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Posts Tagged ‘Pork’

Pork ribeyes are a bit of revelation for us but they’re excellent on the barbecue and also good value. You cook them low and slow first, then a fast sear at the end. This will give you tender meat with a good browned crust on the outside. You will need a meat thermometer – they’re not expensive and an essential piece of equipment for cooking outside. You also want to start this the day ahead so you can season the meat the whole way through.

Wine Suggestion: We were treated to a gem from the cellar of our friends David & Joyce. The Domaine Tempier Bandol 2006 was at it’s absolute peak. Fresh as a daisy with velvety layers of plums and sloes and a deep, earthy bass note with touches of leather, tobacco and gentle spices. The forceful tannins from the Mourvèdre tamed by time into a silky texture allowing the fruit to emerge.

Barbecued pork ribeye steaks with mushrooms & tarragon sauce – serves 4 generously

  • 4 pork ribeye steaks, about 300g each
  • 1 tbsp flaked sea salt
  • 10g dried mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 175ml white wine
  • 300ml double cream
  • 20g fresh tarragon leaves, picked and chopped

Sprinkle the pork steaks all over with the salt and place on a rack over a tray. Leave uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours (or for as long as you’ve got).

When ready to cook you need to set up the barbecue for both direct and indirect heating. This means piling up the charcoal on just one side. You can then put the meat on the opposite side (without charcoal underneath) and cover with the lid to cook indirect – this will cook the meat slowly. When you want to finish over a high heat, you transfer the meat to the other side.

Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to just cover. Leave to soak until soft, then finely chop the mushrooms and return to the soaking liquid. Set aside.

Put the pork steaks on the opposite side to the charcoal and allow them to cook gently for 30-40 minutes. You want the internal temperature to reach 50C.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan and add the fresh mushrooms. Fry until soft, then add the garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add the wine and the dried mushrooms along with their soaking liquid. Allow to bubble until the liquid is almost completely reduced, then add the cream, tarragon and seasoning. Allow to heat through, then cover with a lid and set aside.

Remove the steaks to a plate and, if you need to, add a bit more charcoal to the barbecue to get it super hot again. Then sear the steaks over a really high heat, with the lid off, turning them every 30 seconds until really well browned. Keep cooking like this on the internal temperature ahas reached 63C for medium or 71C for well done.

Warm the sauce a little if you need, then serve the steaks with the sauce poured over. Potatoes and green veg are good on the side.

(Original recipe from Seared by Genevieve Taylor, Quadrille, 2022.)

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It’s Chinese New Year tomorrow so we thought we’d post some dinner inspiration for the year of the tiger. This is a good crowd-pleaser and definitely better than take-away. It’s simple too, just prep everything before you get your wok on.

Wine Suggestion: an umami laden southern-French red, like the schist laden Domaine Cébène Faugères à la Venvole. Textural and velvety Grenache with hints of Syrah plums and gravelly Carignan; loads of flavour but not too much weight.

Pork chow mein – serves 4

  • 500g pork fillet
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 200g dried medium egg noodles
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin or dry sherry
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into very thin strips
  • 25g fresh ginger, peeled and very finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 50g frozen peas
  • 225g tin water chestnuts, drained and sliced

Trim any fat and sinew off the pork, then cut in half lengthways and cut into thin slices. Put into a bowl and add the five-spice powder, ½ tsp sea salt and black pepper, then set aside.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the noodles acording to the pack instructions, then drain and rinse in a sieve under running water until cold, then toss with a 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and set aside.

Mix the sugar and cornflour together in a bowl and gradually stir in the soy sauce, mirin and 100ml water, then set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wok. Add the pork and stir-fry over a high heat for 2 minutes or until browned. Scoop out and set aside.

Add another tbsp of oil and stir-fry the pepper and carrot for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, scallions, peas and water chestnuts and stir-fry for 2 minutes more until just softened, then scoop out onto a plate.

