Today Jennee has declared she will be cooking my favourite dinner because of my prompt completion of set tasks lately. I have been meeting all of my KPIs (key performance indicators), negotiating multi-single dollar deals and fulfilling all of my regular everyday husbandly duties (sex) with such efficiency (defo) and great results (not really). I was very happy to receive this news, especially considering all of the extra effort I was putting in. I have been damn well envisaging myself posing for a photo with a shiny new employee of the month award for a while now… or maybe just receiving a good rodgering… or even just a pat on the head and a calming motherly voice telling me I am a good boy. But this favourite dinner thing shall certainly do the trick. But what is my favourite dinner? This made me think… a lot. Certainly a lot more than a man should be thinking on a day like today. I should be resting, quite possibly in my library, with nothing but the company of my brown dressing gown, pipe, the complete works of Hemingway (pocket edition of course) and my Jack Russell Terrier, Colin. But instead, I thought about my favourite foods.
When I did decided what my favourite foods were she said that I did not make a list of my favourite foods at all, but instead made a list that some how managed to be an inventory of most foods I eat. Except pasta. But don’t get me wrong, I love pasta like any full blooded, rounder than the earth itself, Italian villager. I just didn’t have enough room for it on my list.
I think I just love food. No wait, I know I just love food. Food is the best shit ever!
At the end of the day my ten favourite foods list went something like this…
1. Slow roasted any meat in the coals
2. Ribs of any description
3. Cured and/or smoked pork products
4. Cassoulette with a nice green salad
5. A cracking burger
6. Something with cabbage in it eg. Coleslaw or sauerkraut
7. Thai fried rice
8. Tempura vegetables with ponzu
9. Any/all seafood
Jennee deduced whatever she could using this list, some other mummurings which may or may not have originated from my voice box and the finest womans intuition money could buy. She went to the store. After a period of time had elapsed, say, 60 minutes to an hour, she returned from said store with a bag of loot.
So the first thing Jennee pulls from her bag of loot is a six pack of beer. Great start to any meal, I thought. I’ll get into this entrée right away!
The rest was a secret, but as I later found out, this is how it went…
Braised pork knuckle with beer, sauerkraut, accidental fondant hasselback potatoes and beans
Braised pork knuckle
1 pork knuckle, about 1kg. You may need to order this from your butcher and it will probably be dirt cheap. Ours was only 8 bucks!
1 onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into 4-5 pieces
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon caraway seed
1 375ml bottle dark beer of your fancy
a pinch of salt and pepper
• All of that goes into a pot and gets topped up with water to cover the knuckle. Simmer over a low heat for 2-3 hours, until it starts to fall off the bone
• Carefully lift the knuckle and vegetables out of the cooking liquid, then strain liquid though a sieve. Reserve that liquid gold
• Put the knuckle and carrots into a roasting pan and then into a 200C oven for 15 minutes to achieve their only goal in life – to be crispy and roasty and find their new home in your belly
• Serve with gravy, accidental fondant hasselback potatoes, sauerkraut and green beans (recipes below)
3 cups braising liquid
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons mustard
salt and pepper
• Mix the flour with enough braising liquid to make a slurry. Bring remaining liquid up to a simmer and reduce by half
• Add half of the slurry, stirring constantly. If it doesn’t thicken up after a minute or two add a little more… and then a little more if you need it
• Once desired consistency has been achieved stir in mustard and season
Accidental fondant hasselback potatoes
The reason these are called accidental fondant hasselback potatoes is because Jennee didn’t really (at all) know how to make hasselback potatoes so she cut the potaoes in half and then scored the top and then, in a moment of pure unadulterated brilliance, roasted them in butter until they had sucked it all up, much like a cheap hooker with your… erm… nothing, and then them until they achieved a crispy golden roasted goodness climax. Effing brilliant.
10 medium potatoes, cut in half and then scored on the skin side to be hasselback-y
200g unsalted butter, chopped into perfect cubes
salt and pepper
• Put the potatoes into an oven pan and thrown the butter around the place… or into the pan with the potatoes. What ever suits
• Whack it into a preheated 180C oven for 30 minutes or so, until golden, crisp and looking more delicious than a top-shelf prostitutes cleavage filled with cocaine… and yes, I did just see “The Wolf of Wall Street”
1 400-500g jar/tin of sauerkraut
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 brown onion, sliced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup reisling or something similar or something totally dissimilar
• Sauté onion until soft
• Add caraway and fresh cabbage and cook out for 2 minutes or so
• Now it all goes in and gets simmered for 15 minutes
• Plate that shit up
Cook some beans however you feel like cooking some beans. To be absolutely honest, I didn’t really even notice they were there and sure as fuck didn’t have any room for them in my belly.
Hopefully you possess the skills to get this on the plate together while it’s still warm and delicious. Jennee does… I think that’s why I love her.
I can verify with my own dodgily typed words, that this was one hell of a meal. Please keep it in mind for your next Oktoberfest gathering or weekly Friday night meeting of ill mannered drunken pirates/vikings. If you spend your Friday nights at the local homeless shelter for out of luck and height-challenged (PC like a mother fucker!) carnies this may not be appropriate as they fear pigs and anything else that is bigger than them… which is basically everything… except turnips.