“They will be ready…..when they are ready…..com-pree-hendo”? the faux Mexican accent was abit weird….
Chef balled her fist and playfully sunk it knuckles first into my sternum, her play-fighting was most men’s street brawling. That fucking hurt but my 21-year-old ego fueled by plentiful and erratic hormones refused to show the pain of this buddy-punch….she studied my reaction, arched a quizzical eyebrow then feigned a fictitious follow-up jab rocking me back like a gibbering goon…
But before I went arse first into the fryers she grabbed my jacket pulled my ear to her mouth and what followed was her softly spoken and silken instruction on the tacit awareness of kitchen timing…
“Listen, you’ll just know when they are ready, right?
When the oven door opens and Barry White sings….. then they’re ready, when the aroma hits you like the smell of your first teenage crush…… then they’re ready, when the mere beating of your own heart causes the meat to fall from the bone they’re ready………….. but, most important of all……..when the skin is the same colour as the girl from Ipanema’s arse……then and only then will they be ready…….get it”?
“Got it Chef”
She released me spun on a heel and headed for the back door…a lingered glance back and ruby smile saw her out. I was stuck…rooted to the spot unable to move….you know how a puppy gets when you scratch behind its ear……?
Tony was bent double at the entrance to the kitchen holding in an explosion of laughter
“Looks like I’m spending the night here then Tony”
“Looks like it fella – Cider and beer in the Fridge though so, ya know…knock your socks off …sleep on the flour bags up stairs and I’ll see you around 10am”.
Both Chef and Tony left the Kitchen stinking of cheap armpit spray – tonight is Tequila night at The Anchor Bar and Chef has a score to settle with her old mentor from the 2 Starred Ramone Restaurant – I wont see her for 2 maybe 3 days……my night on the other hand was to prep and baby sit 2 enormous Tamworth Pig shoulder joints – a 5 maybe 6 hour slow roast through the night in preparation for tomorrow’s lunch service.
The Pork came from a farm only three miles away and here they were laid out in front of me on old school browned waxed Butcher’s paper – no hanging around with Pork..in fact no hanging at all as it kills the flavour… unlike beef which loves it.
The sharpest knife we have in the Kitchen will take a finger off with just a flick of the wrist in the wrong direction, this will be used to score through the thick layer of pig skin but only as far as the marble white fat beneath and no more. Slashes to the skin left to right and right to left on the diagonal will allow for efficient rendering of fat and the production of crackling, this will also allow the fennel marinade to intrude into the flesh and fat. The marinade is simple…..fresh fennel seeds, fresh back pepper corns, 1st grade salt flakes and 1st grade Rape Seed oil. This mix will be ‘pulsed’ only not liquidised as I want texture to remain then it will be aggressively massaged into the Pork Shoulders.
A bed of halved red onions and some whole carrots will form a trivot on which the shoulders will rest, they will enjoy a bath of the best Italian White Vino we have before a triple wrapped of foil and then tucked into a low oven maybe 130/14o tops and my internal clock will kick in and I await the girl from Ipanema’s arse………
PORK SHOULDER RECIPE:
♠ 5 hour roast Shoulder of Pork ♣
Prep time: 10 mins ♦ Cook Time: 5 hours ♦ Total time 5 hours (ish) ♦ Serves 6
♣WHAT YOU NEED♥
- Pork shoulder – best sourced from a local butcher or pig farm
- 1 large glass of White Wine – sweet not dry (or a really good cider as an alternative)
- handful of new waxy baby spuds
- 1 whole bulb of garlic
- 1 tbs crushed fennel seeds
- Cracked black pepper and salt flakes
♣HOW YOU DO IT♥
Cut deep slashes into the pork skin and fat, just go through as far as the flesh and now more
Lug over some good rapeseed oil and massage the salt, pepper and fennel into the slashes and around the fleshy side of the shoulder
Scatter the spuds into a roasting tray, pour in the wine then lay the shoulder into the spuds keeping it off the bottom of the tray
Wrap the pork in a triple layer of foil very, very tightly….no gaps or your pork will dry and burn. You can cook straight away but I prefer to leave the pork shoulder sitting in the wine and seasoning over night.
Roast the Pork Shoulder at 150c for 4.5 hours at which point it will be falling apart. Then remove the foil, crank up the heat to 180c and roast for another 15-20 mins to get the cracking really crispy. Watch the pork like hawk now 0 it may take less than or more than 15 minutes depending on how good you over is…so use your eyes and tap the skin with a spoon to get it just right.
That’s it – no need to rest this beast as you wont be carving it!! Serve with roast spuds and french beans.
FANCY A BEER? TRY THIS