A Christmas Feast

The perfect crunch…

  • 1.3kg pork rack
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 stems of fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Preheat over at 250 degrees. 

The preparation of your pork is crucial to achieve the best crackling. With a few paper towels rub the raw pork skin until completely dry. Prepare by scoring the skin with a sharp knife (use diagonal lines, both ways). Then repeat the drying process again with some more paper towels.
*Added tip… To improve the crunch factor I use a hairdryer for about 3 mins to really dry the crackling layer. 

Next, sprinkle the salt and olive oil on to the pork skin and rub into the meat. Leave to the side.
In your roasting pan, drizzle some olive oil and place the rosemary and garlic cloves in the centre of the pan. Place the pork rack on top of the garlic and rosemary.
Place the roast pan in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 mins.
After the 30 mins, reduce the heat of the oven to 190 degrees and cook for a further 50 mins for well-done meat. Once cooked, remove from oven and let sit for about 15 mins and then slice and serve.
Additional favorites…
  • 3 sweet potatoes, thickly sliced
  • 3 potatoes, quartered
  • 4 whole beetroots 
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until all vegies are coated with olive oil and rosemary leaves then place on a baking tray. Bake for 40 mins at 190 degrees.

A dash of green…
  • 1 bunch watercress, washed and patted dry
  • 1 cup pecans, sightly toasted and cooled
  • 70g quality blue vein cheese, broken into small chunks
  • 1 piece of celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 packham pears, sliced
  • A good splash of white balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil

Simply toss all ingredients together on a large plate or bowl and serve.

The pav in a twist…
This is based on the wonderful recipe by Karen Martini.
The Pav
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 heaped teaspoons cornflour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, for dusting, plus a little extra to serve
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 250g mascarpone
  • hand full of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 punnet raspberries

The Sauce

  • 450g frozen raspberries 
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Place the egg whites into a large bowl and use an electric beater until they have soft peaks. Then, while using the electric beater, gradually add the caster sugar until all combined and it looks thick and shiny. Then add the vanilla, cornflour, vinegar and beat until combined. Layer a large flat tin (at least 32 x 24cm) with baking paper and pour the pav mixture in. Use a spatula to spread out the mixture and make sure the pav is even across the whole tray. Bake for 15-20 mins. Remove and let cool on tray for 5 mins. Prepare on a flat surface a tea towel dusted with icing sugar. Turn out the pav on the tea towel. Slowly and gently peel off the baking paper. Let sit for another 10 mins. 
In a small saucepan place the raspberries, lime juice, water and sugar and cook on low heat until soft and the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
In another bowl, mix together the yoghurt and mascarpone with a whisk. Cover the pav with the mixture leaving space down the sides and at one end. Sprinkle some small shredded mint leaves and a few chopped raspberries on top of the mixture. Then using the tea towel and starting at the end without the space, roll into a Swiss roll. Transfer to a serving plate. Either refrigerate for use later (without toppings) or serve straight away by pouring over the cooled sauce and scattering fresh whole raspberries and mint leaves on top. Enjoy!

By Bianca Shugg

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