You had me at Pulled Pork – @thespicemen – #recipeshed

Every now and then, I channel-surf.  A few seconds here, a few seconds there, move on to the next.  Snatches of Lewis explaining to his sidekick, Poirot gathering everyone together in the drawing room, New York accents explaining the best way to make bagels, Indian accents saying “…pulled pork with cinnamon and cloves”, Clarkson ridiculing the French.  Stop!  Rewind.  Pulled pork?  And then a double-take.  Y’see I could’ve sworn I worked for one of these 2!

One of the Incredible Spice Men and the Dean of Agriculture of Dalhousie University, Canada.

 

The other one of the Incredible Spice Men

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep.  Goan pulled pork with cinnamon and clove marinade.  The recipe’s over at the BBC’s website, http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pulled_pork_with_66521, so I’ll wait while you go there and hit print.  Trust me, you’ll want to keep this one.

Alright, Clive, quick spin around the ingredients and then back to me.  Basically the ingredients fall into 2 camps – one for the pork itself and one for the marinade.  For the pork you need, well, pork.  I’ve used roughly 2kg of rolled shoulder today but as this one slow-roasts for as long as you like, you could use pretty much anything.  I bet this would work really well with chops!  For the marinade, it’s all store-cupboard stuff:

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Cinnamon stick (or Cassia bark which is much thicker), cloves, chillies (dried red and fresh green), garlic, ginger, onions, turmeric, tamarind paste, cider vinegar, brown sugar, sunflower oil, salt.  I did have to buy the tamarind paste this week but only because I’d run out.

Dry-roast the dry spices over a low heat.  Great tip on the TV show:  If you can move the spices around with your fingers in the pan, it’s just right.  If you don’t burn your fingers, you don’t burn the spices.

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While they’re cooling, whack everything else in the blender and leave it running until it’s smooth.  This is going to make plenty of the masala marinade so you’ll have lots left over to, say, beeroast a chicken later in the week (pays to plan ahead).  Add in the spices, keep blitzing to break down the cinnamon and cloves.

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Strange camera artefacts on this! The marinade doesn’t have those white fuzzy bits, honest!

Rub the marinade into the pork and, as with all the best marinades, refrigerate overnight to let the flavours really get in there.

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The next day…

Obviously, the longer you can cook this thing for, the better it’s going to be.  So with dinner at about 6, I’m getting this going at half eight.  Oven to 180C, scrape off the excess marinade and put the roasting pan on the hob.  Splash of oil and brown the meat on all sides.

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Tablespoon or 2 of masala marinade over the meat before covering the pan with foil, sticking on the lid and putting it into the oven.  It gets half an hour at 180C before lowering the heat to 110-120C and ignoring it for the rest of the day.

And now…  The end result, most of it fell apart when I lifted the pieces from the pan, the rest needed vaguely harassing with a fork.  I’m serving this with fresh white bread rolls, some extra coriander and a couple of chopped long green chillies to give the roll a bit of extra kick.

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I’ve had an advanced taste, had to check it while I was shredding it, and I can say this is right up there with the best Mexican pulled pork recipes I’ve done.  Absolutely superb.  Now.  Where’s that chicken…

And if proof were needed, a mere 15 minutes after serving up the dish looked like this:

IMG_20130823_185134 and there were 7 plates being licked clean or having the juices mopped up with the last of the bread.  Fortunately I had planned for the and the New York Cheesecake in the fridge was wheeled out as emergency pudding.  We are all now extremely full!

The Incredible Spice Men (on Twitter, Facebook and all good Social Media sites) have a cookbook out – if anyone’s feeling generous I’d love a copy to review 😉 and if the rest of the recipes in there are as good as this one it’ll be worth it’s weight in gold. Or in turmeric, at least.

Look forward to the next show on Monday night!

The Recipe Shed – Spices – Jerk Pork

Love my spices. Hooked from the first curry I had at the Kashmir in Bradford age 15 (go round the corner from the main road, there’s a doorway leading down a flight of stairs. Formica tables, tin plates. Superb food).

I’ve done a few curries on the site already but a couple of weeks ago I was challenged to branch out.  Move away from Indian food and try something different.  The 2 Thai curries I made were excellent, then a fantastic Jambalaya (needed more salt, I forgot to salt the chicken when I pressure-cooked it).  This week, going for…

Jerk Pork.

