

Scrape the marinade into a clean plastic bag (a freezer bag that seals, ideally), add the pork and massage the marinade into it. Put the bag in a bowl (to catch any leaks) and marinate in the fridge overnight or for up to two days – this will tenderise the meat and add heaps of flavour.

When you are ready to eat, bring the pork to room temperature and make the salad. Put a griddle pan on a high heat, brush the corn with a little oil, season and grill until charred all over. Arrange the leaves and herbs on a platter with the beansprouts, then shave off the corn kernels and add those, too.

In the same griddle pan, grill the meat for two to three minutes a side, until coloured on the outside and tender and juicy in the middle. (If you are using a thicker cut of pork, give it a little longer.)

Season the salad with the juice of the other lime and the sesame oil, and serve with the thinly sliced meat, baguettes, mayo and chilli sauce, or with steamed rice.

The simple flex

Fat slices of aubergine or celeriac would be wonderful soaked in the same marinade, then grilled and served with the fragrant salad.

Courtesy: theguardian