Monday, June 12, 2006

Pot Roast Hand of Pork

All a bit of a disaster really - such a hot weekend I think the heat must have melted my brain. The only vagueish plan I had when we set out for the market - apart from lots of stuff for salads -was to buy a small piece of boned leg of pork that wouldn't take too long to roast and have it with salads Sunday night while watching Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's dvd of 'A Pig in a Day' - A masterclass in pig-rearing, butchery and piggy delights'. To enter into the spirit of the programme, you understand. But it was hot and Borough Market was already really busy though we were there by 9.30 and so I didn't stick to even the little bit of plan I had already made.

Went to Ginger Pig and they hands of pork, boned and rolled into 2 kg roasts for £10. Half of one would make a fine dinner. I recalled that I had a recipe from a while ago that I was interested in trying so I instantly changed my mind and bought one. Of course with the recipe coming from a while ago it was actually in a magazine in the winter when to slow roast a piece of meat over a couple of hours makes perfect sense. Certainly more so than doing it on the hottest weekend of the year so far. But then because I had it I cooked it anyway, but using a different recipe, but it still needed to be in the oven for 2 hours to soak up flavour and become tender. It was a good dish in the end but another time I would wait for a cool day. It created lots of juice which next time will be good as a light gravy over steamed vegetables. But for this meal the creamy potato salad and the glistening green one certainly made sense.

Of course by the time it was all ready it was too hot to watch the dvd - and I had become a right miss cranky pants - so the whole plan will be executed another day.

Pot Roast Pork

1/2 Boned, Rolled Hand of Pork
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 sprig rosemary, very finely chopped
5 sage leaves, very finely chopped
2 juniper berries, crushed
150 ml dry white wine
3 tablespoons grappa (if you have some)
200 ml chicken or hock stock
2 tbspns olive oil

Season the meat all over with salt and pepper, heat the oil in a heavy pan or casserole that is big enough to hold the meat and that has a tight fitting lid. Seal the meat over a high heat until browned all over then remove to a plate. Reduce the heat and add the chopped vegetables and herbs. Cook until the onion is translucent and the mix is fragrant. Return the meat to the pan and add the wine, grappa and juniper. Bring to the boil and then add the stock. When the liquid starts to simmer, cover with the lid and put into a hot oven - gas 6/200C/400F for a couple of hours, turning once halfway through. If it's a coolish day serve sliced with potatoes and steamed courgettes with a slick of gravy from the pan.

This would work equally well with a whole unboned hand but would then be difficult to carve - but obviously not impossible.

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