Friday, May 14, 2010

Passion for Pork - Part 1

Dear Bord Bia, I love you longtime. Why? Because the lovely Klara & Maeve sent me a fantastic pork loin to cook...

When I opened the coolbag, it looked like this - all prettily packaged in paper and string

Unwrapping it revealed a vacumn-packed loin of fabulous pork which I promptly divided into 4, to make 4 fantastic meals for myself and The Hubs

Recipe 1
Roast Loin of Pork with a Savory, Garlic and Olive Oil Marinade
My sister's boyfriend Jules gave me a pack of what we all thought was dried Romanian Thyme called Cimbru. Further googling revealed that it was actually dried Savory and was the perfect companion for pork. So, a tablespoon of this was mixed with 2 crushed cloves of garlic, some sea salt, ground mixed peppercorns from my precious French stash and some olive oil. The pork went in for a little soak (about 90 minutes, getting turned every half hour) to ensure it absorbed all of the flavours. I then roasted it for about 60 minutes at 200c.

A few weeks ago, I picked up the new Jamie Oliver cookbook and was flicking through it yesterday for ideas. I came across a recipe for Courgette Gratin in the French section... something I've actually never eaten. There was a glut of courgettes in the fridge due to my haphazard shopping/eating patterns so this was perfect.

I adapted the recipe to feed 2 as a complete side dish and here's how it goes - note that I was missing some of Jamie's ingredients, so some impromptu substitutions were made... *

2 onions, very finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 courgettes, finely sliced
100g long grain rice* (should have been basmati)
1 Knorr Chicken Stockpot container
250 ml boiling water
1/2 tub Philadelphia Extra Light* (should have been cheddar or gruyere)
Large handful freshly grated Parmesan* (should have been cheddar or gruyere)

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onions. Cook for about 20 mins until very soft & starting to get sticky.
Add the rice & courgettes and give them a good stir, then add the stock and rice - let it simmer away until it's oozy.
Stir the cheese into the mixture until well combined and then put into a gratin dish.
Pour the mixure into the gratin dish, making sure the courgettes are on top. Sprinkle the parmesan over the courgettes and bake for 40 minutes. This is the pre-oven version!

I roasted the pork for about an hour, using a meat thermometer to check that it was cooked. Then it had a good snooze for 15 minutes to let it rest properly.

It carved like a dream. The Hubs was seriously impressed both by the marinade and the quality of the pork... and is looking forward to a Porktastic weekend!


  1. Looks delicious Baba. Great that you are getting 4 out of it! Monster of a loin.

  2. Pork looks good.... just missing the crackling!