Thursday, July 16, 2009

italian braised pork

what you need
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5kg pork shoulder, rolled and tied
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium brown onion (150g), chopped coarsely
½ small fennel bulb (100g), chopped coarsely
8 slices hot pancetta (120g), chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup (125ml) dry white wine
400g can whole tomatoes
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
1 cup (250ml) water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 large fennel bulbs (1kg), halved, sliced thickly

spice rub
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt2 teaspoons olive oil

what to do
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Heat oil in large flameproof casserole dish on stove top; cook pork, uncovered, until browned all over.Meanwhile, combine ingredients for spice rub in small bowl.Remove pork from dish; reserve 1 tablespoon of the oil in dish; discard remainder. Cook garlic, onion, chopped fennel and pancetta in same heated dish, stirring, until onion softens. Add paste; cook, stirring, 2 minutes.Meanwhile, rub pork with spice rub. Return pork to dish with wine, undrained tomatoes, stock, the water and rosemary; bring to the boil; cover. Transfer dish to oven; cook 1 hour. Add sliced fennel to dish; cover. Return dish to oven; cook 1 hour. Remove pork from dish; discard pork rind. Cover pork to keep warm.Meanwhile, cook braising liquid in dish, uncovered, over medium heat on stove top until thickened slightly. Serve sliced pork with sauce, and warm ciabatta bread, if desired

date and chocolate torrone

what you need
1/3 cup (55g) currants
¼ cup (60ml) brandy
200g unsalted butter, chopped
300g dark chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
225g shortbread biscuits, broken into chunks
2/3 cup (110g) finely chopped mixed peel
½ cup (70g) pitted dates, chopped
1/3 cup (55g) roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
cocoa, to dust

what to do
Line base and long sides of two 8 by 26cm bar cake pans with baking paper. Combine currants and brandy in a bowl. Cover and set aside for 1 hour. Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Stir over simmering water until melted and smooth. Using an electric beater, beat eggs and sugar together until pale and thick. Stir in chocolate mixture, currants and brandy. Gently fold in remaining ingredients until just combined.Spoon into prepared pans and spread out. Cover surface with plastic wrap and smooth out. Refrigerate overnight, until set. Remove plastic wrap, turn out onto a board and dust with cocoa.

Slice and serve, or cut in half lengthways and wrap to give as a gift.