Sunday 17 June 2012

Roast pork with a midsummer twist

For the Vikings, midsummer was a time for visiting healing wells and building bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Medieval doctors would mark the occasion by gathering the herbs needed for the forthcoming year of healing. Nowadays Sankt Hans (St John's) is celebrated with bonfires and picnics on the beach, songs and speeches. This year Aarstiderne is throwing a party that promises to be up there with the best of them so if you don't yet have plans for celebrating the midsummer on 23 June, then mark it in your diary.

There'll be a bonfire (of course!!), a sumptuous feast on the grill, home brewed beer music from the ABBA tribute band, Dancing Queen. Say no more, its going to be mega midsummer mania at Krogerup. Its free to come along, just bring money to buy drinks etc. The fun kicks off when the bar opens at 4 pm. For more details, click here

If, however, you already have plans to gather your friends together but are still looking for something to cook that has the ritual comfort of a winter roast but is lighter and sits well with a summer salad, Aarstiderne's recipe for rib roast with a grain salad and summer vegetables, is the answer.

This recipe is simple to cook and has a lovely blend of textures and flavours. The crackling crisps up nicely and the grain salad keeps things fresh and light with the earthy tastes of spelt and parsley. Here is a translation of the recipe that we tried this week...

Rib roast  (ribbenssteg) with grain, corn and summer vegetable

You will need:

Approx 1 kg rib roast (ribbenssteg)
Lemon zest and juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
250 g cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp oil
300 g whole grains (such as spelt, kamut or wheat kernels)
500 g vegetables (onion, carrots and celery)
Thyme sprigs, lemon zest and bay leaves
200 ml white wine
2 corn cobs
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
green beans
chopped parsley
4 carrots
half garlic

Preheat the oven to 165ºC. Pour 500 ml boiling water into a roasting pan and place the meat in with the rind in the water. Place the roasting pan in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Meanwhile slice the onions, carrots and celery into large pieces and brown them in a little oil. Add the garlic and the wine. Let the wine cook off and then put the mixture into an oven proof dish.

Take the roast out of the oven and rub it with coarse salt. Place the lemon peel, the bay leaves and the thyme sprigs in the crackling and then place the meat on top of the vegetable mixture in the ovenproof dish and roast it for 1-1.5 hours. Raise the temperature to 225ºC for the last 5 to 10 minutes if the crackling has not crisped. When it is finished cooking, let the meat rest for 20 minutes.

Boil the grains with the garlic and bay leaves for about 30 minutes, add 2 tbsp salt and let them soak for 5 minutes before draining. Cook the corn cobs in salted water for about 10 minutes then cool them slightly before cutting the kernels off with a sharp knife. Peel and slice the carrots and 'top and tail' the beans then steam them in 2 cups of salted boiling water for 2 minutes.

Halve or chop the tomatoes and add these to the warm grains. Mix the lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and oil to make a dressing. Stir the dressing and chopped parsley through the grain salad.

Serve the roast sliced with the salad and vegetables.

(Katherine Ball)

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