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Monday, 13 February 2012

Le weekend... enjoying a big joint.

I don’t normally have a Saturday and Sunday style weekend off as I work both days and get Monday and Tuesday off instead. However, I’ve had a bit of a holiday break including yesterday and the day before. So, to celebrate I went on a cookathon and cooked a joint of spiced shoulder pork on Saturday and made a  Boeuf Bourguignon yesterday. I didn’t intend to do both but this is how it happened.

Firstly I went across the road to my ever smiling village butcher, Mr Happy, and enquired about the price of a nice looking pork shoulder joint in his window display. As I enquired I was also aware that I could get a hand of pork – that’s a shoulder piece with the knuckle joint on the bone for about a fiver from the butcher two miles away on the Clifton estate. They are very good value from the Clifton butchers, Paul Walker’s. So, when Mr Happy the butcher in the village smiled at me and said, £13.55, guess where I went? I don’t think he was very happy anymore.

It was a cold but nice day weather-wise and it took me over an hour to walk to Clifton and back but the thought of saving £8.55 and probably getting a bigger, considerably cheaper, fresher joint, stirred me onwards, Clifton bound. In the end I spent about nine pounds with Paul Walkers’, purchasing some nice looking braising steak and three cooking apples for an apple sauce as well as the pork hand for £4.91. I felt like a hunter gatherer bringing home the catch of the day, plus some. Ug!

When I got home I boned and rolled the pork, scored it and laced it with cloves, star anise and a cinnamon stick and popped it into the oven for two and half hours on a low heat and it was yummy. Great crackling too!!  I also had some roast spuds and carrots and green beans but there is no picture as I got a bit tiddly with some accompanying vintage cider and forgot to take one. That same afternoon I prepped the beef, trimming the little bit of fat off and marinating it in a red wine from Bourgogne (Mâcon – les Epillets). I added a sort of bouquet garni with some thyme and bay leaves and three chopped cloves of garlic. Then I covered the bowl with tin foil and placed it in the fridge overnight to do it’s magic. This was the first time I’d done this. I also did some clothes washing and more vintage cider drinking and made a home made apple sauce from three cooking apples. Not bad for a Rosbif.

Sunday saw me cooking the beef as recommended in my French cooking book and I added new potatoes, chunky chopped celery, carrots and button mushrooms to the casserole, made a wine reduction with the marinade and cooked it the oven – medium heat- for two hours and sat with a glass of wine watching Rick Stein’s French Odyssey while the house filled, once again with the delicious aromas of my weekend meals.

Rick Stein in a French railway cafe
left over cold pork and home made apple sauce

What next?! Maybe a rabbit fricassée? I know a field or two near Bunny where there are some bunnies. Where’s me gun? I’ll get my trusty hunting cat, Madame Soufie to come with me too. Bang bang!! Fetch Soufie fetch. No don’t eat it!!!
Madame Soufie the hunting cat.


Karen said...

So that's what the beef photo on Flickr is....I will have to try making that at the weekend. And I cooked shoulder of pork today (Tesco meat, no butcher near where I live). I rubbed the crackling with salt, then rubbed pepper & carroway seeds on the meat, poking several cloves of garlic deep inside. Then it was covered in foil & slow roasted at 140c for 5 hours,with a final 30 mins on 200C to crisp the crackling. The meat could then be pulled apart with a fork, & was very juicy.However you cook it, pork shoulder is a delicious, fairly cheap joint of meat, full of flavour.

Karen said...

Forgot to say I love the photo of Madame Soufie with her tongue sticking out. Did you give her some pork?

Vera said...

Hi, and what a lovely blog. We are in SW France and have a smallholding which gives us a lot of our food, including meat (rabbits, chickens, and lamb / mutton. Also pork when our Tamworth pigs manage to make some babies!) After having browsed your other posts, I look forward to reading more about your cooking adventures in the future. Vera.

Phil Lowe said...

Thanks Karen. No pork for Madame Soufie.