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pork neck “en papillote” with pumpkin, carrots and wild mushrooms

Discover the cooking in paper. It’ a tasty way to cook many kinds of ingredients. We can also serve these preparations, as they are in the wrap to provoke surprise about the content!

ingredients for each serving (cost about 6€ pp)
  • 200 g pork neck in large pieces
  • 50 g carrots (rainbow carrots, even better)
  • 50 g pumpkin
  • 50 g wild mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • EV sunflower oil
  • Fresh herbs

Cooking in a paper parcel (en papillote) is a kind of steam cooking and, therefore, by its nature healthy and delicious at the same time. This technique also has the advantage that only a small amount of oil is required, so that’ s why it is often preferred by many people who are on a caloric diet. The paper traps the vapor produced by the ingredients and, thus, enhances the aromas of the preparation. The con is that its texture is relatively uniform.

We use this technique for fish and also meat pieces that require slow and low temperature cooking, like the pork neck.

When choosing this technique, we make sure that:

a) the package we will form is not only closed, but perfectly sealed

b) we know in advance the exact time the food needs to be cooked, because we can not open it, in order to control its course. This is the big disadvantage of the paper cooking technique. Therefore, we use this way for our guests or clients after we have previously performed several tests and

c) we never alternate the parameters (ex. we use meat from the same part of the animal and cut each time into pieces of the same size, constant humidity, etc.).

Someone may ask “why does it matter if we open the paper to check what is happening?”

OK, this is not a crime, but the inner temperature is gonna change every time. What is more, opening again and again, is very troublesome!

So, first of all, the day before cooking, what do we do? WE PRESALT the meat. In order to?????? In order to make it TENDER AND JUICY. And, of course, we keep it in the fridge, until cooking time.

The next day we clean, peel and cut in large pieces the vegetables and we preheat the oven to 180o C. We wash and pat dry the meat and we brown it in a pan with a spoonful of oil.

To make our packages, we cut square pieces of baking paper, we lightly grease them with oil, we put inside our ingredients and, of course, we salt them. We wrap and tie our parcels with twine and then we wrap them well again with aluminum foil.

We use aluminum foil for 2 reasons:

a) in order to protect the paper from exposure to temperatures,

b) to ensure the perfect sealing of our package.

The aluminum should NEVER come into direct contact with the food we will consume. Apart from being unhealthy, it will also spoil the colors of our food. That is why we begin by making a first wrapping with baking paper.

We put the packages in a baking sheet and then in the oven. We cook them there for about 2-3 hours, we already talked about this parameter.

When ready we add some fresh pepper, some coarse salt if needed and fresh oregano, or another fresh herb.


Published in MEAT