Now it's hailed as a super food, but kale has always been part of the Dutch winter diet. Chef Geert Elzinga from restaurant Essen in Sydney says it's a Dutch winter dish as the frost makes the kale slightly sweeter.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (8 votes)


  • 1.5 kg boned, rolled pork loin roast (try to find one with a good amount of fat)
  • 30 g butter


  • 2 litres water
  • 120 g rock salt
  • 60 g honey
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 sprig each fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley

Braised curly kale with white bean mash

  • 1 large bunch curly kale
  • 100 g speck (see Note), skin removed, finely diced
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 30 g butter, plus extra if needed (optional)
  • 2 x 400 g cans cannellini beans

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Resting time 15 minutes  
Marinating time overnight  

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead and use a digital meat thermometer for best results.

Pour brine ingredients into a large saucepan, place over high heat and stir until salt has dissolved. Place the saucepan in a sink of cold water until cool. Place the pork loin in a deep non-metallic container, large enough to fit the pork snugly. Pour over enough brine to cover the pork, cover the container and leave overnight in the fridge. Two hours before cooking, remove from fridge, drain brine away and cover pork to bring to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 110˚C. Pat loin dry with paper towel, place a very large frying pan or metal roasting pan over medium-high heat, add butter and the pork loin, and fry until lightly browned all over. Transfer to a baking paper-lined oven tray and cook for 1-1 ½ hours, or until the meat reaches 65˚C with a digital thermometer. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes so the juices settle before cutting and serving.

While the pork is resting, strip the kale from the stems and roughly chop. In a large saucepan, sweat speck and onions with butter over medium heat until onion is tender. Add kale and cook, stirring until just wilted, 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain cannellini beans, rinse, drain again, then lightly mash before stirring through the kale. Season with salt, pepper and maybe a little more butter. Serve with pork loin.



• Traditionally the kale would be finely shredded, blanched in salted water and simmered slowly in a covered saucepan for 1 hour until completely broken down. If preferring to cook the kale this way, increase to 2 bunches.

• Speck is available from most Continental delicatessens.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.