Nothing better than a good pork roast! I’ve had such great food recently, more than half not made by me. Not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad sign… But I’m honest with my experimental cooking. It doesn’t always turn out as planned, mostly because there’s minimal planning involved, hence experimental. But it turns out well, about 92% of the time anyway( I think). Which is not bad going if you ask me. But I’m a very tough critic too, in my defence, and my family is too complimentary if you ask me. I suppose my husband can’t really say my food tastes horrible, even if it does, as part of the husbandly duties and expectations. If he wants to stay married to a happy wife, that is.
With all the good food I’ve been eating: cooking at home, eating out, and my father-in-law’s cooking. There’s still something I’ve been craving and haven’t had in a long time: a good roast. I know in most kitchens this is a Sunday special, but there are only so many Sundays in a year.
So I decided to make a roast, not on a Sunday, so ‘non- Sunday’ Sunday roast. The Sunday part you cannot just drop when you don’t make it on a Sunday. It has some placebo deliciousness effect. If you just called it a Roast, it wouldn’t taste as good. #fact!
My pork roast tonight is Asian influenced, with loads of ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sweetness of the honey. Pork with a bit of sweet is always a good marriage, they just communicate better… secret to any good marriage they say!
What do you need?
1kg Pork leg
2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp cardammom, 3 star anise
Honey, soy sauce, ginger powder, garlic, salt & pepper, chilli flakes
For crushed potatoes
1 large Sweet potato
2 tsp of low fat margarine
1 tsp of garlic
5 slices of ginger
Salt & pepper
What to do?
Let’s begin. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
Start by mixing your marinade. In a bowl, add 75 ml of honey, 50ml of soy sauce, 1 tbs of ginger powder, 3 tbs of garlic, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1 tbs of chilli flakes. Place your leg of pork on a wooden board, and rub with the mixed marinade. Transfer into a oven dish. Around the pork in the dish, add 4 tbs of coconut cream, 1 bouquet of garlic, 5 chunks of fresh ginger, 4 tbs of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix the mixture, and add water to halfway level of the dish.
Place into the oven for 30 minutes. Then out of the oven, lower oven heat to 180 degrees. Cover the oven dish with foil and put it back in the oven for 3 hrs, roasting low and slow.
After 2 1/2 hrs, while our beautiful pork is roasting, let’s do the crushed potatoes. Roughly( 1/8ths) cut 4 potatoes, throw then in a pot with salty water, 5 thick slices of ginger? We are not peeling the potatoes or sweet potato to keep as much fibre as possible. Boil this for 10 minutes, then add the roughly cut sweet potato into the boiling water with potatoes. We are adding them a bit later because they cook faster than normal potatoes. Boil and let this cook for another 15 minutes, and they’re done.
Drain the water and discard the ginger, or dry it to make ginger powder!
In a large bowl place your potatoes and sweet potatoes, add 2 tbs of low fat margarine( I’m using Flora), 1 tbs of garlic, 1 tsp of ginger powder, chopped handful of coriander leaves and season with salt & pepper to taste. Mix well, slightly crushing the potatoes as you mix, without making them go all the way to mash. We still want to keep the the texture of the potatoes. Let this rest, keeping it warm.
NB: you can never have too much garlic in food! #true story😉.
Our pork should be done cooking now, let’s take it out and rest it to get it ready for carving.
Use the liquid and drippings to make a sauce. Put on the stove top, all the liquid and spices that remain, adding 1 tbs of corn flour to thicken the sauce. Optionally: You can add chicken stock and more corn flour if you need more sauce. But the flavours are amazing already. When it is nice and thick, with good seasoning, take it off the heat. Strain the liquid and the final product is a beautiful sweet, savoury, spicy, smooth and velvety sauce = simple deliciousness…😍. I’m really kicking butt with my sauces these days😜as I do my happy dance.
But while the sauce is reducing and thickening, you have to think how your final product is going to look and taste. Remember texture too. For tonight’s meal I’m going for a cabbage salad, some people might call this coleslaw but this has more salad dressing than slaw dressing. Finely slice 1/4 white cabbage, 2 carrots( peeled), half a red onion, 2 radishes. Mix them in a bowl with 4 squeezes of lemon juice, 2 tabs of olive oil, 1 tsp of aromat, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, combine and voilà .
Now the exciting part, the assembly. The making it look pretty part! You have so many beautiful colours that it’s going to be so easy today. Carve the pork, place the different elements around the plate and finish with the sauce once on the dinner table.
Dinner is served: mission accomplished. This really hit the spot. Exactly what I’ve been missing. The combination of flavours, the richness of the crushed potatoes cut through so delicately by the freshness and citrus of the cabbage salad, not to mention the crunchy texture added by the raw cabbage.
What more could anyone ask for? As I look at my son and husband really digging into that pork roast! Even Mr Husband, ‘ anti-salads Mr husband’ is liking my cabbage salad. #Done#browny points. Again, nothing better than a good roast, especially pork.