Yay! Pig day has arrived. Shame it’s only 1 day but I’ll take it over none.
I’m an unrepentant carnivore. I love beef but really pork is my favourite meat. Truth be told, I don’t cook it often because I find it tricky to do well. When I’m in Austria or Munich I always gorge on the porky dishes. See, I don’t go back to Oktoberfest every year for the beer. No-sir-ee. I go back for the suckling pig.
This dish is the one all the chefs have been talking up. Because of the sauce. Côtelette de Porc Sautée à la Sauge et au Miel. Or pan-fried pork cutlet in a brown sauce with mustard, lemon juice, sage and honey. It hits all the tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. The secret is plenty of sucs—those lovely browned proteins stuck to the bottom of the pan. Time to get real colour on the pork. Deglazed with white wine. Then veal stock added and reduced. That’s the stock that took 8 hours to make so imagine the flavour. Served with kale rolled in sweated onions plus mash potato containing more butter than I’m ready to admit and nutmeg-infused milk. What piggylicious delight!
Note of sorts. I like my pork served pink but UK law says all pork must be served at 72C—that’s well done, and typically dry. This law was instituted in a bygone era when many pigs were infected with trichinosis. Nasty worms. Nowadays, changes in pig farming practices mean that this is no longer an issue. Though the law has not been updated to reflect this, it’s not impossible to find pork served slightly under and pink in the centre. I’m guessing it is first and foremost at the chef’s discretion and second by the customer’s choice.
Lunch was Carré de Porc Rôti avec Pommes Boulangère. For once we couldn’t eat it all. Oh the shame, the shame.
At one point during cooking the crackling on the rack was rubbed with butter. Of course! I’ve never seen that before so why am I surprised? The Boulangère is apparently healthier than Dauphinoise because it uses stock rather than cream. Its name comes from where it was usually cooked—in a bakery. After the bread was baked it was time to feed the bakers. The dish was placed under roasting meat in crazy-hot ovens so the dripping fat would fall onto the potatoes. Mmmm. Healthy for sure.