Monday, 13 February 2012

Valentine menu suggestion

Valentine's Day is upon us and for those romantic souls out there who seek to woo their loved ones (and who happens to have a day off just to prepare a lovely meal) I've put together a little suggestion for a menu. It's vibrant, full of flavours, light, packed with vitamins and carbs so you'll have plenty of energy and not too heavy a stomach, just in case... you know, you decide to go running or something afterwards.

Starter: Cold Tomato Soup with Crab Salad (click here to get the recipe

Main: Homemade Ravioli (Recipe)

And for desert: My Valentine Chocolate Cake (Recipe)

All the best of luck.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Pork Knuckles - Slow fast food

Pork knuckle, or Schweinshaxe as it's known in Germany, is the lower joint which connects the pig's leg to the foot. It's a really under-valuated piece of meat (unless you are Bavarian), but prepared just right it turns into something of a treat. As they say, the closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat. I've called it slow fast food, because the preparation is virtually none. Yet, it does requite quite a long roasting process. But hey, that's the oven doing the work for you. The result is succulent meat, falling off the bone. Here's what you need:
2 carrots
1 small onion
250ml beer
2 pork knuckles
2 small cloves of garlic
3/4 tsp fennel seeds
3/4 tsp dried tarragon
A couple of fresh rosemary leaves
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil 

 Crush all the ingredients for the rub in a mortar until you have a fine paste
Cut the carrots in smaller pieces, slice the onion and place them at the base of a ovenproof dish. Rub the pork knuckles with the rub. Make sure you get it in everywhere. This can also be done overnight. Add extra salt according to taste. Place the dish in preheated 230ºC oven for 30 minutes. Then pour the beer in. Turn the temperature down to 150ºC and cook for a further 2 hours. Baste the pork knuckles with the cooking liquid at the base of the dish every now and again. After 2 hours, turn the temperature way up (250º) to brown the meat outside. That should take another 20-30 minutes. Just make sure it doesn't burn.
The final result. Some delicious, slow-roasted pork knuckles that will have you licking your fingers for more.