Sunday 8 November 2015

Will you still need me, will you still feed me...

Neighbour Peter's actually had two 64ths with us now. The first, a few weeks ago was with friends, this one (on his actual birthday) was for his partner Liz, their children and close family. It turned into a long, wonderful wash of family wit, wind-ups and wide ranging conversation. Everything from the disreputable sex life of the duck to the putative hirsuteness of a much loved cousin, to the eclectic attractions of Brighton, was thrown across the table. I learned about Stoner Punk and the decline of Welsh in the 20th century. It was that kind of languorous but fact-studded evening that I so enjoy.

I joined them for a drink at the end, a common enough occurrence, but they invited Etien to stop for a beer too which was a much appreciated gesture.

They had a new main dish of slow roasted pork belly with barley, red cabbage and mushrooms all swept with a blackberry sauce. I'm still working on the combinations; I think next time It'll be the pickled apple salad. That would work better with the sweet and sour cabbage and the slightly nutty barley.

The pork was excellent. Orchard fed and free range. Cooked for seven hours at 130°C with blasts of 240°C at the beginning and end. The crackling crusted with fennel seeds and salt needed to be cracked brûlée style before yielding to the soft meat.

I love how the addition of the sugar/vinegar mix changes the cabbage from deep purple to a vivid pink.

Seven hour roasted Pork belly,  Delicious but surprisingly hard to photograph.

This also saw the unveiling of 2015's Sticky toffee, nutty, datey pudding. Served as usual with a salted caramel sauce and vanilla mascarpone cream.

If you let them steam for a bit the tins just lift off. Also keeps them warm of course.
Teenager optional. Phone not optional to teenager! Put it away.

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