Pour the last tbsp of oil into the wok and add the noodles. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until some have turned crispy and brown. Add the meat and veg back into the work and toss everything together for 1-2 minutes, or until well mixed and hot.

Stir the soy and mirin mixture again and pour it into the pan. Continue tossing for 1-2 minutes or until hot and glossy. Serve straightaway.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Meat Feasts by Si King and Dave Myers, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015.)

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This is really two separate recipes but they go so well together that we strongly suggest making both. As this is essentially a dry dish, rice on the side is good but the fresh salad really makes it.

Wine Suggestion: We think this goes really well with a velvety Pinot Noir like Andre Dezat’s Sancerre Rouge, or Cline’s Sonoma Coast Pinot. The juicy fruit and lightness of expression plays wonderfully with the layers of spice, sourness, sweetness and charred flavours these dishes offer without overwhelming them, and without too many dry tannins which could fight the dish.

Char siu pork with a chilli, coriander & mint salad – serves 4

  • 2 pork fillets (tenderloins), trimmed of fat and sinew

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 4 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

FOR THE CHILLI, CORIANDER & MINT SALAD:

  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, halved lengthways, sliced, then finely chopped
  • 1 cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½-1 tsp palm or caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 cos lettuce, cut into thick strips
  • ¼ cucumber, seeds scooped out and discarded and sliced on the diagonal
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • a large handful of coriander leaves
  • a large handful of mint leaves

First make the marinade for the pork. Put the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Put the pork fillets into a large container with half the cooled marinade, keep the rest for cooking the pork. Rub the marinade into the pork and leave for at least 2-3 hours, or ideally overnight, in the fridge.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 230C/Gas 8.

Remove the pork from the marinade (don’t throw the marinade away) and place them on a wire rack over a foil-lined roasting tray.

Roast the pork in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 190C/Gas 5. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, turning and basting with the reserved mainade every 5 minutes, until cooked. You can finish the pork on a hot barbecue for the last 5 minutes of cooking to get a nice barbecue flavour or under a hot grill.

Leave the pork to rest for 5 minutes, before slicing.

To make the salad, put 1 tbsp of the lime juice into a small bowl with the soy sauce, sugar and oil. Add the chilli, garlic, lemongrass and ginger and whisk to combine. Taste and add more lime or sugar if needed.

Put the lettuce, cucumber, scallions, coriander and mint in a large bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately with the sliced pork and some steamed rice.

(Original recipe from Leiths How to Cook by Claire MacDonald & Jenny Stringer, Quadrille Publishing Limited, 2013.)

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Creamy Pork & Pears

As I type I realise that we’re cooking with fruit more than we usually do. Perhaps Autumn is always like this. This super simple dish is good for mid-week. Serve with greens and potatoes or just some crusty bread.

Wine Suggestion: With the cider and pears this demands a full-flavoured Chenin Blanc, like a good Vouvray or Saumur Blanc where the richer elements complement each other, and then the backbone of acidity elevates it to reveal the fruit flavours even more. One of our favourites, the Chateau du Hureau Saumur Blanc Argile; especially if you can find one with a couple years on it.

Creamy Pork & Pears – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g pork fillet, cut into strips
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • a handful of sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml apple cider
  • 2 medium pears, cored and each cut into 8 slices
  • 100ml double cream

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan, for which you have a lid, over a high heat.

Season the pork with salt and pepper, then fry in batches for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add another tbsp of oil and the onions. Cook for 8 minutes, then add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.

Add the sage and flour, stir and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat again, then pour in the cider and bubble for 4 minutes. Return the pork and any juices to the pan, seaon, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the pear slices and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir through the cream and bring to a bubble, then season again and serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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We were initially attracted to this as it is marinated in Riesling, a favoured grape in our house, plus the unusual combination of three meats plus bacon. Classically country French in style, this has no airs or graces in appearance, but is jam packed full of flavour and richness. It serves loads of people and we’d suggest having a side of greens. Also, like many other long cooked stews this tastes great the following day and freezes well.

