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By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

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  • 900 g (2 lb) salted pork, cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) dice
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) free-range pork rib bones, separated
  • 3 litres (105 fl oz) water
  • 200 g (7 oz) shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 litres (105 fl oz) water, extra
  • 2 bunches flowering puha (wild watercress), leaves picked, stalks and flowers reserved
  • 1 smoked eel, bones only (1 side reserved to finish; save the other side for another use)
  • 10 g ( oz) barley, finely ground
  • table salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste


Thoroughly scrub out your sink to wash the bones in later.

Place the salted pork and rib bones and any reserved pork belly bones in a large saucepan and cover with the first measure of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the contents of the pan into the clean sink, allowing the water to drain away. Put on a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves, turn on the hot tap and rinse and scrub the salted pork and bones to remove any coagulated protein and scum. Wash the pan thoroughly, then add the salted pork, bones, shallot and second measure of water.

Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat until the stock is at 90°C (194°F). Cook gently at this temperature for 2½ hours. Skim the froth but leave as much fat as possible in the broth.

Add the puha stalks and also those reserved from the cress oil and smoked eel bones and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Strain the broth, discarding the solids, except for a little salted pork, about 20 g/¾ oz for plating. Pass the broth through a fine sieve lined with muslin (cheesecloth).

Wash the pan, return the broth to the pan, bring to a simmer and whisk in the ground barley. The broth will slightly thicken. Bring to the boil and vigorously whisk to emulsify the fat into the water. Season with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, reheat the broth to 80°C (176°F) and add the puha leaves (reserving 16 for garnishing). Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve and check the seasoning.