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Alain Ducasse's Simmered Autumn Vegetables with Pork Belly

Alain Ducasse Autumn Vegetable Cocotte 006.jpgThis is the very dish I learned to cook with the chef just a few weeks ago. 
(Serves 4)

  • 1 celery root
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1/2 rutabaga
  • 2 large sunchokes
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 fingerling potatoes
  • 12 chestnuts
  • 2 salsify
  • 6 porcini mushrooms
  • 1 lb trumpet mushrooms
  • 12 pearl onions
  • 8 breakfast radishes
  • 1/2 Savoy cabbage
  • 1 head of garlic


  • 2 Fuji apples
  • 1 Bartlett pear
  • 1 bunch seedless green grapes
  • 1 quince

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. pork belly
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Xérès Sherry Vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • Fleur de sel
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cast iron cocotte
  2. Mandolin

Preparation for the vegetables & fruits
Peel the celery root, butternut squash, and rutabaga, cut into 8 pieces of the desired shape and reserve in cold lemon water.  Peel the sunchokes and cut into thick slices horizontally. Peel the carrots and the salsify and cut into 4 pieces removing the tops. Reserve the salsify in cold water with a few drops of lemon juice. Skin on, cut the potatoes into thick slices horizontally. Clean and halve the porcini mushrooms vertically. Wash the trumpet mushrooms and reserve whole. Remove the outer skin of the pearl onions. Remove the leaves from the radishes, leaving some of the tops in place and reserve whole. With the Savoy cabbage, blanch the green leaves and reserve the raw yellow leaves. Cut each leaf into quarters. Reserve 8 cloves of garlic skin on.  
Core the apples, remove the skin, cut into quarters while reserving 1 apple in cold lemon water and the other for the raw apple shavings. For the pear, remove the skin and seeds, cut into quarters and reserve in cold lemon water. Delicately pick grapes off of the bunch and reserve. Core the quince, remove the skin, cut the fruit into sixths and reserve in cold lemon water.
Preparation for the chestnuts:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. With a pairing knife, mark an ‘x’ in the skin of each chestnut. Put in a pan in oven until outer skins break. Peel off outer and inner skin while hot. If any inner skin is leftover, place in the microwave and peel with a pairing knife while hot. Reserve.
PREPARATION for the cocotte:

  1. Cut the pork belly into 8 large pieces. Place cocotte over medium heat. In a drizzle of olive oil, slowly cook the pork belly turning over periodically. Add the root vegetables – salsify, rutabaga, and celery root – as well as the quince and 4 whole garlic cloves en chemise (skin on). Season accordingly.
  2. Continue to add sunchokes, potatoes, carrots, radishes, pearl onions, and butternut squash. Stir until golden brown.
  3. Add chestnuts and the porcini and trumpet mushrooms. Over low heat, add two teaspoons of butter. Cover for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4.  Add 4 quarters of apple, 4 quarters of pear. Continue to stir until colored. Deglaze with a small ladle of stock. Bring heat back up medium and cover until the vegetables and fruits are cooked. After 3 to 4 minutes, check the doneness of each vegetable and fruit with the tip of a pairing knife.
  5. Add raw yellow Savoy cabbage quarters. Season accordingly. Deglaze with a ladle of stock. Cover for 2 to 3 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Add cooked green Savoy cabbage quarters and grapes and deglaze with a ladle of stock.
  7. Add a teaspoon of butter. Deglaze the whole with a splash of vinegar and one final ladle of stock. Season to taste.

1. Arrange the vegetables and a few pieces of pork belly in a soup bowl. Pour a generous amount of cooking jus over them and a drizzle of olive oil.
 2. Core an apple, shave over mandolin to obtain 8 thin slices. Cut the porcini in half and shave over mandolin. Garnish each plate with the apple and porcini shavings.
3. Serve immediately.

Address: 2 East 55th St., btwn. 5th & Madison Aves.
Phone: (212)710-2277

Address: 60 West 55th St., btwn 5th & 6th Aves.
Phone: (646)943-7373

Photo Credit: Jessica Cheng

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