Wine Suggestion: Courtesy of a very generous friend who came to dinner, we were treated to a delightful comparison of two old bottles of Rene Rostaing’s Côte Rôtie: the La Landonne and Côte Blonde. Both an excellent match to the dish and lovely wines. The Côte Blond was the favoured bottle, but both showed very well. We’d recommend searching for a good Syrah if something of this calibre doesn’t come to hand. Thanks David for these bottles!

Alsatian beef, lamb and pork stew – serves 8-10

  • 750g boneless pork belly, cut into 4cm cubes
  • 750g boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 4cm cubes
  • 750g chuck steak, cut into 4cm cubes
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 250g carrots, sliced
  • 2 leeks, cut in half lengthways, washed and sliced
  • 500ml Sylvaner or Riesling white wine
  • 2 kg potatoes, sliced into 5mm thick rounds
  • 100g unsmoked bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 250ml beef stock
  • a handful of flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish

Place all of the meat (but not the bacon), onions, carrots and leeks in a large non-metallic bowl and pour over the wine. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

Heat the oven to 190C/Fan 170C.

Arrange a quarter of the sliced potatoes over the base of a very large casserole dish.

Drain the meat and veg in a colander over a bowl and reserve the liquid.

Scatter some veg over the potatoes, then add som bacon pieces and chunks of meat. Season with salt and black pepper, then add another layer of potato, more veg, bacon, meat and seasoning. Keep layering like this and finsih with a final layer of potatoes. Don’t be tempted to hold back on the salt as the dish needs liberal seasoning (about 2tsp in total).

Pour over the reserved marinade juices and beef stock, then cover the casserole with a tight lid and put in the oven.

Bake for about 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Secret France, BBC Books, 2019.)

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You need to start this the day before but it’s surprisingly easy and the results are amazing. A great barbecue dish to serve a crowd and most of the work is done beforehand. Ours was too big to fit in the oven so we sliced it into two which made it much more manageable.

Wine Suggestion: Quite often we’d suggest a wine with good acidity to cut through the richness of this dish, and we wouldn’t be wrong, with a number od Chardonnays coming to mind. However, instead of cutting through the richness we tried accentuating it and playing with the phenolics (white wine tannins) and drank Jean-Michel Gerin’s La Champine Viognier from the Northern Rhône valley. Grown on vineyards above Condrieu this is accessible and yet still heady, slightly oily and rich with stone fruit flavours and character. It always pays to think outside the box every now and again.

Fennel and ‘Nduja Spiced Porchetta – serves 6 to 8

  • 3kg belly of pork, boned and skin scored and butterflied, your butcher will do this for you

FOR THE SEASONING:

  • 3 tsp salt
  • 50g fennel seeds
  • 25g cracked black pepper
  • 10 sage leaves

FOR THE STUFFING:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • ½ fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 100g pine nuts, toasted
  • 100g pitted green olives, sliced
  • 175g ‘nduja

Make the sfuffing first as you need to leave it to cool. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions and fennel for about 10 minutes or until softened and golden brown, add the garlic after about 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, olives and ‘nduja and warm through briefly. Spoon onto a tray and leave to cool.

Lay the pork skin side down on a board and open up flat.

To make the seasoning, mix the the salt, fennel seeds and cracked pepper together in a bowl. Sprinkle the rub evenly over the pork and scatter the sage leaves on top. Fold the belly over to enclose the seasoning, then cover and chill for an hour in the fridge.

Lay the pork belly back onto the board and open up to expose the seasoning. Spread the stuffing evenly over the surface, leaving a border at the edges.

Roll the meat up tightly and tie with kitchen string at 4cm intervals, starting in the middle. You need to tie it firmly but careful not to squeeze out the stuffing. Put onto a tray and leave overnight in the fridge. If your pork is too big you can carefully slice through the middle to give two pieces.

