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!
This simple recipe, inspired by a street food dish I regularly ate in Thailand, really brings out the best in chicken livers, marrying their rich, iron meatiness with sweet, sour and savoury flavours. At around a £ a pound for fresh chicken livers, this dish is exceptionally frugal, yet provides full on, complex, balanced flavours.
The trick is, not to overcook the livers! They really just need searing and then a little steaming in the piquant ingredients added to this dish. Overcook the livers, and you may as well eat paper mache, albeit in a good tasting sauce. Though don’t fret, they are very easy and quick to cook, as is this dish – give it a go, you’ll be surprised at how good it tastes.
1 red pepper, sliced (I used a long romano pepper)
2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of a lime
1 teaspoon sugar
1 red birdseye chilli
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish.
First of all, deal with your livers. Give them a rinse under the cold tap and dry on kitchen paper. Remove the white connective sinew and cut the livers into large bite size pieces.
In a large wok or frying pan, heat the oil until it begins to gently smoke. Add the garlic until it just colours, then add the sliced onion and chilli, stir frying for a minute until the onions just start to colour.
Add the chicken livers and stir fry for a minute, until they lose their deep brown/purple colour and become lightly pink.
Now add all of the other ingredients – fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, sliced pepper, mushrooms and spring onions. Stir fry all of the ingredients for a minute or two until the pepper just loses its crunchy edge.
Serve with mixed peppery salad leaves, such as watercress, rocket and spinach, or boiled rice.
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!