It’s Weekend Herb Blogging. This week’s recap is hosted at its original home: Kalyn’s Kitchen. Catch Kalyn’s recap by clicking here.
My herb moment this week came on a "meat night", meaning Jonas was working (again!) so I was cooking for one.
There’s a certain freedom in being able to cook whatever I want. After years of always eating together, suddenly he’s working a lot of nights and so I’m free to experiments with ingredients he doesn’t like (e.g. eggplant) or things he doesn’t eat (i.e. meat or fish).
The freedom is overwhelming. For so long I’ve scouted through new cookbooks and salivated over dishes that I had to write off because they contained meat/fish. I had craved them and sometimes even moaned about them, but then I forgot about them. If I could never have them it was best to put them safely out of my mind.
But now I am free to make them, free to try whatever I want. I’m like a kid in a candy store and I don’t know what to devour first. My only problem now is trying to find all those forgotten meaty recipes again!
So, with this in mind I trundled off to the local butcher and gazed unconfidently at the various cuts of meat on display. Some quails caught my eye, then the more substantial spatchcocks, but I settled on organic pork belly.
I got home and sat staring at it, the pink flesh set in layers of white fat. What to do?
I went outside to the herb garden (if I can call it that) and perused the selection. Mint was not to be, the oregano was close to dead and I didn’t feel like pruning the lemongrass to get the goods. Rosemary caught my eye so I snipped off some stems then rifled through the kitchen cupboards to find some flavours to match.
In the end I settled on a rosemary, garlic and honey marinade.
Pork Belly with Honey and Rosemary
Serves 1 meat-a-saurus
2 slices of pork belly (15cm long x 3cm thick)
1 sprig of rosemary, stem removed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup white wine
Freshly milled black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 180'C
2. Mix olive oil, honey, lemon juice, rosemary and garlic in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add pork and coat well. Leave to marinate.
3. Heat a baking tin over the stove top. When very hot, sear pork on all sides. Remove from heat.
4. Put pork on the baking tin with skin side facing up. Pour marinade over the top. Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked but not tough (meat should be a little pink). Remove pork and allow it to sit.
5. Put baking tin on stove top over a low heat. Add wine and scrape marinade pieces from tin to form a sauce. Reduce until it becomes a glaze and the alcohol has evaporated.
Serve pork with baked potatoes, a fresh white wine and a salad . . . . or skip the salad if it’s your meat night!