The next day, take the pork out the fridge at least 1 hour before you want to start cooking.

Preheat the oven to 160C/Fan 140C/Gas 3.

Put the pork onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for 3½ hours.

Near the end of the cooking time, get your barbecue on and get it ready to cook on. Transfer the pork to the barbecue and cook for another hour. Roll it over onto the fat side at the end to crisp up the crackling. Transfer to a platter and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes, then carve into thick slices.

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

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Every now and again we take one of Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries off the shelf for a bit of inspiration, and this is what we chose from the February chapter. We like Nigel’s recipes as they’re tasty but rarely require too much shopping. We served this with rice, a few greens on the side would be nice too.

Wine Suggestion: A dry, or just off-dry Alsace Pinot Gris or similar. Tonight Zind Humbrecht’s Pinot Gris Roche Calcaire from the Clos Windsbuhl has all the texture and layers of fruit we were looking for and more; superb.

Pork with garlic & oyster sauce – serves 2

  • 5 tbsp of flavourless oil, we use groundnut oil
  • 350g pork fillet, cubed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 4 small hot red chillies, two chopped finely with the seeds left in and two left whole
  • 150g mushrooms, roughly sliced
  • 3 heaped tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp Shaoxing wine

Heat your wok until very hot.

Add 2 tbsp of the oil and when it starts to smoke, add half the meat. Toss, until browned then remove to a plate and brown the rest.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and heat until smoking hot, then add the garlic, shallots and chillies. Toss for a minute or two until starting to colour. Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until they are soft and starting to colour, then return the meat to the pan. When the meat is hot, stir in the oyster sauce and Shaoxing wine and bring to the boil.

Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce for a couple of minutes, then serve.

(Original recipe from The Kitchen Diaries II by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2012.)

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We tried this to use up some Thai basil leftover from the weekend. Leftover ingredients are so often our inspiration for trying new things and sometimes the results are great, as was the case with this. Prep all the ingredients before you start cooking and it will be ready to eat in a flash.

Wine Suggestion: The Kilikanoon Mort’s Block Riesling from the Clare Valley in Australia was both suitably dry but full of fruit and freshly aromatic to sit alongside the strong and aromatic flavours here. We suggest something similar when you make this.

Thai pork with basil & chillies – serves 3

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 700g pork fillet, cut into strips (you can use chicken breasts instead)
  • 1 Thai green chilli, finely chopped (deseed if you wish)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, shredded
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced into 8mm pieces
  • 3 scallions, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 1 tsp freshly roasted and ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 7g Thai basil, shredded (you can use regular basil if you can’t find the Thai version)
  • rice or noodles, to serve
  • a handful of chopped coriander, to serve

Heat 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat, and toss in the pork. Add the chilli and garlic and stir-fry until coloured, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with some sesame oil, then remove and set aside. Put another tbsp of vegetable oil into the wok, then add the red pepper, scallions, ground coriander and sugar. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then return the meat to the wok and mix through.

Mix the cornflour with the fish sauce and soy sauce until smooth, pour this into the pan and stir continuously for a minutes or so, until the juice thickens slightly. Sprinkle with the remaining sesame oil, add the shredded basil, season to taste, then remove from the heat.

Serve straight away over sticky rice or cooked noodles. Sprinkle the chopped coriander over the top.

(Original recipe from Grow Cook Nourish by Darina Allen, Kyle Books, 2017.)

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We don’t often cook dishes more than once but we always make a note on the recipe, telling us when we cooked it and what we thought of it. The last time we cooked this, or Jules did, was on the 16th August 2005. She thought it was very good then, and we both thought it was very good this time round too. We served with champ and sautéed cabbage.

Wine Suggestion: Despite Marsala hailing from Sicily we quite like a nice red Côtes du Rhône or similar with this dish. If you’re fortunate to find Domaine Jamet’s version made with 100% Syrah then snap up a bottle and then make this.

