Saturday, 14 September 2013

This little piggy

Another lazy Saturday after a hectic week at work. I am in such a motivational slump right now, I just keep wishing I didn't have to work. But unfortunately there are bills to pay and all that. At least I'm getting back to the gym routine again, I surprised myself yesterday with surviving a Pump and Attack back to back combo. Today I'll let my poor body have a break, and tomorrow it's Combat and Pump. I am looking forward to getting back into shape, I can't wait to get rid of all this muscle pain after every workout. Also, as soon as I'm back to the gym, I find it a bit easier to motivate myself to eat healthier. Next week hopefully I'll be able to stick to chicken and veg all the way. Maybe with a little cheeky biscuit or chocolate snuck in between at some point. I just need a bit of sugar to get me through the day at work. That's a bit sad, isn't it?
The Culinary Consultant is very fond of big chunks of meat. Any meat, and the bigger the better. For me that means I have had to learn how to cook said huge mountains of meat. Last weekend when we were grocery shopping, this huge chunk of pork shoulder joint somehow made it into our shopping basket. My plan was to cook it in my Le Creuset in the oven. However, turns out I have misplaced my beloved purple friend. I'm sure he is up somewhere in the loft as that is the only place left with some unopened moving boxes. So I had to device a plan B for the pork. Plan B is always google. I happened upon this recipe for 6 hour roasted pork shoulder from Jamie. I thought Jamie probably knows what he is talking about, so I went with this recipe. Unfortunately it was about 5pm before I had a chance to get the piggy into the oven so we had to settle for leftovers from the day before for dinner, and only got a chance to try the pork the next day. Note to self - if you are going to cook slow roast pork, get it going in the morning. Also note to self, if cooking pork, the house will smell disgusting for the next few days. 

Slow roast pork (serves many, or two people for a week...)
Pork shoulder (about 2kg, Jamie's recipe says keep the bone in for added flavour, our chunk of meat was boneless but it still worked quite well)
sea salt
black pepper

The howto:
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. First you are supposed to make incisions into the skin to have somewhere to rub the salt into. I'm very glad our porky already had some incisions made into the skin, as none of my knifes would cut into the skin. Apparently you need a scalpel or something similar to be able to make the incisions. You can also get your butcher to do it if you buy from a butcher's shop. Rub salt and pepper all over the meat and transfer into a roasting tray. Roast for half an hour to get the skin all crispy, then reduce oven to 190 degrees C, cover the dish with foil and roast for 4.5 hours. At this point, Jamie suggests to add veggies and roast for another hour. I skipped this last bit as it was past 10pm. The pork still turned out very juicy and tender. For the last 15 minutes, I upped the temperature back to 220 degrees C and removed the foil to crisp up the skin a bit more.
The verdict:
I probably should have written this part after having the pork for the first time, not after having eaten nothing but pork for a week. But the pork turned out nice and tender, although I have to admit pork is not my favourite meat because of the flavour of the pork fat. However, if you are a fan of pork, this is a really great way to cook it for juicy and very tender meat. We made some really delicious sandwiches with cole slaw, pickled cucumber and tomatoes. The Culinary Consultant also thoroughly enjoyed the crackle, I had a taste and it was nice and crisp, although a bit too porky for my taste.

Card(s) of the day:
These cards have been around for a while, but I never got around to blogging about them. The idea is based on a card from Darlene Design I found on Pinterest which I think is gorgeous. I was also inspired by many amazing cards using distress ink backgrounds.
For the foreground I used the Kanban clear stamp (Its a set with two floral stamps, unfortunately it doesn't seem to have any name. I bought mine from Hobbycraft) on white cardstock. I stamped using Tim Holtz embossing ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. I applied Tim Holtz distress inks for the background using a foam applicator. I then spritzed with PefectPearls mixed in water from a MiniMister. For the background panels I used the Tim Holtz Old Script stamp and repeated it as many times as needed to cover the panels using Black Soot or Walnut Stain distress inks. Again, I used distress inks with a foam applicator to colour the panels, adding some Vintage photo around the edges for an aged look. For matting, I used random scraps of leftover paper, many of the ones you see are actually gift wrapping paper (used) that I recycled for this project. To finish, I used my Fiskars butterfly stamp to add some butterflies, and some rhinestones for a bit of bling. My definite favourite is the blue-pink-green colour combo, I think it turned out nicest. For the card on the separate photo, I made an origami bow using instructions here.

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