Monday, January 2, 2012
Crackling Christmas - Roast Pork Belly
Christmas is that time of the year when Red, Green and White are the only colors people recognize around. Plum cakes that are disliked through the year becomes the most baked cake in town. Sales of Rum (Old Monk) hits a staggering high, thanks to plum cakes. Hotels and restaurants double their rates, just cause a Turkey made it to the table. Grapes that end up as wine would have never tasted this good before. Santa Clause can be seen across town in different avatars, poor Nicholas. And without a doubt, Pork becomes then most sought after meat in town. This is one meat that is loved in any of its avatars; Sausage, Pepperoni, Ham, Bacon, Ribs, Chops, Belly, Knuckles, and the like.
Excitement was at its peak for me when i came across this lovely cut of Pork Belly. The moment I saw it, I knew what i wanted to make. It was our Christmas special.
A Roast Pork belly with crackling skin!!!
A 24 hr marination with Black Pepper, Oregano, Honey and a dry spicy rub (1 tsp each) is all it takes to make this piggy into the most succulent piece of meat.
45 minutess in the oven at 185-200 degrees, and you cant help but hear the lovely crackling of the skin.(I dont think there is anything else that sounds better, ah! maybe the sound of juicy fish swimming in hot oil) At this stage all you need to do is brush some honey and some BBQ sauce. Let the meat rest for 10 min and all you gotta do is slice the belly into serving portions.
This is best accompanied with creamy mashed potato and a glass of wine.
For creamy mashed potato:
Par boil 3 large potatoes with the skin on till fully cooked and soft to touch. Remove from pan and drain dry on dish towel.
Peel skin off and mash using a masher.
In a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of oregano, a tablespoon of pepper freshly ground in mortar and pestle and 1 tablespoon of milk. If you want to go the extra mile, go ahead and add a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese to the mix
Stir thoroughly to combine. Add this to the mashed potato and mix to incorporate fully. Check the consistency and if it appears too dry for your liking, hold that thought. Don't add anything yet.
Now the next step is very very important. Mashed potatoes are meant to be creamy and smooth. rich and ultra smooth. not lumpy, grainy or half cooked in places. So to ensure you get the texture we are aiming for, pass the mashed potato through a moderately fine sieve. Collect the mashed potato and serve in a bowl. Check the consistency again and if its dry, add a teaspoon of milk with seasoning and mix and check. Repeat till you get the desired consistency.
Simplicity at its best! Christmas at its very best!
My blog resolution in 2012: We will 'meat' more often...
I'd appreciate your comments / suggestions in our blog. That's what keeps us going.