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Saturday, 5 January 2013

pork: the sequel

Fun Fact: every year, we Brits chuck away 18 million tons of edible food.

So, I lied. There was nothing particularly 'fun' about that fact, but it seemed worth mentioning. On a relatively serious note though, let's just try envisioning what 18 million tons of food actually looks like- it's ridiculous. And also a little bit sad, given the number of people who go to bed hungry every night.

Me again.
But let's not get too preachy, eh? I made a resolution this year- a new one. Because I daresay I won't have the time to learn Cantonese, and given the occupational hazards of being a food blogger, any weightloss ambitions are, sadly, unrealistic. So this year, I'm vowing to throw away less food, and be more inventive with my leftovers (and not just postpone their inevitable binning by chucking them into the cavernous depths of the freezer without another thought).

Last week, I promised you I'd do something imaginative with your leftover pork. Now, when I saw just how much leftover pork that recipe... well, leftover, I don't mind admitting that I was intimidated. Had I just got a tad carried away in the fervour of festive eating, and bankrupted myself for a joint that I could NEVER FINISH? Were these delicious scraps of meat destined to languish in clingfilm until I gave in, and turned to the bin in defeat? Not on my watch. So here we have it- Pulled Pork Reincarnation #1:

Jerk Patties

It's imperative that you consider the flavours used in the original cook when conjuring up inspired leftovers, otherwise you risk ending up with something that tastes confused and jarring. Given the Jerk leanings of the slow cook recipe, I wanted to come up with a mid-week friendly, Caribbean-inspired patty. And here it is.

What You Need:

  • 2 average-sized potatoes- whatever variety you have to hand.
  • Roughly half the volume of potato (once grated) in your leftover pork. Remove from the fridge an hour or so before you start your patty-making, if you can.
  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped.
  • 1-2 fresh red chillis depending, as always, on how hot you fancy.
  • 1.5 tsp of fennel seeds
  • 1.5 tsp of allspice
  • 1.5 tsp of mixed spice
  • The zest of two limes, and juice of one.
  • A sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves (dry will do, in a pinch).
  • A thumb of fresh ginger, grated.
  • 1 egg from a happy chicken
  • Plain flour. Enough of it.
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Oil for cooking.

What Yo Do:

1. Peel and grate your potatoes, and squeeze them gently in your hands over some kitchen towel to dry them out a bit. Don't clench them to a pulp, but do try your best to get some of the excess moisture out, or your patty will disintegrate, and look rather woebegone.

2. Lightly bash your fennel seeds, chop your chilli and coriander, grate your ginger (having peeled it first, ideally), and give it all a decent mix with the allspice, cumin, mixed spice, lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper. This isn't really the sort of thing you want to check by thrusting a finger in and licking it, so give it a good sniff (not too hard- ingesting chilli and allspice through your nose is, surprisingly enough, quite unpleasant). It should smell sweet, earthy, and zingy, with no one ingredient dominating. If it does, tweak. Trust your nose.

3. Now tackle your pork. Getting it out of the fridge in advance should make it easier to handle, as you need to shred it a little more finely than you probably did originally. It should be roughly the same cut as your potato. Some excess fat will have congealed during refrigeration, so try to pick off any obvious-looking lumps, and don't worry about the rest.

4. In a big bowl, mix your potato, pork and spices. Crack an egg into a small glass or bowl, and whisk very lightly with a fork. Add this to the mix gradually until it all starts to melge* together- too much and it will turn out soggy, not to mention distinctly egg-flavoured.

5. In a shallow dish, pour in some plain flour, and season enthusiastically with sea salt, fresh black pepper and a good pinch of cayenne.

6. Start shaping your patties, but first- decide what you're using them for. They make good party nibbles (and sure beat a prawn ring or pallid frozen 'tikka bite'...), so think along the flattened golf-ball lines for that. For a solid main dish, think generic fish-cake size, and for a nice little starter, somewhere in between the two. Give them a good final squeeze as you're doing this, just to triple-check they aren't still oozing water. Dust them lightly but thoroughly in the flour, and set aside.

... and dust
7. If you want to freeze these for Credit Card Statement Day (or any other occasion you find yourself in need of a cheap dinner), then place them onto a clingfilmed baking sheet, and pop them in. Once they're hard, transfer them into something more practical (I heart Tupperware). Defrost thoroughly for at least twelve hours before heating. If you're cooking them there and then, leave them in the fridge for an hour or so to firm them up, if you have time.

8. To cook, heat some oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. The 'non-stick' element is quite important here- you risk skinning your patties in the pan if it's some dodgy old thing, which is always a bummer. You may notice Le Creuset cookware features a lot in my blog photos, and it's because everything they produce is amazing, and well worth every penny... so you've got a whole year to behave, and bag some from Santa for next Christmas. Anyway- once the oil is hot, place them in carefully using a spatula or some kind of burger-flipping-device. Cook dinner-sized ones for about four minutes each side, and the smaller ones for 2-3 minutes each side. Please do check they are piping hot all the way through- I still don't have the legalities of blogging quite figured out yet. I'd be awfully miffed if I got sued...

It's worth nothing that, seeing as your pork is already a couple of days old, you should either cook or freeze your patties on the day.

Serve with salad, and obligatory hot sauce.

Granny-plate optional

Don't fret- Pulled Pork Reincarnation #2 will follow soon. God, I hope you like pork...

mrs hunt.x

* I though 'melge' was a real word- it turns out that's not the case. I'm sure we understand one another.

1 comment:

  1. He he! Hi Mrs. H. Well I thought I'd check that word for ya and the closest I could find is melee which means:
    1. a confused hand-to-hand fight or struggle among several people.

    2. confusion; turmoil; jumble:
    Kinda sounds like my kitchen sometimes when the whole family is involved.  。◕‿◕。