Asparagus, cured speck, ash mayonnaise, caramelised buttermilk

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Preparation info

  • Serves 8

    starter portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About

I get my cured speck from Neil Jewell – The One and Only, Man of the Match. A great friend and chef who not only runs a successful restaurant but also makes the country’s best charcuterie ... I don’t believe he always gets the credit he deserves. Get back on the bike chef!



  • 40 green asparagus spears
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • salt

Ash mayonnaise

  • 95 g burnt onion paste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 35 ml lemon juice
  • 4 g salt
  • 120 ml olive oil/canola blend
  • 2 g xanthan gum
  • salt and pepper

Cured pork speck

  • It’s best to buy this from a producer of quality cured meats. To do this in a normal kitchen with no curing facilities becomes tricky and dangerous.
  • 16 g pork crackling powder – for garnish
  • onion ash powder – for garnish


Wash the asparagus spears in cold water. Trim and peel the base of the stems to remove the woody/fibrous texture. Dress the asparagus in olive oil and grill. Season with salt.

In a Thermomix jug or blender, place the burnt onion paste, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt and blend briefly to combine. With the Thermomix running on a medium speed, slowly stream in the oil to emulsify. Blend in the xanthan gum to thicken. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the mayonnaise from the jug and reserve in a piping bag, and refrigerate until needed.

To prepare the speck, slice 32 g of the fat on a gravity slicer as thinly as you can and lay it on a tray, ready for plating. Cut it to the length of the asparagus spears you are using.

To assemble, place 5 hot asparagus spears on each hot plate and immediately lay the speck on the hot asparagus – it should start to melt. Pipe 10 ml mayonnaise onto each plate and sprinkle with 2 g pork crackling powder and 2 g onion ash powder.