Since I missed out on the suckling pig* dinner and various other pork related events at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2010, I would like to bring up the roast pork dinner that Josh put together having adapted it based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe of Balsamic-baked onions and potatoes with roast pork from his Jamie at Home book. The roast pork was rubbed with fennel seeds and crackling was just too awesome. It was served with sticky, caramelised onions and potatoes.
This was the best roast pork I have ever had. It was so tender, succulent and just so so scrumptious. Hence I feel the need to title this post with starting with ‘most scrumptious.’ The most important thing, I believe, was the meat. I bought the rolled up boneless pork shoulder from one of the butcher’s at the Queen Vic Market.
(look how beautiful this bit of pork is!)
This little piggy was actually meant as our 2009 Christmas roast but we didn’t get around to it so it sat in our freezer for a few weeks before seeing the light of day!
Roast Pork with Fennel Seed Rub
This will feed about 6-8 people. It lasted the two of us a week. It was fabulous cold in sandwiches.
- 2 kg of boneless, rolled pork shoulder
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp of fennel seeds, bashed up with a pestle in a mortar
- salt and pepper
- a few drizzles of olive oil
Make sure you butcher scores the rind for you. I personally don’t have a single knife or blade in the house that is sharp enough to score pork rind successfully! Preheat the oven at 200′c. Rub a few drizzles of olive oil into the pork. Sprinkle a chopping board with the chopped rosemary leaves, bashed up fennel seeds, a little bit salt and pepper (not too much, we will do the crackling later). Roll the pork across the mixture. Roast in the oven for about an hour.
Up an hour, carefully untie the roast and use a sharp knife to remove the rind from the roast. Remove excess fat (I saved it so I could render my own lard because I am a freak like that). Spread out the rind. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt and more olive oil. Place the meaty part back into the oven, fat side down for another 15-20 minutes. Place the crackling under the grill on medium for 5-10 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.
Balsamic-baked Onions and Baby Potatoes
This is for two people – feel free to add more. These don’t look so great but they taste bloody fantastic!
- 6 baby potatoes, unpeeled
- 4 spring onion bulbs or 2 brown onions, halved or quartered depending on the size
- 6 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled, slightly smashed with the side of your knife
- 50 g of butter
- 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (Jamie reckons any cheap old balsamic vinegar will do)
- some olive oil
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
- salt and pepper
Par-boil the baby potatoes for about 5 minutes in boiling water. Heat a baking tray in the oven for about 5 minutes, add butter, garlic, rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and onions and toss them through. Bake with the pork for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Serve the roast pork with some crackling and balsamic-baked potatoes, onions and garlic. If you like, Jamie suggests some greens or rocket salad. We didn’t bother.
Let me tell you. Porky heaven.
* I know I have previous tweeted about this but it really should be ‘suckled pig’, shouldn’t it? Considering it’s the mama pig that suckles and all. And we sure ain’t eating her at a suckling pig banquet!