I really like what goes on here. This is a cake where it is grated raw and then sauteed and finished in the oven. The interior is all potato but creamy, even the confit gets creamy. The top taste like the best French fry with crunchy bits of pork tucked in. The salad isn't a must but the vinegar and cabbage go great with the richness of the cake. One note, this is a quick method of making confit. Normally it would be salted and set to cure for a couple of days. This confit isn't meant to preserve the pork. - thirschfeld —thirschfeld
Test Kitchen Notes
These sure are upscale potato pancakes! The pork confit is sublime, giving the potato cakes a richness that contrasts with the lightness of the wilted Napa cabbage and cress slaw. Made with a mandoline and formed in a ring mold as given these potato cakes have a very elegant presentation, but they do just as well grated on a box grater and fried free-form. I tried them both ways, and liked each: the former were more soft with less crunchy, the latter more crunchy with less soft. Be sure to pack the potato cakes lightly so they stay together when flipped. Serve them as a first course, or fry an egg in the hot pan for a nice supper. —SallyCan
- Serves 4
- for the pork confit
onion, peeled, trimmed and julienned
garlic cloves, trimmed and peeled
whole black peppercorns
lard or non-flavored oil to cover, the smaller the pot the less oil you will need just don't pack in the pork and onions though give them some room
- for the cakes and slaw
russet potatoes, smallish ones, you want about 4 cups of potatoes in the end
napa cabbage, shaved, washed and dried
water cress, washed and dried
walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
carrot, peeled and julienned
1 1/2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoons
3 1/2 tablespoons
shallot, minced very finely
3 inch round and 2 inch deep ring molds
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place all the confit ingredients into a sauce pan. Pour in enough oil to cover the pork.
- Place the pan over medium heat. Once you see a few bubbles remove the pan and place it into the oven. Set a timer for two hours.
- At the end of two hours using a towel, remember the handle will be hot, remove the pan from the oven and check to see it the pork is tender. It should shred very easily. If it is tender place it back into the oil and set the pot aside to cool. This can be done up to 4 days in advance and store the pork by refrigerating it in confit oil to cover. When you are ready to make the cakes drain completely and shred the pork.
- Place the cabbage in a bowl and lightly season it with salt.
- In another bowl combine the mustard, sherry, walnut oil and shallot and season it with salt and pepper. Mix it to combine.
- Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel each potato. Using a mandoline, place over a clean towel and with the julienne blade in place, slice the potatoes into matchsticks letting them fall onto the towel. Pull the corners of the towel up into your hand and twist the towel so you have a potato ball at the end. Rinse the potatoes under cold running water and then squeeze out as much water as you can by twisting the towel making it get tighter and tighter on the potatoes. The rinsing step is important otherwise you potatoes will discolor before they finish cooking.
- Dump the potatoes into a bowl. Add the shredded pork confit and season the the mix with plenty of salt and pepper.
- Spread the lard over the bottom of a 12 inch non stick skillet. Grease the inside of each ring mold. Place the ring molds into the pan. Fill each mold with the potato pork mixuture.
- Place the pan over medium high heat and once the lard starts to sizzle reduce the heat to medium. Saute the cakes until they are golden brown. Carefully flip them with a spatula and then slide them into the oven for 25 minutes.
- When the cakes are close to being done combine the cabbage and cress with the dressing. Add the walnuts and the carrots, season with salt and pepper, and toss to mix with the dressing.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and place one to a plate. Using a dry towel remove the molds and serve with a side of slaw.