Sautéed pork medallions with Marsala – serves 4

  • 2 pork fillets, about 1kg in total
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 150ml sweet Marsala

Cut the pork into medallions, about 1cm thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan, add the pork and sauté quickly over a high heat to brown on both sides. We find it’s much easier to do this in a few batches.

Return all the pork to the pan, add another bit of seasoning, then pour in the Marsala. Cook for a few minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the liquid slightly reduced. Keep an eye on it as it the sauce will reduce quickly.

(Original recipe from Foolproof Mediterranean Cookery by Claudia Roden, BBC Worldwide Ltd, 2003.)

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Barbecued Pork Chops with Mustardy Greens

The veg really make this dish and all in season right now. Blanch all the vegetables individually before you get going with everything else and cook them until just done, then drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop them cooking further.

Wine Suggestion: chosen for no other reason than it was in the fridge –  a bottle of Olim Bauda Gavi di Gavi which we found a little fuller than other Gavi we’ve had recently and a good match. A fortuitous choice.

Barbecued pork chops with mustardy greens – serves 2

  • a knob of butter
  • a small onion, sliced
  • 75ml white wine
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 2 thick-cut pork chops
  • 75g mangetout, blanched
  • 75g green beans, blanched
  • a handful of peas, blanched

When you get home from the butchers, take the pork chops out of their wrapping and season all over with fine sea salt (we use kosher salt). Leave in the fridge but take them out a good half hour or more before you want to cook them.

Heat the knob of butter in a frying pan, then cook the onion until soft. Add the wine and simmer for a minute before adding the mustard and cream. Simmer for another few minutes.

Heat a barbecue to very hot. Rub the chops with oil and season generously. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Turn on the side and sear the fat also. Rest for a few minutes while you finish the veg.

Reheat the sauce and stir in the blanched vegetables until piping hot. Season, then spoon the veg onto warm plates and top with a chop.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, July 2013)

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Pork Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

A really tasty dish for the barbecue. Marinate the pork for up to 24 hours in advance if you can, or if not put the marinade on and leave out of the fridge for an hour before cooking. The peanut sauce can be made up in advance too. Good served with rice and salad. We served Sabrina Ghayour’s ‘shaken’ sweet quick pickled onions and smacked cucumber salad from her book – Bazaar.

Wine Suggestion: We think this goes really well with red wines with easier tannins and tonight we had the elegant Ex Arena by Domaine de Cebene from Faugeres in southern France. 100% Grenache, perfumed, juicy red fruits and refined finish. The fruit complimented the spices and it wasn’t too rich or heavy either.

Pork satay with spicy peanut sauce – serves 4

  • 450g pork fillet, cut into 2cm cubes

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

FOR THE SPICY PEANUT SAUCE:

  • 3 generous tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ red chilli, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 generous tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the meat and toss to coat. Set aside for at least an hour or up to 24 hours in the fridge.

Place the peanut sauce ingredients in a food processor with 50ml of water and whiz until smooth.

Thread the pork unto metal skewers (you can use wooden skewers but you need to soak them first).

Heat the barbecue, then cook the skewers for a few minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, gently heat the peanut sauce in a small saucepan. Serve immediately with the peanut sauce spooned over.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, HarperCollins, 2013.)

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Pork, bacon & mushroom stew

A rich and delicious dish from Time by Gill Meller. This is the second outing for this recipe, the first being for friends on Jules’ birthday when we served with jacket potatoes and salad (Gill suggests salad and good bread). You can make it ahead and reheat on the hob, adding the cream and mushrooms, on the day. You may need to order the pork in advance from your butcher.

Wine suggestion: such a rich dish needs a wine with good body and also freshness to cut through the rich layers. To our mind this demands a good oaked Chardonnay so we opened a Pernand- Vergelesses white from Domain de Montille. It may have been youthful but it didn’t lose anything for this as we think an older wine wouldn’t stand up to the richness; an enjoyable choice.

