Saturday, April 18, 2009

Roast dinner and appreciative audience

The husband invited a group of my fine co-workers around for a roast dinner today. While I have to quibble with Stephanie's chefly insistence that gravox gravy is a bad thing, I cannot criticise her technique for well-cooked but tender pork. We didn't have any gravox anyway, so I suppose that's a victory to her. Roasted meat was accompanied by perfect potatoes, soft and tender with crispy bits. Luvverly. No luck with crackling again. I do what people say - salt and oil, salt and lemon, just salt, start with a hot oven, finish with a hot oven. No luck ever.

We followed the roasty stuff with chocolate mousse from the Perfect recipe book and strawberries.

There is nothing like the pleasure of feeding people who give every evidence of enjoying their food. As well as telling funny stories and laughing lots.

We sat out in the backyard in the autumn sunshine with our glasses of rose, watched the rosellas and cockatoos flying by and ate and laughed ourselves into a standstill. Some of the girls are off to watch the footy, but I think I'll be taking myself to an early bed.


kazari said...

That sounds lovely. Perfect roast potatoes are heaven.

Man O'Sand said...

Ok here we go:

Score the fat quite deeply. The best thing to use is an art knife type of thing but if you are married to a graphic designer do not use their scalpel. That is bad!

Give it a food rub in olive oil.

Salt the fat. Ask yourself if you have put too much on. If you answer no then continue to salt until you say yes. When you think you have rubbed on too much then rub on some more. You can always rub the excess off later after it has done the job of sucking out the moisture.

Cook as per normal.

If when the meat is cooked you aren't happy with the crackliness then remove the crackling and, while the meat is resting, whack it under the griller.

Almost fool proof. All you need to do then is stop yourself from eating it all as you stand at the stove. Best to share a little bit of it.

Special mention must go to my sensei, Matthew Evans. He is to culinary writing what Martin Flanagan is to footy reportage.

Penthe said...

Mr O'Sand, your advice has been followed. The results are relentlessly and depressingly uncrackly. You could ask the husband if his lips and teeth were not glued together with gloopy pig fat.

My grandma, of blessed memory, could make crackling like the meat equivalent of peanut brittle, but that was because there was not a smidgin of moisture left in the entire joint. Just looking at her roast pork was enough to dehydrate the population of a small principality. I don't quite have the nerve for that myself.