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Category Archives: pork

Pulled Pork – Vindaloo style

I know pulled pork is very popular at the moment, but I thought it would be fun to try a twist on it, and have it with Southern Indian spices and flavours rather than the traditional US ones. I tried this recipe out at the weekend, it takes a long time to cook, but it’s very simple, and the results are utterly worth it. Don’t let the vindaloo put you off, this isn’t mind blowing hot, the long slow cooking takes a lot of the heat out. If you like a bit of hot stuff, I’ve indicated where you can add more chilli to get a real kick.

So, this recipe is enough for 4 people, serve with rice, or with whatever you fancy. Adam thought that it would go with mashed potato quite well too.

I used 1/3rd of a pork shoulder, on the bone. This should fit nicely into a slow cooker – if you don’t have one, a casserole dish in a low oven would be just fine.

Firstly, stab the pork shoulder all over, I don’t have great knife skills, so it’s all simple, and this works just as well as slashing it.

Marinade:

1 tsp cumin seeds

5 cardamom pods

3 cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

4 peppercorns

1 chilli (as hot as you like)

3cm bit of root ginger, grated

5 garlic cloves

Juice of a lemon

Bash these all into a paste with a pestle and mortar, do the dry ingredients first. Use a spice/coffee grinder if it’s easier. Combine them with the lemon juice.

Rub the marinade all over the pork, pop it in a non metallic dish, and cover. Put it in the fridge overnight.

Next day you’ll need to start this around 11am if you want it for dinner. Set your slow cooker to heat up, or turn the oven on.

Cooking Sauce:

Vegetable oil for frying

4 cloves of garlic – chopped

2 onions – sliced

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tin chopped tomatoes

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

Seasoning

Start by frying the garlic on a low-ish heat, you don’t want to colour them too much. Then add the onions, and turn the heat up a bit, fry the onions until they’re soft and turning colour. Add the turmeric and tinned tomatoes, chilli and vinegar. Let it all bubble away for a few minutes, season.

Put the pork into the slow cooker dish/casserole. Pour over the sauce and then top up with boiling water until the pork is about 2/3rd covered.

Cook for around 6 hours, turning the pork over every now and again. You’ll notice it becoming softer and softer until it is falling off the bone. Take it out of the slow cooker and shred it at this point. Discard the bone and the fat. A lot of the fat from the pork will have melted out and formed a layer on the top of the sauce. Skim this off if you wish. Place the shredded pork back in the sauce, now you can get the chilli kick back if you want, add some freshly chopped green chilli.

You can leave it now on a very low heat until you’re ready to serve, I left the lid off the slow cooker to allow the sauce to thicken up a bit – but that’s my preference. Before you’re ready to serve you can sprinkle a little more chopped chilli and even some fresh coriander over the top.

All ready to serve, add some of the cooking sauce over the top.

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Rillette: a simple guide

This weekend I spent doing some cooking, I wanted to attempt something I’d not done before, and try something out of my new cookery book I purchased recently… Le Charcutier Anglais. I’ve been looking for some tasty and straightforward recipes for pate, terrine, rillette and sausages that I could try at home, without too much fuss, if you’re interested in this kind of cooking, then the books is ideal – it also talks in detail about curing, smoking and all manner of preserving and presenting meat, from back pudding and faggots to hams and sausages pretty much all you could wish for is covered.

I’d always assumed that making rillette was a long time consuming process, complicated and too much hassle to bother with at home. But thanks to Marc Frederic’s easy instructions, I decided to give it a go. You need very few ingredients, and the most difficult bit is the waiting, and trying not to snaffle the lot whilst the piggy porky aromas starting wafting around the house.

I chose a mixture of pork shoulder and belly, chopped into large chunks:

Chunks of belly and shoulder

I removed and reserved the skin from the belly, and cooked it later for a crackly snack.

Once the pork was prepared, I melted some lard. The lard is important, if you can, get hold of some unrefined lard, the commercial stuff doesn’t have a particularly nice flavour to it, the unrefined will though. I had some from Brays Cottage, which I used. I think you can see in the picture that it’s slightly yellow, an unrefined lard wont be the perfect white colour that you might be used to.

I cooked the lot in my slow cooker, set it to warm up, add the pork, and cover in the melted lard. Now leave it for hours. The smell is amazing and will probably drive you crazy, as you’ll want to keep ‘sampling’ it, but I urge you, keep your hands off it as long as you can. Eventually – the pork will start to break down, and you can cut it with a spoon. Take the pork out of the pan and shred it.

 

In a large bowl, put all the shredded meat, and mix in some of the cooking juice and melted lard, and season. You could use all sorts of things here: white pepper, mace, nutmeg, smoked salt, bay, a handful of green peppercorns,  juniper or paprika. Keep it simple, just one or two, but you’ll probably need more that you think. Mix well and press into a large terrine dish, and if you’re going to ‘pot’ it, cover in a good layer of the fat.

Cover and leave in the fridge –  if you’ve potted it you wont necessarily need to refrigerate it, but it wont hurt to do so. Leave it for the flavours to mature a bit. We tried it the next day, and the flavours weren’t as good as they are today, and I expect they’ll be better again tomorrow. I kept the fat that I didn’t use in the mix, and will use it next time I’m going to make rillette, I might get a bit fancy and try with some game – hare or rabbit would work well I think.