Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pork and Balsamic Potatoes

I'm listing this under vegetables too, because the potatoes are cooked totally seperately, and they are so good that everyone should try them.

1.5kg medium sized waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
200g butter, cubed
a bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1 whole bulb of garlic, quartered or smashed
5 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
350ml cheap balsamic vinegar

For the pork:
A small bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 Tbsp freshly ground fennel seeds
1.5kg Boneless rolled pork lion, skin off, fat scored in a criss cross pattern
olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
4 bay leaves
2 wine glasses of white wine
extra virgin olive oil

preheat to 200c
Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 8 min, then drain and return to the pan. Chuff them up a bit by shaking the pan.
To prepare the meat, scatter the rosemary leaves over a large chopping board. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and the ground fennel seeds. Roll the pork across the board, pressing down hard so all the flavorings stick to it.
Get a large roasting tray that your pork will fit snugly into, and place it over medium high heat, pour in a little olive oil and place the pork in, fat side down, sprinkled with any leftover flavorings from the board. After a few minutes, when it is lightly golden, turn it over and add the garlic cloves, onion, celery, and bay leaves. Place on the bottom shelf of the preheated oven for an hour, basting it halfway through. (For the last 20 min, you may need to cover the pork with a bit of damp greaseproof paper to stop it coloring too much.
Get another roasting tray, into which you can fit all the potatoes on one layer, and heat it on the hob. When hot, pour in a glug of olive oil and add the butter rosemary and garlic. Add the potatoes and toss them in all the flavors. Add the onions and all the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 min on the hob to reduce the balsamic vinegar a little. Place the tray on the top shelf of the oven and cook for around 50 min, removing the tray to toss the onions and potatoes half way through.
After an hour the meat should be cooked. Prick it with a sharp knife, and if the juices run clear, it’s done, if not then put it back in for another 10 –15 min. Let it rest for 10 min before slicing. Pour away most of the fat from the tray, and mask up the garlic and onion. Place the tray over the hob and add the white wine. Simmer till the liquid has reduced by half, scraping all the meaty marmite-y goodness off the bottom to make a tasty little sauce, season if necessary.

This is from the new Jamie Book, Jamie at Home. I wanted to try it as soon as I saw it in the book, but I put it off a bit, then I saw him make it on his tv show, and I had to make it the very next day. It’s the idea of red onions, potatoes, and a half a ton of balsamic vinegar roasted together. What a good idea.

These were just as good as I hoped they would be. They smelled wonderful, they looked wonderful, they tasted incredible, and they were all coated in sticky balsamic loveliness. My husband decided they were his favorite potatoes ever.

The pork was really good too. It came out nicely spiced, and really tender. I enjoyed the pork a lot, but I love the potatoes. I will make these again, any time I find something they might work well with.

It was also really easy to make. I don’t have a roasting tin that can go on the stove top, and also in the oven, so I used the trick of heating up the roasting pan in the oven, while I cooked the vegetables in a frying pan. When it came time to transfer them to the oven, I just poured them into the pre-heated pan. That was fun, because it bubbled up and smelled nice. I use that trick anytime I’m supposed to have a tray that does both.

Try this recipe! Even if you don't eat pork, try these potatoes!

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