...or "Granola, Beppe's and Pulled Pork"
I commend Nigella's Granola recipe to you all. It's in Feast, which is one of my favourite recipe books. I've made the granola a few times, and followed the recipe faithfully, even to the extent of buying rice malt syrup specially. But yesterday I went random and substituted all over the place - extra oat bran and quick oats because I didn't have enough rolled oats in the house. Also I used less brown sugar and apple puree, more honey, and pepitas instead of sunflower seeds. It seems to have worked pretty well anyway, though I do recommend whole rolled oats over quick oats for the best texture. Also, reducing the sugars somewhat was definitely a plus for me. I tend to eat it with sweetened fruit yoghurt, rather than plain.
After the morning's cooking, I went to Belconnen market for lunch at Beppe's, and a little light shopping. Beppe's is wonderful. I recommend them. It's a cafe, with a modest range of Italian food for sale. They have house made pasta and pasta sauces, as well as coffee, bread, gelato, and assorted antipasti. Being in the Fresh Food Market, they are open Wednesday to Sunday for the breakfast and lunch trade. If you're lucky you can get their great fresh pasta for half price on Sunday arvo.
The cafe side of operations is well worth the visit. It's a pleasant airy space, with excellent coffee and simple Italian food. They have an assortment of Italian style cakes and biscuits, some made in-house and some imported. Lunches feature their own pastas, bruschettas, pizzas, frittatas and similar simple foods. Yesterday I had a vegetable lasagne, and an affogato with a scoop of chocolate gelato and a very hard pistachio biscotto. It was all delicious. I had been hesitating over which dessert to have, and I got to take one home by surprise. Belinda bought me a piece of the ricotta and pear torte. I ate it next day and it was wonderful - a lightly sweetened ricotta cream with poached pears and a touch of pear liqueur, set between two soft layers of a biscuitty cake.
More on shopping follows, and a recipe.
Included in the shopping was a few expensive but great Tasmanian cherries (February!), a tray of mangos which I split with a friend, and a shoulder of pork. I'd been reading a recipe thread on my favourite message board, and I had "pulled pork" in mind as an option. I managed to get a shoulder of good pork from Eco-Meats, complete with the excitement of watching the butcher cut it off the carcase specially for me! It's from "Bush Hall Hogs", who are not in fact at Hall but Berridale. Lovely quality stuff, it seems almost a shame to drown it in vinegar and chilli, but that is what I bought it for. I'll have to let the warm inner glow of using organic free range meat compensate for the price, as I doubt I'll really notice the superior flavour this time.
I'm fond of Eco Meats. They are a proper old fashioned butcher in some respects - the butchers are right there in store and will get you whatever cuts you want. And they are also a modern organic high end provider, with quality free range meats and game, and some processed foods. You can get kangaroo or emu salami, rabbit or bison sausages, pates and sauces and marinade. There's an interesting range of deep frozen foods, too, including whole rabbits, hares, game birds and various cuts of kangaroo. The prices are variable - the roo, salami and sausages are reasonably cheap; local organic free range pork quite a bit steeper than your Woollies factory farmed variety. But you do get what you pay for.
Recipe: Thlayli's Carolina-style BBQ pork
Approx 3lbs pork roast of some sort
1/2 cup vinegar (cider)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 heaping tbsp crushed red peppers
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
Combine everything except meat in pot; stir it up y'all. Put meat in and stab it like a hooker. Flip meat to get the other side, and stab it some more. I allowed it to marinade overnight because I didn't want to have to get up early to prep it AND cook it.
Cook on slow 8-10 hours, high 5-6 hours. Shred the meat before you serve it.
Notes: These are Thlayli's own words unamended. I decided I was stabbing it like a motherfucker, rather than a hooker. Choose your own crazed killer metaphor. Also, of course, these are American units so watch out. This is traditionally served in bread rolls, or with potato salad and coleslaw. It's called "pulled" pork because you pull it apart with a fork. I'm not quite sure why it's called BBQ, though...
I haven't cooked it yet, so I'll have to report on the outcome later. It's not the sort of thing you have on the day you buy it. What I actually had for dinner was a chicken schnitzel at the Old Canberra Inn - with music from Smokin' Joe Robinson, Lloyd Speigel, and the Young Guns. A good evening on the whole, though Smokin' Joe really needs to grow up and learn more musicality. Joe's technically a good guitarist, but it's all flash, he lacks sensitivity and soul. However, he's only 16, and he's hanging around with good people, so there's a chance.
Well, that was Friday. Saturday features granola for breakfast (yum), writing this, actually assembling the pork, doing the supermarket dash, and going out to have a fancy dinner at Courgette! Another review coming tomorrow.