A stew of pork, bacon & mushrooms with cream, cider & parsely – serves 4

  • a piece of cured pork belly (streaky bacon) about 350g, cut into 4-5cm cubes
  • 500g fresh pork belly, cut into 4-5cm cubes
  • 1 large leek, halved and sliced
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 to 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 450ml cider
  • 450ml pork, chicken or veg stock
  • knob of butter
  • 250g wild or chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 200ml double cream
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped

Heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 3.

Heat a splash of oil in a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add all of the pork and cook until well browned – about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the leeks, garlic, herbs and a little seasoning to the pan. Sweat for 10 minutes before returning the pork to the pan, sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Cook for another few minutes, then pour in the cider and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover with a tight lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until very tender.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add the knob of butter. When the butter is bubbling, add the mushrooms, season lightly and sauté until cooked through – 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

Remove the casserole from the oven after the 2 hours and add the fried mushrooms and double cream. Stir well, then put the casserole back into the oven for another 15 minutes without the lid.

Stir in the chopped parsley and season to taste.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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Spanish rice with pork & spinach

Another great one-pot dish by Diana Henry – one our absolute favourite food writers (we might have said that already). Don’t be tempted to stir the rice, it’s not a risotto.

Wine Suggestion: this dish goes with juicy Spanish reds with a good option being the Finca Antigua Syrah from La Mancha. While not a traditional grape variety for Spain, Syrah is increasingly seen and seems to take on a local twist which we find works really well; creamy with warm spices.

Spanish rice with pork and spinach – serves 6

  • 350g pork fillet, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 chorizo, skin removed and cut into chunks
  • 300g bacon, cut into meaty chunks (you might have to order a piece of bacon from your butcher)
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 300g paella rice
  • 1.2 litres hot chicken stock
  • 650g spinach
  • 1 lemon

Season the pork. Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan and quickly brown the pork until cooked through, then set aside.

Reduce the heat and add another 3 tbsp of the oil and the chorizo and bacon. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the onions and peppers and cook over a medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, paprika and chilli and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the rice. Stir the rice into the juices (this is the only time you will stir it), then add the stock and season. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until there is only a little liquid left and the rice almost tender.

Meanwhile, wilt the spinach in the last tbsp of oil and season. Scatter the spinach over the rice and tuck in the pork pieces. Check for seasoning, then reduce the heat to its lowest, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over the top and serve.

Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Mallorcan Spiced Pork

This spiced roast pork by the Hairy Bikers is a really good value roast and feeds lots of people. We served with Tumbet (a Mediterranean vegetable bake) but it would also be great with any seasonal veg. If you have leftovers we recommend this easy pork chilli.

Wine Suggestion: Richer, oaked white wine to work with the richness of the pork. We opened a bit of a treat, the Tyler Santa Barbara County Chardonnay from California and it was beautiful.

Mallorcan Spiced Pork – serves 6 to 8

  • 2-2.5kg boned pork shoulder, rolled and skin scored (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced

FOR THE RUB

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 4 cloves, ground
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • salt

FOR THE GRAVY

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 100ml white wine or fino sherry

Preheat the oven to 230C/Fan 210C/Gas 8.

Mix all the ingredients for the rub together and season well with salt. Use your hands to cover the pork with the rub, pushing it into the scores. Wipe off any excess, then rub the pork with the tbsp of oil and pour over the lemon juice. Sprinkle the skin with salt.

Scatter the onion over the base of a roasting tin and put the pork on top. Add 250ml of water. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4 and continue to roast for 25 minutes per 500g.

Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest, lightly covered with foil, for at least 15 minutes. Strain off the liquid from the roasting tin and wait for it to settle, then skim off the fat.

To make the gravy, sprinkle 1 tbsp of flour over the roasting tin and stir well over a medium heat to scrape up any sticky bits from the tin. Add the wine or sherry and mix to form a paste. Add the skimmed pan juices and thin with some more water if you need (you can also do this in a pot).

