Following on from Thursday’s interview with Rachel Allen, we include two sumptuous recipes showing exactly why she is one of Ireland’s most popular chefs.
With the pork, I recommend you enjoy with a full, rich white – the Dignité Viognier – or a lightish red, the Chinon Soleil de Coulaine Cabernet Franc, which offers the perfect foil for this as well as most Sunday roasts.
Slow-roast ginger and citrus shoulder of pork (serves 6-8)
“This recipe is delicious served with broccoli and Celeriac Purée.” You’ll need…
2–3kg (4lb 4oz–61/2lb) shoulder of pork on the bone, with the rind still on
For the marinade
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or finely grated
1 tsp ground star anise
2 tbsp peeled and finely chopped root ginger
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1 orange
150g (5oz) light soft brown sugar
75ml (3fl oz) sherry vinegar
4 tbsp chopped coriander
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1. Using a craft knife or a very sharp knife, score the rind of the pork, making incisions (about 5mm/3/4in deep) all across the surface of the meat in a criss-cross pattern.
2. Next make the marinade by simply mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Place the pork shoulder in a sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade, rubbing it into the pork and into any seams or cuts. Chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 12 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.
4. Place the pork shoulder on a roasting tray and pour over any of the marinade that hasn’t soaked in. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 110°C (225°F), Gas mark 1/4, and cook, basting with the juices from time to time, for 12 hours or until the meat feels completely soft and yielding. Take the pork out of the oven and turn the heat up to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7. Sprinkle the rind generously with sea salt then pop it back into the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes to crisp up the skin.
5. Remove from the oven, place on a baking tray or carving board and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. Put in the oven with the heat turned off. While the meat is resting, degrease the cooking juices (see page 226), then pour them back into the roasting tin in which the pork was cooked. Set on a medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavours. Carve the meat into thick slices or chunks and serve with the sauce.
Chocolate crème brûlée (serves 4)
“My brother-in-law makes this divine chocolate variation of the classic crème brûlée. It is such a pleasing thing to eat, using your spoon to break the crisp sugar barrier to invade the creamy chocolate custard it protects.” You’ll need…
4 egg yolks
40g (1½oz) caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
350ml (12fl oz) double or regular cream
4 tsp cocoa powder
4 tsp demerara sugar
Four small ramekins or similar-sized ovenproof dishes
1. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the caster sugar and vanilla extract, and whisk until combined.
2. Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. As it is heating, whisk in the cocoa powder until the cream is just about to boil. Remove from the heat and slowly pour into the bowl with the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
3. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the saucepan (having washed it first to help prevent the custard sticking and scrambling) and place on a low heat (any hotter and it will scramble easily). Cook the custard, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes or until it thickens. (Stir first with the whisk, then, as it heats up, change to a wooden spoon so you can get into the corners of the saucepan and avoid uneven cooking.) As the custard starts to ‘shiver’ on top and comes almost to the boil, remove immediately from the heat. At this point, speed is crucial as the custard could turn into sweet scrambled eggs!
4. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, allow to cool and then cover and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour (or they will be fine left overnight). Make sure when you are covering them with cling film that you do not touch the surface of the crèmes: you need a skin to form as this is what will hold the sugar on top – so no dipping fingers in to taste!
5. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of demerara sugar over each crème, spreading it out evenly so that it’s one grain thick across the whole surface. With a cook’s blow-torch on full heat, caramelise the sugar, keeping the flame just over the sugar and moving in slow circular movements, taking take care not to burn the sugar. Alternatively, cook for 20–60 seconds under a very hot grill until the sugar has caramelised and is bubbling. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the caramel to cool and set and then serve.
More recipes available at rachelallen.co.uk