PORK… FOOD GROUP OR RELIGION… OR JUST A DAMN SWINE
The sight of a good pork roast makes me quiver like the first time I saw a real live girls breast. A braised pork hock has the ability to break every emotional barrier I have In place, and have me weeping like a small child. Pork belly with crackle. Argh. I’m getting hungry thinking about it… But that’s the powers of the pork.
My mate Bushy (or “the friend formerly known as Jess”) suggests that bacon should be a compulsory start to the everyday, its euphoric qualities could be likened to a happy pill of sorts. Now bushy isn’t known for talking a whole heap of sense most of the time, but when it comes to pork, she’s on the money.
The pig will definitely be on my ark. Actually many different pigs would be on my ark; Berkshire, Wessex Saddleback, Tamworth and of course the Razorback from the critically acclaimed 1984 Australian classic film, “Razorback”. As will my boss Toby, as he would have been chasing those last pigs in his quest for one last pork meal before a watery grave enveloped him, and would inadvertently be caught in the stampede, dragged on board, and awake under some hay in a stall, next to a naked guy named Susan. And, knowing Toby, that would’ve been the second time this circumstance had arisen.
And now another thing or two you may not know about a guy you probably don’t know called Toby. Toby does not go to church. He for sure didn’t pay attention in religion. But boy, he can preach the gospel of pork like a holy man. A “Pope of Pork” if you will. That’s about all you need to know about Toby…
As for “Pork: the food group”, I think it stands to reason that we shouldn’t be discriminative against one particular meat, especially when it tastes so damn good. I think pork has done everything it has to deserve the honour of being its own food group. Bugger it (I’ve been waiting a very long time for the opportunity to use that phrase), it think pork deserves a day nominated for regular homage and consumption.
Therefore, with the power vested in me by Monkey Magic, Voltron and the Pink Power Ranger, I here by name today and every Monday henceforth “Pork Monday”… and “no meat Monday” has now been moved to every second Tuesday. Sorry for any inconvenience.
And lastly, re: the comment about pork being a damn swine. Yes. Yes it is. And a damn fine swine at that.
A RECIPE AND STUFF
Ever since I started writing this story late last night I have been craving the dinner future Graeme was going to cook tonight. And now the time is nearly upon us. There is definitely pork belly, sauerkraut (my nana Rose would be proud), kipfler potatoes and some kind of cidery jus gras (or pan gravy if you’re not into wank… which is not really a question if you are still reading this)
Drying the pork skin
Hopefully when you purchase your piece of pork (from the butchers, not the “pork” you get from the “meat market”) the skin will be nice and dry, and this makes the best crackle. If the skin is a little moist (you can insert your own sexual connotations from here on in), and you can be excused if the moistness was caused by you getting a little over-excited thinking about your pork roast, you can dry it out by leaving it in the fridge over night uncovered.
Salting the pork skin
I think the general rule of thumb when salting pork skin for crackling is this; when you think you have salted it enough, salt it some more. If you have pork belly, pay particular attention to the nipples.
Cooking the pork
When you cook a piece of pork you can start with a blast of high heat to get the crackle going and then turn it down to cook the meat, or vice versa. I like to go with the second option so you can transfer the pork to another dish and use the pan juices to make your gravy. Also don’t be afraid to hit it with a bit of heat from your grill if your crackle isn’t coming up as planned. Just stay there and keep an eye on it because it goes like popcorn, but I find watching pork crackle under a grill is therapeutic… if not just damn raunchy.
Making the jus gras
Take the pork out of the pan and drain off a bit of the fat, don’t lose any of the pork juice though. Liquid gold I tell ya. Put the pan on a medium heat on the stove top and deglaze with a bottle of cider. Make a slurry out of a tablespoon of flour and a splash of water and slowly whisk most of that into the pan, reserving a bit just in case it thickens up enough without it. Keeps whisking so it makes a nice smooth sexy gravy to coat your girlfriend… err, piece of pork. Well, either one is a good option really. Strain it through a mesh seive and put it in your best old school gravy boat.
Eating the pork
Eat the pork. And drink your wine out of a coffee mug to show the world who’s the man!