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure by Si King & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

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Chickpea & Rainbow Chard Pork

We made this with some fabulous rainbow chard from one of our best friends’ vege patches. So simple and super tasty.

Wine Suggestion: Find a youthful Tempranillo with little or no oak influence, juicy fruit and not too much extraction (tannins). Chill it for 30 minutes and enjoy. Our choice, the Paco Garcia Rioja Seis.

Chickpea & Chard Pork – serves 4

  • 400g pork fillet, seasoned with salt and black pepper
  • 1 x 480g jar of roasted red peppers in brine, drained and diced into 1cm cubes
  • 300g rainbow chard, finely sliced including the stalks
  • 1 heaped tsp of fennel seeds
  • 1 x 660g jar of chickpeas

Heat a large shallow casserole over a high heat. Put 1 tbsp of oil into the pan along with the pork and sear for 5 minutes, turning over halfway (you can cut it in half if it fits easier).

Remove the pork from the pan, then add the fennel seeds, peppers and chard to the fat left behind. Stir fry for a couple of minutes before pouring in the chickpeas and their juice. Season, stir well and bring to the boil. Nestle the pork in to the chickpeas so that it’s touching the bottom of the pan and pour over any juices from the plate. Cover and simmer gently for 12 minutes or until the pork is just cooked through, turn the pork over now and then as it cooks.

Rest for 2 minutes, then slice the pork and check the chickpeas for seasoning. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and a drizzle of oil before serving.

(Original recipe from ‘5 Ingredients’ by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2017.)

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Pork tenderloin with madeira & sage

We cooked this just before we went on holidays and were determined not to buy any ingredients that needed used up. We have a huge sage bush in the garden that we definitely under-utilize and there are always bottles of all sorts of beverages lurking in the back of our cupboards. Madeira lasts forever, even when opened which is very useful.

Wine Suggestion: The madeira sauce with the sage is richer than you may expect and we find it works with juicy Côtes du Rhône reds, especially with a good dollop of Grenache. We had an uncomplicated Reserve des Armoiries which was juicy and had hints of Southern French spices made without oak; complimentary and almost celebratory of our impending holiday with its joyful fruit.

Pork tenderloin with madeira and sage – serves 4

  • butter
  • 1 pork tenderloin c. 400g
  • 100ml madeira
  • a small bunch of sage, leaves picked and chopped

Heat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas 7.

Heat a knob of butter and a splash of olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Season the pork and brown really well on all sides to form a crust. Add the madeira then transfer to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the meat from the pan, cover with foil and leave aside to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the pan juices with another knob of butter on a low heat, and season.

To serve, cut the pork into thick slices, then dress with the pan juices and lots of chopped sage.

(Original recipe by Alex Szrok in BBC Olive Magazine, May 2016.)

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Ginger pork stir-fry

A light and tasty stir-fry to use up bits of veg leftover from the weekend. Feel free to use what you have rather than the suggestions below and prep all the ingredients before you start as this takes minutes to cook. Serve with rice or noodles.

Wine Suggestion: If you can find it, the Zind Humbrecht Muscat Grand Cru Goldberg 2013, was an amazing match. This is a truly astonishing wine that confounds the stereotype of Muscat because of the terroir and winemaker, being fresh, vibrant and dry. Alongside the ginger and soy this danced a fine line of complementary and contrasting flavours.

Ginger Pork Stir-fry – serves 4

  • 25g root ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp finely grated root ginger
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200g pork fillet, trimmed and sliced into 5mm slices
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed/grated
  • 150g carrots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 150g purple-sprouting broccoli or small broccoli florets
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, finely sliced
  • 75g kale (stalks removed), shredded
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped coriander (leaves & stalks)

Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add the sliced ginger and boil for 1 minute, then drain.

Get a wok or a large frying pan smoking hot, then pour in the oil and stir-fry the boiled ginger for 30-60 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Add the pork, garlic, grated ginger and carrots. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the pork is cooked, then add the broccoli and peppers.

