Thursday, October 20, 2011

Autumn in Rävlanda and Reviewing Jamie Olivers apple cider cinnamon braised pork shank

It' s all for you my heart
It's a long way from home for me. Growing up in nowhere Alberta, Canada to here. Rävlanda, Sweden. It's a very long, but fascinating story of how that happened. Two guesses.... a man and the adventure. Yes, like most ex-pats.. I am here for love. Not at first, but as I was on my amazing journey, I met and  fell in love with the Goat and had a little bun named lilla A.

Easy, peaceful living
The rolling hills and the beautiful forests
Rävlanda's old train station and running through the leaves
beauty among the ruins....
I sometimes wonder how people come together and stay together. What is the so called "glue" that makes everyones relationship stick? I know in our relationship it is a combination of relaxed personalities, but mostly because I can cook. The Goat would be a pizza eating, pink slop( DON'T ASK) slurping bachelor if I had not possessed the cooking gene.My father always said the best way through a mans heart was through his stomach, and boy was he right. Having a biker looking vegetarian in the house can be a lot of fun,but I am constantly challenged in the kitchen to come up with either a meal all three of us wants to eat, or I am a mini restaurant and cooking two separate meals. It is always an adventure.

Every now and then one of the tabloid newspapers has an offer with purchase and this week it was Jamie Olivers small rendition of fall flavors and easy to do recipes. A nifty little magazine/cookbook for 10 dollars. I love pork shank. It's easy to make, lovely to eat, and your never really have any leftovers, well not in this house. It's a easy way to make a cheap piece of meat become the star attraction on your dinner table I have served it at dinner parties, and people are always amazed that a couple of bucks can go so far.

From Jamie fyra årsstider i köket HÖSTENS MUSTIGA & SMAKRIKA MAT  (The bearded lady) via AFTONBLADET Sverige/Sweden

Translation:: Jamies four years in the kitchen /Autumn rich and flavorful food....

Our Star ingredient pork shank

6-8 servings
Our supporting cast, cinnamon, garlic, bay leafs, cider, vinegar....

  • 2 kilograms of pork shank with skin and bone in
  • 2 whole garlic heads/bulbs removed from the bulb, but with skin on
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 dried bay leafs
  • 200 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 600 ml dry apple cider, plus a little extra
  • serve with oven roasted potatoes

Preheat  the oven to 200 degrees C 400 degrees F. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and lay in an oven safe pot/casserole pan and roast for 40 minutes or until the meat has a little color.

after it's first 40 minutes with a little color
2. When it has a little color. Remove from the oven and remove the pork leg from the pan ( reserve any fat that has rendered off the pork leg and set aside). Add the garlic,cinnamon sticks,and bay leafs. Add in your vinegar, apple cider to the mix and return the pork leg to the pan. Cover with a lid or using tin foil cover and return to the oven.

mmmmmm..... smells wonderful
3. Lower your oven to 180 degrees c or 356 degrees F and let cook for three hours. Checking every so often to remove any excess fat that has been rendered off the meat. Add more dry cider if it is starting to become dry.

4.Remove from oven when the meat has been nicely colored and the skin is getting crispy.The meat should be easy to remove from the bone with a fork.Remove the bone from the meat, and return to the oven in the reduced liquid  for 30 minutes to help color and further reduce the braising liquid.
NOTE:( If your meat is already falling off the bone, and the liquid is reduced to your liking and the meat is a lovely color. I would skip the extra 30 minutes here. )

5. Remove from the oven and remove the skin. With a fork pull the meat apart and pick out the bay leaf and cinnamon sticks, and garlic cloves if you desire. Pour onto a serving platter and serve. I like to eat it with mashed root vegetables, but you can serve it with anything you like.

I am walking through another first on my blog... reviews.. here's my first one:
Now for my review..... It was good, but not fabulous. I think the cider vinegar could be turned down a bit and the bay leaf as well. I really liked it cold much better than warm. I think this would be perfect cooked and added to a big pot of corn chowder or split pea soup. On it's own I give it a  a large 6. 

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