Enough with the footie

Really, no one wants to hear any more about Inglan’s miserable performance, or about how self-satisfied the Danes must be with themselves this morning (like we they really need another reason to be self-satisfied, but fair enough: we they are red, we they are white, we they are Danish dynamite). Nor is it anyone’s business that I have done approximately half a stitch of work since this whole debacle began, because if I’m not sitting in a stadium with 64 099 other people, I am glued to the telly watching a game which I don’t understand and which I really don’t care about. And I certainly wouldn’t share with you my private prediction that I may even continue to watch the occasional match after the WC. It’s a ridiculous waste of time and quite frankly I think the game should be banned. Maybe then those stupid plastic horns would finally rest in peace.

No, let’s rather talk pork.

Dinner last night:

Pork loves fennel and sage. Bash it up with some garlic, pepper corns, salt, oil.

Sharpen your knife and score, then slather on the mix. Put that sucker into a HOT oven, and an hour later, you can start salivating at something like this:

Another two hours, and you will just have to imagine how damn fine that crackling was. This was another Ottolenghi number, and this time it was almost like he was in the kitchen. It was quite a monster piece of belly, you see, and I wanted to cook it for longer than normal (1 hr at max, 1 hr at 170, final hour at 110), so I tweeted the man himself to ask his advice. Unfortunately he didn’t reply in time, so I kind of winged it, but this morning he did send me to this recipe, which is so next (and which may help to disentangle me from my current pork belly obsession. I’ve done a 24 hr pork before. I remember its melting texture well. It is worth a return).

To accompany, get yourself the following:

Chop up the greens and red, sprinkle with the poppy seeds (also a Mr. O inspiration), and add some fresh mint: this goes perfectly with pig fat. So does salsa verde, which was also on the table, along with some roasted garlic, parsnips, celeriac and baby brinjals.

And because a pigfest should always be overkill, be sure to finish off with something suitably decadent (and boozy), like good old Cape brandy pudding, aka tipsy tart:

(Here she sits, still drinking. Brandy pudding is an exercise in seeing just how greedy a cake can be. She drank almost an entire cup of the stuff).

Oh, and don’t forget the home-made vanilla ice cream:

Damn. Now, what’s for lunch?