Joe stuffed the belly with sausage meat, dried fruits and pine nuts and expertly rolled it up. He had intended to do the traditional high temp and then slow cook to get some crackling, but the element on our oven blew so we had to rely on our ever-reliable crock pot! We're not keen on crackling anyway, so after five hours we had melt-in-your mouth seriously tasty pork. Served with fresh new potatoes, savoy cabbage, slow cooked veg and home-made apple sauce and gravy, this was a serious treat! I felt very spoiled!
Please also see the bottom of the post for the french onion soup recipe, as promised yesterday.
|Slow cooked veg, potatoes and savoy cabbage|
|Slow cooked, stuffed and rolled belly pork|
|Joe's home-made apple sauce|
|A close up of the pork - very tasty|
|pork cooking liquor - some yummy cider!|
1 pint beef stock
1 glass white wine
2 table spoons of flour
pinch of sugar
1. Finely slice the onions, as thin as you can. I used a mixture of white organic and some red for added sweetness.
2. Heat a knob of butter with some oil in the pan, until the butter is foaming.
3. Add the onions and turn the heat down low. The aim is to cook the onions for at least 15/20 minutes on a low heat so that they caramelise and all the natural sweet flavour is brought out.
4. When the onions are turning slightly golden, add finely chopped garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes. Try an onion to check for sweetness and add some sugar if it needs it.
5. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook out for a few more minutes. There should be no lumps of flour.
6. Add the glass of wine, stir through and add the thyme and bay leaf.
7. Add the beef stock and cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes. Check your seasoning about half way through and adjust accordingly.
8. Slice the baguette into thick slices. Heat the grill to medium and grill the baguette slices on both sides until golden brown. Top one side of the baguette with grated gruyere and grill until golden and bubbling.
9. Ladle the soup into bowls (heat proof is best!). Place the cheesy croutons on top and then sprinkle some more gruyere on top. Put the bowls under the grill for another minute (be very careful if the bowls aren't heat proof as they won't stand much heat under the grill) and then serve while piping hot. A big hug in a bowl.