500g pickled pork
6 dried bay leaves
1 stalk rosemary
100g brown sugar
1 litre chicken stock
1 whole lemon, chopped roughly
1 onion, chopped
1 small green cabbage, cut in half through the core
¼ cup canola oil
2 cups of reserved pork braising liquid
1 slice bread (whatever sliced bread you have available)
1 cup whole almonds
½ cup plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, finely grated
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
200ml water
2 whole mandarins, quartered, skin on
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chardonnay vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
a pinch freshly ground pepper
½ cup olive oil
1 bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons skin-on roasted almonds, roughly chopped
peeled mandarin segments

This is great as a hearty salad, served as a main course or an interesting side dish for a weekend family lunch. When there is plenty of in-season citrus around, this dish helps lift humble staples such as cabbage and pickled pork to new levels. All the cooking stages can be prepared a few days in advance, ready to be reheated when you are ready to serve.

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2.Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer.
3.Place a lid on the pot and slowly simmer for 3–4 hours – the pork is cooked when the meat easily shreds with a pair of tongs.
4.Leave the pork in the braising liquid until cool.
5.Once cool, use your hands to gently shred the meat and place it in a bowl, adding 3-4 tablespoons of the braising liquid to season and keep the pork moist.
6.Reserve 2 cups of the braising liquid separately for the cabbage.
8.Slice each half of the cabbage into four wedges.
9.Lightly brush oil on one side of each cabbage wedge and season with salt and pepper.
10.Caramelise the oiled side of the cabbage in a hot pan – aim to get it charred and almost black. The more colour you get at this stage will enhance the ‘charred’ flavour of the finished dish, though the colour will dissipate as the cabbage cooks later in the oven.
11.Cook the cabbage in batches, then transfer, coloured-side-up, to a baking dish.
12.Once all the cabbage is transferred to the baking dish, pour in the pork braising liquid, cover with foil, and bake at 120°C for 2 hours.
13.The cabbage should be softened but not mushy.
14.Lift the cabbage out of the dish and allow to cool.
15.Brush off any excess black crusty parts from cabbage edges.
16.Reserve the braising liquid for serving.
18.Soak the bread and almonds in 100ml water for 3 hours.
19.Put into a food processor and blend until they form a very fine mixture.
20.Add all the remaining ingredients to the blender, and blend until smooth.
21.You may need to add a little more water to get the required consistency, depending on your choice of bread.
22.Season with salt. Set aside until ready to serve.
24.Place all ingredients, except for the oil, in a blender.
25.Begin blending, while slowly adding the oil.
26.Once oil is incorporated, blend on high for 1 minute, extracting all the bright colours and flavours from the mandarin skin.
27.Strain through a fine sieve, season to your liking and set aside.
29.Heat the oven to 160°C.
30.Roll the softened cabbage wedges into ‘roses’.
31.Place these tightly together in an ovenproof serving dish, adding a few tablespoons of braising liquid over the top.
32.Place the dish in the oven to warm cabbage through, (approximately 10 minutes).
33.Place the shredded pork meat and any liquid remaining in the bowl into a small pot and gently warm through.
34.In a separate small pot, heat the almond cream on a low heat until it is warm, ensuring you do not let it get too hot.
35.Place a generous amount of almond cream onto plates or a platter, so the cabbage can nicely sit in it.
36.Place warmed cabbage roses on the almond cream and spoon pork and braising liquid all over the cabbage.
37.Dress the whole plate with the mandarin dressing, chopped dill, chopped roasted almonds, mandarin segments and a generous amount of black pepper.

Photography Florence Charvin