- 12 (depending on the size of the neck and that of your guests)
- smoker (e.g. Barbecook Oskar)
For the neck:
- 4.7 kg pork neck, 2 star anise pods, 1 tbsp allspice, ½ tbsp coriander seed, ½ tbsp cumin, 1 tsp mustard seed, 3½ tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp thyme, 2½ tbsp salt, ½ tbsp garlic powder, ½ tbsp onion powder, ⅓ tbsp Szechuan pepper, 2½ tbsp paprika, 1½ tbsp smoked paprika, ½ tbsp ground ginger
- Garlic mayonnaise, smoked cocktail sauce, six rashers of bacon, cornichons, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, 2 loaves of Turkish bread
For the cocktail sauce:
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tbsp ketchup, pinch of smoked paprika, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp peaty whiskey
As loyal readers, you know where I procure my pork. At Schurmans in Kortenaken, a butcher shop that is always pleasant to visit. 100% Duroc. This butcher has absolutely fabulous meat.
All right, enough praises sung! One of my favourite parts is the neck. They are generally 3½ to 4½ kg apiece: perfect for a party. Not only that, this is a perfect piece of meat for a slow smoker session. Low & slow smoking, indeed. First, I marinated the neck for 48 hours and set it aside to dry for 3 hours. Next, I put it in the smoker for 11 hours (100 to 120°C) before transferring it to the regular oven for 4 hours. The result was a wonderfully tender piece of meat.Served with a few condiments like cornichons de Pierre (little pickles), garlic mayonnaise, a cocktail sauce made with peaty whiskey, pita bread and some veggies you have everything for a stylish “next-level” pita. The big advantage? You can prepare everything in advance. The disadvantage? Well, the preparation takes a lot of time. However, I can only recommend it. Trying it is more than worth the effort.Now, I can hear you think: “Okay, but we don’t have a smoker.” No problem, the Oskar smoker is the perfect gift! While you wait, you can prepare the rest. What could be more convenient? Good luck and enjoy!
- Put the star anise, allspice, coriander, cumin and mustard seed into a food processor and blend into a fine powder.
- Mix with the sugar, thyme, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Szechuan pepper, paprika, smoked paprika and ginger.
- Cut incisions into the pork neck and rub in the spice mixture.
- Wrap in tin foil and set in the refrigerator for one or two nights to marinate.
- Take out of the refrigerator and set aside to dry on a rack in the refrigerator for three to five hours.
- In the meantime, heat the smoker to 100°C.
- Smoke the meat for 8 to 11 hours in the smoker at a temperature of 100 to 120°C. After an hour, pour some beer into the stock tray. This will keep the meat juicy.
- Fry the bacon until crispy, pat dry with paper towels and chop into a crumble.
- Slice the cornichons, carrots and tomatoes.
- Blend all the ingredients together for the cocktail sauce. Briefly toast the pita bread.
- Serve pitas filled with meat, vegetables and sauce (to taste). Don’t forget to top the pitas with the bacon crumble! Enjoy!