Smoked Paprika Pork
Few things are as exciting as getting a parcel in the post, especially when wrapped in wax paper and tied up with string, as was the lovely rack of quality-assured pork Bord Bia sent me earlier this week.
One of my favourite things about blogging so far has been the constant motivation to try something new, and I have to admit, cooking pork fell into this category. Fortunately, there was plenty of inspiration available online, from the rosemary-roasted pork cooked up by Reindeersp to the wealth of Neven Maguire recipes available on Bord Bia’s website and beyond.
Fairly early in the game, I decided I wanted to do something a little less traditional, and found a spicy roast pork with black eyed beans from Jamie Oliver’s collection. Next I needed a tasting panel willing to be experimented on. Fortunately my cousins Fiona (10), Aoife (8), and Niamh (3) accepted a dinner invitation and brought their parents along with them.
And the results? Even though I forgot, once again, that our new oven runs hot, everybody declared the pork a flying success. ‘Crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside ‘ said The Mammy. ‘Porky’ said the wit of the family, The Daddy.
While Aoife immediately declared it yummy, Fiona* was undecided and needed a second serving to be sure. And Niamh loved the (chorizo) ‘saussies’ which admittedly made a delicious accompaniment cooked in the same pan as the pork along with some red onions, chillies, black-eyed beans and tomatoes. Some delicious (Irish) new potatoes sealed the deal.
* Fiona has volunteered (or maybe been volunteered) to be a guest-blogger for me, so keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks!
Smoked Paprika Pork
Adapted from Jamie Oliver, this served 5 hungry adults, 2 hungry children and a Niamh, with two ribs and some beans left over.
2kg Bord Bia quality-assured rack of pork
5 teaspoons smoked paprika
Juice of 1 lemon
3 red onions, finely sliced
4 fresh red and green chillies
200g chorizo sausage, peeled and sliced
6 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 x 400g tins plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 handfuls of fresh ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
300g dried black-eyed peas, soaked and cooked. (I used the ‘quick soak‘ method)
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 240ºC/475ºF/gas 9. (In retrospect, I probably could have gone for 220ºC). Score the skin of the pork in a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife, trying not to cut into the meat itself.
2. Mix a little salt with a teaspoon of paprika, the lemon juice and a little olive oil, then rub this over the meat and into the score lines. Put the meat in a high-sided roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes to start the skin crisping up.
3. Remove the meat from the oven, turning the heat down to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. (Or 160ºC if you’ve suddenly remembered your oven likes it hot and things are probably moving a little faster than they should).
4. Take the pork out of the tray and put it to one side, and spoon out the fat. Put half the fat into a large frying pan (I needed two in the end), discarding the other half.
5. Add the onions, whole chillies, chorizo, bay leaves and rosemary with the remaining paprika, and fry gently until the onions are soft. Add all the tomatoes, the beans, garlic, parsley and a wineglass of water, stir and then transfer back to the roasting dish, placing the pork on top.
6. Return to the oven and cook for another 35 minutes or so basting with the tomato sauce occassionally. The pork is done when its juices run clear when aggressively prodded.
7. Turn off the oven and leave to rest.
When cooked, remove the pork from the tray and allow to rest before serving.