A rack of veal ribs for braising and then baking; A slab of pork belly with skin for roasting- it makes the best crackling!; duck marylands to probably turn into a red thai curry or maybe with bitter orange sauce; 1/2 kilo of home smoked bacon; chicken wings for steaming then frying; red wine washed hard goats cheese; veal liverwurst; anchovy stuffed olives; pear,apricot and raspberry essences; fresh sugarcane stems; gluten free turkish bread and various mixed fruit and veggies. Not bad for a couple of hours work don't you think?
I've just got back from a visit to my local markets.
I love the choice and variety of produce available to me there. Asian greens and herbs, European Delis,Organic Meats, and everything in between.Would you like to know what's in my basket?
Hmmm.....what to make for dinner.... We decided on the pork belly.
This is another one of those budget meat cuts that's become trendy as people rediscover it's potential. It's a thin cut of meat with some seams of fat running through it, that when cooked right renders out and leaves behind a luscious softness and juicy piece of meat. Pork belly makes the best crackling and the ratio of meat to crackling is fantastic- plenty to go round.
But tonight we're having Twice Cooked Pork. I love this and always struggle to look past it on a menu. It's rich, sticky, and melts in your mouth, a perfect dining combination!
I placed the pork and master stock in a pan and added water to cover. Simmer for at least an hour and a half, or until a skewer will easily pierce through the meat. Cool in the liquid.
Put meat in a container with a lid and place something heavy on top. This compresses the meat and gives it a nice density. Refrigerate overnight.
At this point, you could stirfry the meat in cubes or slices, I worked at one establishment that would cube it at this point and then deepfry it before glazing with a sauce. My favourite though is to marinate it and bake it to a nice stickiness. I marinated the meat for about an hour with a mixture of caramel, hoisin sauce, honey and black vinegar. Just check the labels, you don't want to find any stray gluten.
Place the pork on some baking paper -yes, you don't want to forget this step- and bake in a hot oven until burnished and sticky. Remember, the meat is already cooked and you just want to heat it through and activate the sugars.
The meat is incredibly tender and just pulls apart. I think of it as comfort food- yummy, sticky, with sweetness and fat. As this is a rich dish, I served it with a bowl of plain rice and a salad of shredded bits and pieces- carrot, zucchini, capsicum, spring onions, snap peas and whatever else could be scrounged from the bottom of the fridge! Just make sure it's nice and crispy fresh for contrast.
So Readers, what do you have trouble going past on a menu?