To feed 6 people…

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. of boneless pork – whatever cut takes your fancy, nothing too fatty.
  • 6 sliced scotch bonnet peppers.  Or a couple of Dorset Naga if you’re feeling brave/suicidal!
  • 2 Tbsp. thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. ground allspice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 Medium onions
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tsp. ground black pepper
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 125ml light soy sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 250ml orange juice (Or, in today’s case, apple juice. Guess which muppet forgot to check the fridge?)
  • 250ml white wine vinegar (we used a mix of white wine and cider vinegar. Guess who ran out?)
  • 1 Tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp ginger (or more if you’re using fresh)

Preparation

  • Roughly chop the onions, garlic and peppers
  • Blend all of the ingredients (excluding the pork) in a blender to make the jerk sauce.
  • Cut the pork up in to smaller pieces.
  • Use a fork to poke some holes in the pork pieces.
  • Rub the sauce in to the meat, saving some for basting and dipping later.
  • Leave the pork in the fridge to marinade overnight.
We’ve done 2 batches here – one with the chillies, one without.  One for kids, one for grown-ups.  We’ve used leg of pork here, so there’s going to be some fantastic crackling come the end of cooking.  Mmmmm.  Jerk crackling.  Wow.  My whole mouth just filled with saliva.

Cooking

  1. Place the marinated pork on a baking tray lined with foil, cover with a loose sheet of foil.  Bake at 180C for an hour then uncover and cook for 45 minutes-1 hour.  You’re aiming for brown on the outside, soft and tender in the middle.  And try to finish off skin-side up if you’ve got skin, then it’ll crackle nicely under the grill.  Especially if you jack the heat right up for the last 10 minutes.

Serving

Pile onto a large plate and serve with bread rolls, salad, rice and beans, whatever takes your fancy!  If there’s any jerk sauce left over, you can use it as a dip.

Now amble over to the Recipe Shed and see what other spicy delights are being cooked up this week.

#CookalongFriday – Burgers

Nothing finer than making your own burgers.  You get to choose your own flavours, how much chilli you want to add in, the meat you want to use – and given the range of stuff that’s become available in my local butchers it could be anything from Buffalo to Zebra!

Anyway, this is a great one for getting your hands dirty.  Squidging the mix between your fingers is very, very satisfying. and it makes the kids happy!

So, for the burgers, you’ll need…

  • Meat. About half a kilo of whatever meat you like should make enough burgers for your average family.
  • Onion.  1, large, finely chopped (okay, put it in the Magimix and blitz the damn thing. How’s that for finely chopped?)
  • Flavourings.  This is where you get to have some real fun…
    • If you’re using lamb, then mint is essential.
    • If you’re using pork, you can try apple, chilli, or apple and chilli…
    • Beef goes with just about everything.  Chuck some spring onion chunks in, maybe some ‘shrooms,
    • Egg, 1
    • Breadcrumbs, about 1:5 with the meat, so 100g breadcrumbs for 500g meat.
    • Philadelphia or similar brand of soft cheese.

Instructions.

  • If it’s a coarse mince, blitz it a bit to make it finer.
  • Chop your flavourings finely
  • Mix everything except the Philadelphia evenly, really working everything together with your fingers (or your kid’s fingers).  Treat it like Christmas cake and get everyone to get their (washed and clean) hands in and make a wish!
  • Grab a handful a bit bigger than a golf ball and flatten it.
  • Place a teaspoon of the Philadelphia into the middle of the flat bit, grab a handful a bit smaller than a golf ball and make a lid
  • Squeeze the edges together to make sure there are no gaps that the Philadelphia can ooze out of.  It will happen while you’re cooking, but if you minimise the problem now you’ll save a lot of fuss.
  • Dust with a little plain flour on both sides.  My local butcher makes some excellent burgers, they roll the edges of lamb burgers in a mix of mint and chilli, the edges of pork burgers get breadcrumbed.
  • Leave to chill for half an hour before cooking.

Cooking

  • Put a little oil into a heavy-based frying pan, medium-high heat
  • Cook until done.  This obviously depends on the size and thickness of your burgers.  Turn them regularly while cooking to stop one side from burning too much.
  • When the Philadelphia starts to ooze out (that’s when, not if), they’re pretty much done.  When it’s starting to ooze, that means it’s hot right through to the centre.
  • Serve with bread rolls and suitable condiments.  My kids swear by tomato ketchup, I prefer a strong mustard or chilli sauce.
  • If you’re a fan of unnecessary garden, serve with a salad of your choice.
There’ll be one more Cookalong Friday next week, then I’m off for 2 weeks and you’ll be left to your own devices.  Unless, of course, anyone’s wanting to step up to the plate and write me a guest recipe?