Sometimes you just stumble across something that is just the absolute best way to achieve a particular result and when it comes to cooking meat for me, that has been Sous Vide, French for under vacuum. The vacuum packed meat is cooked at a low temperature for a longer period in a waterbath. The water temp is maintained at a certain temp for desired cookedness ( I made that up). This lamb rack was med rare after 45 minutes at 58deg c then a quick hot sear in a pan to caramalise the outside. I served it on a Moroccan spiced sweet potato mash with mashed potato, garlic buttered broccoli and cashew nut and a pepper and mint gravy.
I love Pork Belly…there I’ve said it! The cunning buggers from the Pork Mafia have made it so readily available and reasonably priced that us poor CRACKling addicts have no chance of getting clean. I think the secret is to limit your intake at any one sitting. Being so rich and fatty allows for much smaller servings. I’ve played around with different cooking methods and quite frankly old fashioned roasting is probably the quickest and with crunchy crackling is always a good thing. If you are looking for excellent presentation it is worth taking the time to double cook and press it over night. This forces a lot of the gelatinous material out of the meat giving it a tighter and cleaner meaty texture. The gel can be added to stock or sauces as its full of porky goodness. Recently I split an extra large belly and roasted one half for dinner and Sous Vide the other half in a curry marinade. I used the resulting curry flavoured pork belly to make Curried Pork Noodles…yum. Pork belly is well priced here as far as pork goes anyway and lets face it any meat that can sustain its place on the US futures market ( people invest and gamble on its future price) has got to be good.
Meat and Three Veg, how many times have we all cooked that. One good thing is there are a multitude of options to allow us all to put some variety into it. I find we are eating smaller portions of red meat lately so mixing it up with veg’s is a great way to keep it interesting. This dish is pretty much just Steak and Chips with veg, but if you are writing a menu it becomes ‘Choice centre cut Grass Fed Rump Steak served on Garlic Cauliflower Puree, Hand cut Duck Fat Fried Chips w/ Moroccan Sweet Potato Mash & Glazed Baby Spinach and a Red Wine De-Glaze’. While that might be a bit long-winded It pays to be descriptive on menus, personally I like to be a bit more succinct but often the sound of a dish is what sells us. The next step is, we eat with our eyes first. Have fun making your meals look good, ultimately it is taste that seals the deal but a great looking plate goes a long way to making us enjoy the experience.