Ode to Nigella 11 – Pork Cinghiale

Oh DUDES – I’ve had one magnificent day in the kitchen. It’s been me and Nigella all the way baby. I must go to bed as have been in the since about 10 this morning doing bits and pieces (it wasn’t just cooking) and as it’s now 10 at night I gotta rest these legs. But here’s what will be coming over the next few days:

Rolled loin of pork “cinghiale”
“Heaven and earth” mash
Gingerbread stuffing

Oy. So good, all so very very good.

Rolled loin of pork “cinghiale”

  • 1tbsp pink peppercorns
  • 1tbsp juniper berries
  • 1tbsp allspice berries
  • 1 clove
  • 4 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 1tbsp molasses
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 80ml Marsala
  • 500ml red wine
  • 2.25kg tied pork loin, weighed without bones and rind
  1. Crush the peppercorns, juniper and allspice berries with the clove in a mortar and pestle
  2. In a large snaplock bag combine with all the other marinade ingredients
  3. Add the meat and marinade ideally for a couple of days or at least overnight
  4. Let the meat and bones come to room temperature
  5. Preheat oven to 200C
  6. Line a roasting tin with foil as the sugar in the marinade will make the pan burn
  7. Lay the bones in the bottom of the pan and place the meat on top of them
  8. Pour in about 500ml of the marinade, reserving the rest for making the gravy
  9. Be prepared for the meat to shrink enormously
  10. Roast meat for 13/4 to 2 hours, basting every now and then
  11. After the pork has been in for an hour, put the rind on a rack in a shallow roasting pan on the shelf under the pork
  12. When the meat is done, take it out and cover tightly with foil to keep warm and to rest
  13. Turn the oven up to as high as it will go and let the crackling get cracking
  14. For the gravy, pour any juices remaining in the pan into a small saucepan along with the rest of the marinade and a cup of water of water and taste to check it is how you want it.

Notes: – I used a boned shoulder of pork from Southern Highland Pork – the flavour was sublime
– I didn’t have and couldn’t find anywhere on the Northern Beaches in the timeframe we had pink peppercorns, so these were very regrettably omitted
– I used treacle instead of molasses
– I used dry sweet sherry instead of Marsala
– I cooked it in a low oven for four hours
– I didn’t add any water when I made the gravy and I drained some of the oil off the pan juices

Now, it’s probably best for the vegetarians to look away. I am not a big meat eater. But I adore the butcher’s and see such beauty in all those cuts of meat. To me, while my photography doesn’t do it justice, this is pure art:

Sticky ribs two ways – Nigella and for the BBQ

Well, there are two sticky ribs recipes I use. This one is the one I made last weekend that I referred to. It’s a Nigella recipe and one of those you can vary every time and is still just fabulous.

I’m going to give amounts, but I never follow them (one of the few times I don’t pay any attention to the recipe, unlike all those people who meddle, I tend not to, it makes me anxious).

Sticky Ribs Nigella-style
4 tblsp vinegar
3 tblsp soy
dash of sesame oil
2 tblsp honey
cinnamon stick, crumbled
a few star anise
LOTS of ginger – cut into sticks
4 shallots, chopped into finger-length lengths
2 long fat chillies (I deseed them – sometimes I don’t add them at all, it just depends if I want sticky sweet or sticky sweet with a touch of heat. See what I did there? teeheehee)
ribs* (to the above amount I do two longish sets)

– Combine everything in a bag and moosh it all into the ribs. You can be organised and do this as far in advance as you remember, but normally, I do it and then bung them straight into the oven.
– Preheat the oven to 200C.
– Place the ribs on a baking tray. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the oven for an hour.
– uncover, raise the heat to 230C
– add a few more spoonfuls of honey and 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice.
– Cook for 30 minutes, basting every so often. If it starts to dry out/burn, add some boiling water.
– Serve with a big pile of serviettes.

* This is using ribs our supermarket calls Aussie Ribs. I am quite sure we have no specific claim to this cut of ribs, except to differentiate them from what we call US Style Ribs – which have a rib and then layers of fat and meat on them. The Aussie Ribs have little meat on them, except for that which is keeping the bones connected to each other. If that doesn’t make sense, I’ll take a photograph of some and show you what I mean.

Ribs #2 – the BBQ Ribs
This is the version I do on the bbq.
1kg pork ribs
50ml tomato sauce
20ml Worcestershire sauce
20ml white vinegar
4tsp brown sugar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
(optional – as I’ve never added them: 1 tsp chilli powder, dash of tobasco)

– place ribs in a dish, cover with the marinade ingredients
– smoosh into the ribs
-bbq, turning 4-5 times and basting regularly for approx. 15 minutes

Now, the recipe this stems from cooks the marinade first – bring it to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Quite frankly, who could be bothered. They taste fantastic when I just bung it on and bbq them, maybe they’d be sensational but I’m too lazy to find out.