When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!
When: Feb – Sat 11th, Sun 12th & Wed 15th to Sun 19th. 11am-5pm
Where: Audley End House and Gardens, Essex, CB11 4JF
Experience the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian cookery this February half-term, as Audley End House and Gardens invites families to come and see how a country house cooked with pork in the 1880’s during ‘Everything But the Squeak Week’.
Visitors can watch Mrs Avis Crocombe – the resident cook at Audley End – working on an entire pig in the Audley End kitchens, and cooking her way through parts that we are all familiar with, and some parts we aren’t!
From trotters to snouts, animals were devoured entirely during Victorian Times. Using authentic Victorian recipes, Mrs Crocombe and her team will re-create historical dishes that would have regularly featured on the menu in times gone by, and demonstrate how even in aristocratic households no food was put to waste – and delicious fare was produced using all of the different parts of a pig.
Lucy Hutchings, events manager for English Heritage in the London and East region, said: “Audley End is the perfect location for an event such as this, as the fully functioning Service Wing really gives visitors the chance to experience historic cooking up close, and get an insight into life in a grand Victorian household.
“With thriftiness on many people’s minds these days, the event really shows you how Victorians made full use of leftovers and every part of a pig possible!”
Prices: Adults £8.70/ Concessions £7.80/ Children £5.20/ Family £22.60 (ticket price includes entry to event plus, entry to the Service Wing, Stables Yard & grounds)
Pulled Pork is serious business in the States, although has not quite reached us over in the UK with the same enthusiasm. I find this hard to understand, as this dish has the real wow factor, perhaps it is an issue of the time required to create? Anyway, if you want to find out more about creating the perfect pulled pork, the internet is your friend. I found a whole host of sites dedicated to marinades, sauces, cooking times and whether to marinade or not; serious studies of trial and error.
Because you are using a serious hunk of meat, marinating makes little difference as only the very edge of the meat is affected. The spice rub, usually includes paprika, chilli, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. I used pimenton to give a smoky flavour, with a spicy edge – if you have a home smoker, smoking your pulled pork first will give a wonderful flavour and is a traditional cooking method for the hardcore pulled pork fans.
The essential part of any pulled pork recipe is slow cooking, if you have time, slow cook on the lowest temperature of your oven overnight for the most moist and succulent results, ensuring that your meat reaches 88°C/190°F when cooked. For a faster feast, that still produces tender and tasty results, try my recipe…
Imagine soft, moist, tender pork with a delicious piquant sauce and spicy, crunchy slaw in a freshly baked roll, oh this is a feast of dreams. This recipe does take some slow cooking to reach the desired texture and taste, although is well worth the time. Treat your family and friends to pulled pork and spicy slaw rolls this bonfires night, and banish the incomparable burgers and sausages...
For the Pulled Pork:
2kg pork shoulder
2 tbsp hot smoked paprika (pimenton)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp Garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground white pepper
5 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp English mustard powder
300ml apple cider
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcester sauce
For the Spicy Slaw:
Half a red cabbage, finely sliced
1 large carrot, grated
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 inch knob of ginger, grated
1 birdseye chilli, seeds removed & finely chopped
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp garlic mayonnaise
Juice of half a lime
1 tbsp soy sauce
tsp castor sugar
1 heaped tbsp chopped coriander
Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients for the spicy slaw together in a large bowl and allow to rest so that all of flavours meld.
Remove the rind from your shoulder of pork, just leaving a thin layer of fat. Leave your pork out of the fridge so it reaches room temperature.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2/150c/300f.
Mix together the hot smoked paprika, cumin, garlic, mustard and onion powder with the salt, pepper and 4tbsp of the brown sugar to make up your spice rub.
Rub the spice mix all over your pork really massaging it in well.
Add the cider and water to a large baking pan with metal rack. Place the pork on the rack and cover in parchment paper and then baking foil, sealing tightly.
Bake in the oven for four hours, then uncover and cook for 1 more hour. The pork should reach a temperature of 88c/190f.
Once cooked, remove the pork and allow it to rest in a warm area, loosely covered with foil or a clean tea towel.
Pour the juices from the baking pan into a bowl and allow to cool slightly, so that the fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat and discard.
Pour the juices into a saucepan and add the tomato puree, Worcester sauce, cider vinegar and the remaining 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Bring to the boil and then simmer rapidly over a medium heat for 30 minutes.
Use two forks to pull your tender pork apart into chunks, place on a large serving plate or dish and top with the reduced sauce – delicious!
Asian Style Braised Pork Belly with Aubergine Recipe
Author: Sarah Fay
Recipe type: Main
This is one of my favourite mid-week recipes, much loved by adults and children alike. The blend of the sweet, spicy and sour sauce is such a winner with the soft unctuous pork belly and juicy flavourful aubergine. What’s more, it’s pretty easy and fast prepare...
500g skinless pork belly, cut into 2cm chunks
1 large aubergine, cut into chunks
2 tbsp ground nut or vegetable oil
300ml chicken stock
2 tbsp of fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 birdseye chilli, chopped
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
1 bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks separated, stalks finely chopped
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp of dark brown or muscovado sugar
1 tbsp water
Juice of half a lime
Add 1 tbsp of oil to a large pan and heat over a medium flame. Brown off pork belly in two batches and set aside.
Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and cook the aubergine until lightly golden, stirring now and then to prevent sticking. Set aside with the pork.
Turn the heat right down and add the brown sugar and 1 tbsp of water to the pan, heat until it starts to bubble and caramelise.
Add the pork and aubergine to the pan of sugar and throw in the star anise and cinnamon stick. Stir to cover in the sugar syrup.
Keep the heat low and add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir and sweat for 5 to 7 minutes.
Now add the stock, fish sauce and coriander stalks to the pan. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat right down, put a lid on the pan and simmer for 1 hour.
After an hour, add the lime juice, stir and taste. Add more fish sauce to taste.
Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander – delicious!