Put pork on your fork

De­li­cious ideas for cook­ing a great Suf­folk prod­uct

EADT Suffolk - - Inside -

ONE of the most pleas­ant sights is driv­ing down the A12, and other roads around, Blyth­burgh near South­wold, and see­ing the con­tented herds of prop­erly free-rang­ing pigs hap­pily wal­low­ing, graz­ing and gen­er­ally en­joy­ing the great out­doors. Ap­par­ently pigs are a match for chim­panzees in cer­tain in­tel­li­gence tests and are smarter than we give them credit for. If we care for the food we eat, and if we choose to be car­niv­o­rous, then we have to give more thought to where our meat comes from and, even more, the qual­ity of life live­stock has while it is fat­tened for our plates.

Those en­er­getic pigs we see snuf­fling around are bred and reared by the But­ler fam­ily for their fa­mous Blyth­burgh Free Range Pork, one of Suf­folk’s best ex­ports, sought after by many of the best restau­rants. To tempt the fam­ily and to cel­e­brate Easter come Sun­day April 1, I think we’ll be en­joy­ing a per­fect roast lunch, an Ital­ian-in­spired Pork Welling­ton, a hearty yet smart dish enough for this spe­cial oc­ca­sion, us­ing the ten­der ten­der­loin fil­let, stuffed with sweet apri­cots and a savoury dux­elles of earthy mush­rooms and lentils, wrapped up in savoy cab­bage and golden puff pas­try.

IDEAS FOR SUF­FOLK PORK

Ris­soles - mince pork shoul­der with bread­crumbs, onion and eat­ing ap­ple, along with gen­er­ous sea­son­ing, ground mace and sage, be­fore rolling into golf ball size and oven bak­ing in a rich As­pall cy­der gravy. They eat well with mus­tard mash and but­tered greens and a spiced ap­ple rel­ish on the side.

Home Hog Roast – take a half or whole boned and tied pork shoul­der, score it with a clean Stan­ley knife through the skin about 1cm apart. Rub in a mix of thyme, fen­nel seeds, sea salt and cracked black pep­per, blast the skin for 30 min­utes in a 240°C oven, then cover with dou­ble foil tightly, turn down to 140°C and cook for 4 – 6 hours ac­cord­ing to size un­til it falls apart with two forks.

Cas­soulet - thick pieces of pork loin and pork belly, smoked pork sausage, pancetta ba­con in chunks, all browned first and cooked down slowly with lots of onions, root veg­eta­bles, toma­toes, can­nellini or hari­cot beans, gar­lic, herbs, bay, chicken stock and white wine, then topped with a cheesy parme­san and bread­crumb crust, grati­nated un­der the grill.

Spicy Stew - this recipe com­bines all those deep spicy tagine-style flavours we love. If us­ing fresh pork, quickly stir-fry thin strips in hot oil with chopped gin­ger, gar­lic and red chilli. The tomato and onion base is cooked down with chick­peas, lemon and gar­lic plus lots of those warm­ing North African spices and once cooked down, the stir-fried pork or the shred­ded roast pork is added to heat through with lots of green herbs (co­rian­der, mint and flat pars­ley). Serve with cous­cous and yo­ghurt.

Jam­bal­aya - Ca­jun-style rice pi­laff, this in­cor­po­rates chorizo sausage and roast pork in small chunks and the grains slowly sim­mered with deep Cre­ole spices, red pep­per, cel­ery, car­rot, onions, chilli pep­pers and good chicken stock and fin­ished with prawns and flat pars­ley.

Asian pulled pork slid­ers - Oriental ham­burg­ers by any other name, thin ba­tons of cu­cum­ber, car­rot and radish are fresh-pick­led in a hot mari­nade of rice vine­gar, sugar and salt for a few min­utes to soften, while you toss shred­ded roast pork over a medium heat with hoisin and Thai chilli sriracha sauces. Both el­e­ments are then filled into brioche rolls and fin­ished with spicy may­on­naise. Macken­zie – David events Please con­tact Re­becca on 01986 893991 or email re­becca@macken­zie-david.co.uk

‘If we care for the food we eat, and if we choose to be car­niv­o­rous, then we have to give more thought to where our meat comes from and, even more, the qual­ity of life live­stock is des­tined to have while it is fat­tened for our plates’

In­gre­di­ents

2 eggs

150g plain flour

175ml milk

Driz­zle of white truf­fle oil (op­tional)

6 inner savoy cab­bage leaves, destalked

2 hand­fuls of wild mush­rooms, roughly chopped

Un­salted but­ter

Rape­seed oil

1 pouch Mer­chant Gourmet puy lentils

Sea salt and black pep­per­mill

1 whole thick Blyth­burgh pork ten­der­loin

1 ready-rolled puff pas­try sheet

Hand­ful of soft dried apri­cots, halved

Egg-wash of 2 egg yolks and a splash of milk, whisked to­gether

Method

To make the pan­cakes, whisk the first three in­gre­di­ents with the truf­fle oil, then into a hot oiled fry­ing pan over medium-hot hob, pour a small la­dle of bat­ter, swirl around well, cook un­til the un­der­side is browned, flip over and cook on the other side. Re­move the pan­cake onto a plate and re­peat un­til the mix­ture is all used.

Soften the cab­bage leaves in boil­ing water un­til wilted, drain well and set aside. Sauté the mush­rooms in a good knob of but­ter and a glug of oil in a hot fry­ing pan un­til browned and soft­ened. Drain, mix with the lentils in a bowl and sea­son lightly to taste. Cut off the thin end of the ten­der­loin to dou­ble over the mid­dle part, to give an even width to the joint. Un­roll the pas­try and make sure the meat fits so it will wrap prop­erly later, short­en­ing if needs be.

Take a hot fry­ing pan on a high heat, rub the pork with oil and brown all over, turn­ing reg­u­larly. Re­move and cool for 30 min­utes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Cut down length of partly-cooked pork to half­way, open slit, lay in halved apri­cots and sea­son to taste. Set aside. Take pas­try and lay pan­cakes and cab­bage leaves out onto it, cre­at­ing a fill­ing area with an inch bor­der all round to suit the size of the pork. Spread the mush­room-lentil stuff­ing over the cab­bage . Fi­nally place the stuffed ten­der­loin on the long edge at the start of the fill­ing. Bring over the sides of the pas­try to cover the ends, leav­ing just an inch over­lap on the ten­der­loin. Brush the over­lap with egg-wash. Roll up the ten­der­loin with the pas­try and when nearly wrapped, brush the in­side of the flap with egg-wash to stick it on to the pas­try roll. Place on an oiled bak­ing sheet with the seam un­der­neath and brush all over with egg-wash, slic­ing inch-apart slits in the pas­try to vent steam as it bakes. Cook in the oven for 30 min­utes ap­prox­i­mately, un­til well-risen, golden-brown and cooked through in the cen­tre (a dig­i­tal ther­mome­ter probed in the mid­dle should read above 75°C).

Pork Welling­ton

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