Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with celeriac.
Celeriac is the bulbous, brown root from which some varieties of celery sprout. I can’t decide if it’s the ugly little sister or the unsung hero either way, it’s actually quite delicious. In England, we tend to eat celeriac mostly mashed, whereas in France and beyond, it is often served as a salad in a mayonnaise dressing!
Slow-roasted pork belly with celeriac-and-apple mash (serves 4)
8 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
1tspn fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic
30ml olive oil
2kg pork belly joint
A splash of milk
Toast the fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes before pulsing them in a food processor with the thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and olive oil until you have a coarse paste.
Place the belly pork skin-side down in a dish and spread the paste over the flesh. Cover and chill, leaving to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
When ready to cook the pork belly, rub the skin of the joint with plenty of salt before putting it in a foil-lined roasting tray. Roast for 30 minutes at 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6. After this time, reduce the heat down to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4 and roast for a further two hours. Finally, turn the heat back up to 220˚C/425˚F/gas mark 7 for 30 minutes or so, to bring the crackling up to perfection.
Allow to rest somewhere warm for 20 minutes. As the pork belly is cooking, throw a couple of apples into the roasting tin around it for 30 minutes. Remove them when cooked and set them aside until you’re ready to make the mash.
Trim the celeriac and cut it into chunks. Add to a pan of boiling water and cook until tender. Drain the water off and then add the butter, milk and seasoning to it and mash to a purée. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the softened flesh of the cooked apples into the celeriac mash and mix it together well. Carve the pork belly into slices and serve with the celeriac-and-apple mash on the side.
Celeriac soup with apple-and-cheese soda bread
In a saucepan, place a peeled and chopped celeriac along with 2 medium-sized peeled and chopped potatoes, 1 onion, a few sprigs thyme and enough chicken stock to cover. Simmer until tender. Use a stick blender to purée them. Add a splash of cream and seasoning and set aside. Make the soda bread by mixing 250g each of wholemeal flour and self-raising flour. Add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Make a well and add 400ml of buttermilk. Bring together roughly before folding in a handful of matchsticks of apple and grated cheese. Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes and serve with the soup.
French celeriac-mayonnaise salad
Grate a peeled and trimmed celeriac into a bowl and then pour a dressing over it made by mixing mayonnaise with a little Dijon mustard, lemon juice and seasoning. Serve with crusty bread.
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