Keep frying for another minute, then add the kale and toss for briefly to wilt.

Finally, add the sesame oil, soy sauce and chopped coriander. Toss together quickly then serve over rice or noodles and garnish with the crispy ginger.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, Harper Collins, 2013.)

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Tandoori pork burgers

This was such a tasty weeknight dinner inspired by a half-used jar of tandoori curry paste and a packet of supermarket naan breads. Ditch the naans for gluten-free burgers.

Wine Suggestion: A juicy Spanish, or Spanish varietal, should work here. There are some great and good value Garnacha’s, like one made by Bodegas Monfil, which are perfect when on a budget. If you want to push the boat out choose a ripe and juicy Ribera del Duero made from Tempranillo. Our favourite of the moment is the Carmelo Rodero and try their 9 Mesas for the juicy youthful fruit. Older and more concentrated Crianza’s and Reserva’s would overwhelm the dish.

Tandoori pork burgers with tomato & coriander raita – serves 4

  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 1 red onion, grated
  • 2 tbsp tandoori curry paste (we like Patak’s)
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 150ml natural yoghurt
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • naan breads, to serve
  • Little Gem or Cos lettuce, to serve

Put the mince, onion, curry paste and half the coriander in a bowl, season with mix well, then form into 4 burgers.

Barbecue the burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the coriander with the yoghurt, tomatoes & scallions.

Serve the burgers in some warm naan breads (we toasted ours on the barbecue) with the crispy lettuce and raita.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive Magazine, August 2009.)

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Roast Pork Loin, Porchetta Style – serves 6

Our favourite way to eat this pork is carved as thin as possible and stuffed into crusty bread rolls with some mayonnaise and salad. You need to marinate the meat the night before.

Wine Suggestion: Rich, round and white plus you have to make sure there is a good freshness too to cope with the pork fat. Naturally a good, oaked Chardonnay calls out but we’ve also tried some more unusual wines like the Adi Badenhorst’s Family White which is an amazing blend of 10 grapes from the Swartland in South Africa. It’s quite like a St Peray white in style with hints of aromatics, stone fruit and crisp apples alongside a rich nuttiness and layers of texture. A bit of a wine anoraks wine but we love it.

  • 2kg loin of pork, off the bone with skin removed and about 1cm of fat left on
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves chopped, plus more for the roasting tin
  • about 8 bay leaves

Lay the pork on a board with the flesh side up. Pierce all over with a sharp knife and fill the holes with the slivers of garlic. Rub the fennel & rosemary all over the flesh, along with some olive oil, pushing some into the holes with the garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper. Made a bed in a roasting tin with rosemary springs and bay leaves and put the pork on top with the fat side down. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7.

Tie the loin at intervals with kitchen string, not too tight. Put into the roasting tin fat side up on top of the herbs (make sure the herbs are well tucked under or they will burn) and cook for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4 and cook for 1 hour 40 minutes, basting occasionally.

Take out of the oven, cover with foil and rest for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Pork Souvlaki with oregano

Have you got your barbecue out yet? We’ve had a few sunny days in Dublin and the cold breeze is gradually starting to ease; the clocks have gone forward and we’re looking forward to much more time spent outside. We have to confess to using the barbecue all year round and have been caught out in the snow or rain grilling up a feast and this is one of our favourite ideas. Nothing beats some good chips with your souvlaki.

Wine Suggestion: to celebrate the Spring sunshine we broke out a Provence rosé from Chateau Vignelaure, a lovely and serious wine that delivers a great texture and structure as well as summer fruit flavours to inspire us.

Pork Souvlaki with Oregano – serves 4

  • 400g pork shoulder, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • ½ tsp salt

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the meat. Marinate for an hour or so, then thread onto skewers. Cook on a preheated barbecue for about 10-12 minutes.

(Original recipe from Venice to Istanbul by Rick Stein, BBC Books, 2015.)

 

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