Ned Ludd’s Whey-Brined Pork

Whey is the name of the game in this dish of smoked pork and seasonal greens.

By Benjamin Tepler May 30, 2013

Welcome back to Anatomy of a Dish, our weekly dissection of Portland’s most delicious, multi-layered creations. This week we gaze into the wood fire at Ned Ludd to get a taste of chef Jason French’s newest obsession: goat’s milk whey. His dish of pork loin and sausage brings together a snapshot of springtime Oregon produce, with sweet, nutty whey cloaking each bite.

Whey Reduction: Goat’s milk whey from Briar Rose Creamery is simmered until caramelized and gussetted with cream, taking on a sweet, cheesy edge akin to Mexican cajeta.  

Pork Loin: Thick-sliced loin from whey-fed Red Waddle Berkshire pigs is brined in whey for two days and smoked for 3 hours.

Pork Sausage: The same whey-fed pork is ground, pounded with fennel, black pepper, paprika, garlic and wine, aged in casing and smoked over low heat for 3 hours.

Nettle Puree: The season’s last crop of stinging nettles is blanched and pureed with olive oil and lemon juice. The leftover blanching liquor from the nettles used in Ned Ludd’s nettle soda.

Seasonal Produce: A rotating haul of farm-fresh goods, this week starring new potatoes from Groundworks Organics, asparagus and flower pedals from Viridian Farms, and spring onions from Creative Growers all finished in whey before hitting the plate.

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