Saturday, April 10, 2010
3 Dinners: Meat
Hello my lovelies! Now that Easter, and therefore Lent, is over, I thought it was time for a meaty meat-filled post! Not that I was going through any self-denial before Easter- far from it! - but I know a couple of my carnivorous Catholic chums were suffering some serious meat withdrawal symptoms during those 40 days and 40 nights. (Read into that what you will. Can I get a holla?)
First up is a dish I actually made up myself! Well, I say made up, but what I actually did was to combine a couple of recipes.
I layed out some prosciutto, and rolled it out to get it even flatter. Then I wrapped the prosciutto around a pork fillet, and seared it off in a frying pan. As you can see, I used the same pan to fry off some mushrooms until soft (this was for a creamy mushroom sauce!). I then wrapped up the seared pork log in puff pastry (home made, naturally). I baked it in a very hot oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
I served it in slices (you can see a cross section at the top of this post), with bratkartoffeln and creamy mushroom sauce. I used mainly button mushrooms in the sauce, but boosted the flavour with some porcini powder and dried chanterelles.
For something I made up on the fly, it was quite a success! I thought the prosciutto added great flavour to an otherwise bland cut of meat, and I loved the way the creamy mushroom sauce soaked into the pastry.
Maple Chicken 'n' Ribs
The recipe for Maple Chicken 'n' Ribs comes from Nigella Express, and is very simple to make. Just marinate chicken pieces and ribs (I used pork) in a mixture of apple juice, maple syrup, oil, soy and some spices. Leave it overnight and bake rost it the next day. Ta-dah!
They were tender and juicy, but were rather lacking in the flavour and colour department. I prefer my ribs sticky and burnished and covered in awesome barbecue sauce, like Hurricane's ribs, or those standard "Chinese" chicken wings that Elizabeth Chong made throughout the 80's.
Oxtail with Mackeson and Marjoram
I love oxtail stew, and this is the same recipe that I first made 4 and a half years ago (!!) from Nigella's How to Eat. Now, oxtail is pretty hard to come by, and when I saw some beautiful oxtail at my local butcher, all wrapped up on a little tray with a parsley sprig garnish, I just had to buy it.
Nigella says you should aim to get oxtail pieces that are all roughly the same size - hah! - that is being very optimistic. If you are lucky enough to find oxtail at your butcher, it will most likely come from the same actual tail and thus will vary in size, from the thick top part, tapering down to the tiny end pieces. I highly doubt they'll have enough tails in for you to be able to chose enough similar-sized pieces to make a whole stew.
Of course, if you happen to know of a kick-ass butcher who always has heaps of oxtail in, please let me know about it!!
I love the deep red colour of the sauce, and how thick the sauce gets thanks to all the gelatinous goodness in the oxtail. Totally fabulous. I've blogged this stew in more detail here, if you're interested. It's definitely one of my favourite stews of all time.
If I'm not eating it with mashed potatoes, I like oxtail (and osso buco) with short round pasta, to echo the shape of the meat.