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Wine And Food


Slow-Roasted Belly of Pork with Magners Cider and Caramelized Quince

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Posted by Wade Murphy

Pork belly is an extremely fatty cut of meat. Cooking the belly slowly allows the fat to render down; this rendered fat then helps to baste the meat.

Turning up the oven towards the latter stages of cooking results in a crisp skin, not dissimilar to that of cracklings, or skin, on a pork roast.

While Wade Murphy, executive head chef at The Lodge at Doonbeg in County Clare, Ireland, likes to serve this pork with caramelized quince, you could also serve the pork with baby potatoes, roasted with lots of butter and parsley, and Savoy cabbage, sliced thinly and sautéed with spring onions and small pieces of diced apple.


For the pork:

    • 2 ½ pounds (1 ½ kilograms) deboned pork belly
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • Salt, preferably Maldon
    • 1 onion, thickly sliced
    • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
    • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
    • About 1 ½-¾ cups (400 milliliters) hard cider, preferably Magners or Bulmers Irish Apple Cider
    • 2 cups (500 milliliters) beef stock
    • 1 bouquet garni (2 sprigs fresh thyme and 3 parsley stems wrapped in cheesecloth)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 cloves
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    For the quince:

      • 2 quinces
      • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
      • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
      • 2 tablespoons water
      • 2 tablespoons hard cider (see above)

      For the pork:

      Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/230 degrees Celsius.

      Using a very sharp knife, score the skin of the pork at 5 millimeter intervals. Take care not to cut all the way through the fat to the meat. Boil a kettle full of water (about 10 cups) and pour it over the skin. Throw away the water and pat the pork dry. This will help the skin crisp up during the cooking. Rub the pork with the canola oil and sprinkle with salt.

      Place the vegetables in a roasting dish and put the pork on top, skin side up. Pour the cider and stock around the meat. Add the bouquet garni, bay leaf, and cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the pork in the center of your oven for 20 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp. Reduce the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit/140 degrees Celsius and cook for another 2 ½ hours. If the meat begins to get too brown, cover it with foil to prevent it from getting any darker in the last 45 minutes.

      Remove the pork from the oven, transfer it to a plate, and leave in a warm place to rest. Strain the contents of the roasting dish through a fine sieve and place in a pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat and reduce the liquid, skimming all the time, until the sauce thickens and becomes syrupy, about 8-10 minutes.

      For the quince:

      Peel the quince and cut in half. Cut each half then into 3 slices and remove the cores. Melt the butter and the sugar in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Place the quince in the pan and pour over the water and cider. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook very slowly for 1 ½ hours. Occasionally stir the mixture to make sure it is not burning. Cook the quince until it is very soft but still holds its shape.

      Remove the lid from the pan and increase the heat for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. The quince will caramelize and all the liquid will evaporate. Keep the quince mixture warm.

      To serve, carve the meat into thick slices and place on a serving dish. Pour over the reduced sauce and serve with the caramelized quince.

      Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.



      Mandarin Roasted Chicken

      chicken copy Wine And FoodIs it just me or is there something about being able to perfectly roast a whole chicken that makes you (and your significant other) think you’re the most accomplished ever?

      Plus, we love food we can eat with our hands, and everything about the wine (the rich color, the smooth wine glass, the taste) adds sexiness to your dinner.

      A 5-pound whole chicken
      Unsalted butter
      Salt and pepper
      Chef of the Future cajun seasoning
      ½ yellow onion, cut into 2 pieces
      2 mandarin oranges cut into quarters
      4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
      1 orange, juiced
      2 tablespoons of honey

      To make the roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 400° F. Slather chicken with butter, then generously cover it with cajun seasoning and salt and pepper (get under the skin, get under the wings, put it everywhere!).

      Season with onion, mandarine oranges,  rosemary sprigs, salt and pepper and cajun seasoning and then stuff into chicken cavity. Place chicken on roasting rack inside roasting pan and cook until meat thermometer reads 180° F (about an hour and a half). Baste occasionally with juices from pan.

      After chicken comes out of the oven, place on serving tray to rest. Pour pan drippings into sauté pan and heat to medium high.
      Add honey, juice from orange and season with salt and pepper. Stir continuously and allow to bubble and thicken. Pour over chicken and serve. Serves 2.


      Wine Pairing:  Italian red or white wine.




      Stewed Bísaro Pork

      By Brenda McMillan

       Wine And Food

      Bísaro is the ancient Portuguese breed of pig raised outdoors on herbs and grasses—and is a favorite of Rui Paula, Chef of D.O.C. Restaurant in Portugal’s Douro Valley. This recipe, rich, succulent and unusual, has been adapted for home preparation and our (sad) lack of herb-fed Bísaro pork.

      For the stew:
      21⁄4 pounds boned pork shoulder, cubed, fat removed
      1⁄4 cup olive oil plus more for sautéing
      1⁄2 bottle dry white Portuguese wine
      One sprig each fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley
      1 tablespoons peppercorns
      3 cloves garlic, crushed
      2 onions, chopped
      Table salt
      Mixed fresh herbs to taste
      11⁄2 cups veal stock

      For the potatoes:
      24 small potatoes
      2 tablespoons duck fat
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      Crystallized sea salt
      Freshly ground black pepper

      Marinate the meat cubes for 12 hours (in the refrigerator) in olive oil, wine, herb sprigs, peppercorns and garlic. Remove the meat, roughly pat it dry and sauté with the onion in generous olive oil until the liquid dries and the meat and onions start to brown. Season with salt and pepper; add mixed herbs and stock. Heat to a simmer then place in a casserole dish that just fits. Oven bake tightly covered for six hours (or until very tender) at 200°F.

      Raise temperature to 350°F and cook for ten minutes to finish. Wash potatoes and boil in salted water until barely tender. Drain. Heat duck fat and olive oil to hot in an oven-proof shallow pan, add potatoes, shaking to coat, then bake at 400°F until golden. Season with salt and pepper. Serves four.

      WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Chef Rui Paula recommends a very lightly oaked Douro red wine as an accompaniment; consider the Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas, Quinto de Crasto or Caves Aliança Quinta dos Quatro Ventos.

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