Smalec with Peckham Rye Sourdough

Sam Bryant

Sam Bryant

2nd January 2018
Sam Bryant

Smalec with Peckham Rye Sourdough

Smalec is a Polish dish made with pork lard. Inspired by the ethos of 'nose to tail', here's our Smalec with Peckham Rye Sourdough recipe from the menu at Coal Rooms, Peckham.
[Photography by Charlie McKay]


  • Peckham Rye Sourdough:
  • 450g strong plain flour
  • 50g rye flour
  • 312g water or beer
  • 100g starter
  • 15g salt
  • Smalec:
  • 4kg pork back fat, chopped
  • 2kg pork mince
  • 2kg pork skin


For the sourdough:
1. With a stand mixer with a dough hook, add everything to the bowl and mix until you get a smooth dough - about 5 minutes.
2. Leave the dough for 20 minutes, then every 30 minutes, either turn the stand mixer on a low speed for 20 seconds, leave for 30 minutes and repeat. You need to do this 6 times - this will get maximum air into the sourdough, creating big holes in your bread.
3. Once you have completed the kneading, you need to form the dough into a tight ball.
4. Remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. You need treat it like a compass, pull north into the centre, then east, south and west, repeat this until you start to get a ball forming.
5. Pinch the seam together to completely seal the ball, heavily dust a proving basket and tap so you get and even distribution.
6. Pick up the loaf and place into the basket with the seam facing upwards.
7. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and place in a cool place overnight.
In the morning:
1. Preheat the oven to 230C
2. Lightly oil a round casserole dish with a lid, tip the proving basket upside down over the casserole allowing it to gently fall in. (You can't be too heavy handed otherwise you will lose the rise you gained overnight - it should just fall out with its own weight distribution of being turned upside down.)
3. Place the casserole dish - with the lid on - in the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200C and take off the lid.
After this time the loaf will be there, you can turn it out of the cast iron casserole and give it another 5 minutes just on the shelf of the oven to give you a bigger crust, then turn onto a cooling rack.
For the Smalec:
1. Place the chopped back fat into a pan with enough water to cover the base - this will allow the fat to start melting by the time the water has evaporated.
2. Over a medium heat, render down the fat and pass.
3. Heat the oven to 160C
4. On a wire rack over a tray, place the pork skin on the wire rack and rub with a little salt
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the skin has become cracking
6. Repeat with the remaining skin - when its all been roasted and allow to cool, blitz to a fine powder.
7. Fry the mince over a high temperate with some of the rendered lard, until completely crispy.
If the mince hasn’t browned down completely whilst frying then you can blitz this aswell to a powder.
8. Mix the lard, crackling and mince together and season
9. Allow to cool slightly in the fridge and give it another mix so that you get and even distribution of everything.

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