If there's one thing I love, it's a solution meal. You know what I mean? One of those recipes where you go "Oh my god - YES. Perfect for a snack/breakfast/lazy lunch. Not too many ingredients... not too complicated..." And then there are other recipes where you go "Yes looks nice but I'm never going to make it in a million years."
Well, this afternoon I came up with one of those. It's a delicious thing, to be sure, but it's no real use. It's too complicated to have a starter and it's too salty to have as a main. So here it languishes in my kitchen, occasionally picked at by me - waiting for Giles to come back from filming and demolish it.
It came about because I've been having trouble with my belly - my pork belly that is. The last few times I've cooked it, it hasn't been right. I've done a short, hot roast thing and it's not for me - I wanted to try out a long slow roast so I picked up £3-worth from the butcher and slung it in the oven, just rubbed with some salt, for 20min on 220C and then 2 hours at 170C. It worked! Which was a relief becuase everyone bangs on about how easy it is and I've never found it so. The pork is even "melting", which I've never got it to do before. Although only as "melting" as pork ever gets.
To go with it, just for a laugh, I made some dipping sauce out of King Jamie's magic Chinesey ingredients, which were:
2 tbsp runny honey
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 2cm x 5 cm knob of fresh ginger, chopped chunkily
2 large cloves garlic peeled and halved
1 large red chilli de-stalked and chopped roughly - seeds and all
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
I put all these in a pan with a large wineglass of water and then boiled it for about 20 minutes until it was reduced to a runny sauce. I then passed the sauce through a sieve to get rid of the scary chunks of chilli, garlic and ginger and was left with a spice-infused rich, brown... thing.
Delicious. But pointless.