This morning I handed my wife a food magazine we received as we walked into the Good Food and Wine Show yesterday and asked her to pick something out for her dinner tonight. I had seen a beautiful beef casserole with seasonal vegetables in the book and was sure that was what she would pick, alas I was wrong, she got no further than the cover and she said she wanted that! Not that I had anything against roast pork, I love it in fact, it was just I wanted to try something different. It was not until I went shopping for the ingredients that I actually decided that yes she could have her roast pork, however not quite like the pistachio stuffed pork loin on the cover of that magazine, though that would have been a little different, instead I opted to try and create a different array of accompaniments, this is where this roast was very different to any I have had before.
Firstly I made a potato gratin with a difference, one that had me crossing my fingers that it may work and I was so pleased when it came out of the oven and I tasted it, burning my mouth as I did, and I it tasted great, this is how I made it. Peel and slice thinly 2 nashi pears, 1 large Granny Smith apple, 1 golden shallot and 4 medium potatoes, layering them in a casserole dish starting with a layer of potato, followed by the shallot and pear, then the apple and finally another layer of potato. In a small jug mix together a clove of crushed garlic, a tablespoon of red currant jelly and a stubby of Dry Apple Cider, mix well with whisk and then pour over the top, pop it in the oven for an hour at 180C.
I was a little bit of a chicken so opted to dice up a few potatoes and roasted them in a little oil just in case, along with a couple of carrots and a quarter of a pumpkin which I diced and coated with oil and freshly ground fennel seeds, I learnt tonight that pumpkin cooked like this is amazing!
Whilst I was at the spud shed I noticed some lovely fresh beetroots, and after roasting some baby beetroot for Friday night’s salad, I thought I may as well try them out with roast pork, I roasted them whole for a little over an hour, then peeled, cut and doused them in a couple of tablespoons of Maille Dijonnasie.
The final touch, which lifted this from a great roast to an outstanding roast, was the gravy I prepared, using the baking tray I roasted the meat and veg on, I sprinkled over a tablespoon of plain flour and cooked it for about 30 seconds then added a half cup of Chardonnay to help de-glaze the tray, mixing it in well and then added a cup of hot water from the pot I cooked the beans in, once it was at a nice consistency I added a knob of butter, some cracked pepper and a teaspoon of Black Bean Sauce.
This really was the roast with a difference I had aimed for, all the flavours worked exceedingly well together, but none more so than that black bean gravy with a chunk of the crunchy crackling, I am so glad I cooked extra veggies so as to make up four plates, now I am hanging out to get home from work tomorrow night so I can enjoy the wonderful flavours all over again!