Sunday, 20 May 2012

Pulled Pork, Polenta Chips, Baked Beans and Coleslaw

Thank goodness the sun has reappeared, thank goodness the rain has stopped... It has been quite depressing, rain every single day, for weeks on end. Rain, rain and more rain. I have a broken umbrella that makes me a bit cross every time I have to use it, I've ruined some of my shoes and been drenched on more than one occasion. It puts you off going anywhere or doing anything. I've been craving a holiday in the sun, lying on a beach, swimming in the sea... But suddenly it's all ok. The sun is out! It is warm! Today I wore ballet pumps for the first time in weeks, we sat in the garden all day and lit the BBQ! The weather forecast has little pictures of suns, far into the future, it actually feels like spring, summer even, and it is such a welcome arrival...


Whilst hiding from the rain last week I have been writing about sharing food for my column in Appetite magazine. Big or small plates in the middle of the table whether at home or in a restaurant bring about a lovely happy convivial sharing atmosphere. I love inviting people to my house for food, putting plates full of tasty fare on the table and everyone diving in...



So in the name of research I rang some friends and decided to cook a 9 hour shoulder of pulled pork that I found in the amazing 'Joe Beef' book. This book is definitely one of my favourite new finds, it includes a fois gras breakfast sandwich, potted eggs with truffle and a smorgasbord… What's not to love. The menu took a bit of time to decide, it is a bit of a new direction, but in the end I decided on pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw, polenta chips and BBQ sauce... Trashy, yet delicious...



The baked beans are an odd mix of ingredients, but totally delicious. They were a recipe for some lentils in the Joe Beef book, but I wanted baked beans, so adapted it to suit. Chop and fry some pancetta and an onion and fry until golden and soft, then add a minced clove of garlic. Next add half a cup of water, ¼ cup of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of English mustard, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 bay leaf, some salt and 2 tins of haricot beans. Then bake in the oven at 180°C or simmer on the top for 45 minutes, with a lid on. Check on it and stir now and again, adding a bit more water if needs be. This is all a bit out of my comfort zone, but totally delicious.



The creamy coleslaw was a mix of shredded white cabbage, red cabbage, grated carrot, thinly sliced onion and some grated kohlrabi which the kind man from North East Organic Growers gave me at Spring Graze. I left it all to sit for an hour in a colander with a sprinkling of salt, to get rid of the excess water. Then mixed it together with half mayonnaise, half yoghurt, chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon and some whole grain mustard.




The main event was a 2kg shoulder joint of pork heavily smeared in English mustard, sugar, paprika, salt and pepper, a cup of water in the bottom of the tin and cooked at 130°C for 9 whole hours. I like recipes that you can say in one sentence. Put some foil over it after 5 hours and make sure it always has some liquid in the bottom of the tray... The house smelt amazing...


The joint of meat was so soft when I took it out you could press your finger into it and it oozed sticky lush juices. I was excited all day to get it out of the oven! The skin was blackened and crispy but still delicious and the meat couldn’t have been softer. A pile of soft, sweet delicious pork falling apart with some crispy polenta chips, creamy crunchy coleslaw and sweet smoky baked beans was just totally delicious, a bit of tangy BBQ sauce on the side. Everyone had a lovely time digging into big bowls of soft delicious pork, and I've started looking into flights to Montreal, because the sooner I visit the Joe Beef restaurant the better...



1 comment:

  1. These sound so good, thanks for sharing this delicious looking recipe.

    Simon

    ReplyDelete