Pork Rib Roast – The Musical

This one isn’t an easy recipe, turns out that for great dishes and outstanding flavours sometimes we have to be patient and take our time.

So, get your oven tray ready, turn on the heat, sharpen your knives and let’s get kraken with this.

partsofthepork

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kilograms of Loin rack Joint
  • Half a litre of white wine
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 10 white small potatoes
  • A good bunch of fresh thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

Let’s find the meat. Go to your favourite butcher, I know I have mine, and ask him for a good piece of Loin rack Joint (use the previous image for life changing purposes), tell the lad to leave the fat on, (always leave the fat on), take it to your kitchen counter, ready? Now let the magic begin.

First remove the membrane that comes on top of the ribs, this will make the meat really tender while cooking it. Ready? Sweet, now score the meat on the other side, you want the salt and the pepper to really get into that layer of fat.

20150403_165808

Now place the white potatoes, in halves, the thyme, pepper, salt and the garlic cloves on the cooking tray. This will look like a potatoe bed where you will place the ribs on, fat up.

20150403_165700

Pour 300 ml of the wine on the tray, cover the meat with tin foil, and put that baby inside the preheated oven, now leave it there for 1.5 hours at 180 degrees Celsius.

20150403_165953

1.5 hours are gone, take the tray out of the oven, remove the tin foil and put the pork back in. The meat is now cooked but we want that fat to turn into a beautiful golden crust. Leave it there for 35 more minutes, after that, place the piece of meat on a wooden board and let it rest for good 5 minutes, you want those juices to get evenly distributed. In the meantime, take that tray and pour the rest of the wine, deglaze that bastard, use a whisker to scratch those flavours out the tray.

20150403_175354

Get a good knife, and cut the pork into slices according to each rib, now plate, pour that gravy on and it is done. Enjoy it with a chilled white wine or a really good Pilsner.

10629595_10153123492256893_738912895557026835_n

Advertisements

No Sex in the Champagne Room

Wait a second, is it March already? Where the bullocks did this year go? Anyway, so I´m on the hunt for a new place now and I´m quite excited about this. Let´s put it this way, there are many plans ahead and the rest of this year is going to be bloody awesome. Well, except for the fact that Ukraine is in a terrible political turmoil, Venezuela is experiencing an awful social revolution, the Mexican government intends to pass a law that will allow the authorities to block telecommunications in case of national security issues (aye, just like Egypt, Iran, or Syria), and somebody vomited on Lady Gaga for … let´s put it this way: art.

They say it looked a lot like this…

So, one quarter of the year gone already? And what have we learnt so far?

1.- Street food is an awesome sin

This is one my favourite “sports” since I moved to Mexico City, street food here is freaking glorious and without hesitation the best meals I ever had here were on the run.

From pambazos, to “tacos de canasta”, pork crackling quesadillas, or just corn in a cup (no girls); this city is the bomb when it comes to urban/informal gastronomy.

 

2.- It´s ok to protect human rights in other countries except yours

I´m talking to you “Murica”, don´t think we haven´t noticed the amount of people lined up for execution in your penitentiary centres. That´s right, there are several inmates that are there waiting for their lives to be “Terminated” by the American government without a proper trial. If you want to find out more, go to the Death Penalty Information Centre website, and see “who´s next”.

3.- Christmas decorations are fine on February but not March

I´m not going to go deeper on this subject, you know who you are, and no, it is not “ok” to leave them all the way until August and then say “well, Christmas is just around the corner, why bother”. Get those bloody cardboard boxes and put those obnoxious holiday annoyances away!

Neither saying “happy new year” after the second week of January.

4.- No matter what the stripper says, there´s no sex in the champagne room. 

Amazingly explained by Chris Rock on this great 90s hit:

Ps. Remember mates, learn the difference between positivism and optimism, they are not the same, and no, reading Paulo Coehlo isn´t cool either.

Ps2. Speaking of optimism, tend to hang out with happy and optimist fellas, learn from their ability to see the good things in life. Usually these people are empathetic, caring, good listeners and they share their happiness with those around them.

Mexico City: One Year After

??????????

Well, not really, I´ve been in Mexico City for over a year already and honestly I´m loving it. This city is amazing, so alive, so busy, vibrant and full of surprises. Living here was one of my goals in life, regardless of how the rest of the country sees the capital city, the Federal District (or DF as it is known in Mexico) is one of the most amazing urban centres of Latin America.

Just don´t mind this… I mean, sometimes it gets pretty casual.

I got here around the end of January last year, I didn´t know what to expect, but now I can say that this is a great city to visit, live and do pretty much whatever you want (legally, obviously, this isn´t bloody Amsterdam, you know, we are Catholics and stuff).

I still have that crazy bird in my head telling me to do other stuff and fly away, but for now, this place is pretty awesome.

Last weekend I noticed how lucky I am, I went to Reforma Avenue on Sunday. This is perhaps the most important avenue in the country, which on Sundays becomes a pedestrian-only road. On this day you can find people riding their bicycles, practicing yoga or just hanging out around freaking old monuments. 

Pretty awesome day, right?

Pretty awesome day, right?

After wandering around for a while I went for some churros with hot chocolate close to the main square (known as Zocalo) of the city. This place is pretty famous and old, it is called “El Moro” and it is just delicious, for USD$4 you get hot chocolate and 4 large churros, fantastic.

These are the bomb!

These are the bomb!

As well, every Sunday, but in the my neighborhood, the Colonia Napoles, a street market makes this “hood” a literal food parade, where fresh veggies and fruits can be found. Also, taco places and Mexican food stands sell their products to the general public.

These are deep fried quesadillas filled with cheese and pork crackling - Pure love

These are deep fried quesadillas filled with cheese and pork crackling – Pure love

My favourite stand, and I reckon they might know who I am by now is a “carnitas” stand, where they offer amazing pork crackling, pork meat and pork… and more pork, it is just heaven (I love pork).

The heart of Mexico: El Zocalo

The heart of Mexico: El Zocalo

Anyway, the point here is, Mexico City is freaking awesome, give it a chance, and if you are ever around do not hesitate to give me a call, I might even take you to my favourite “carnitas” stand and share a taco or two with you. 

The Soumaya Museum, for example, has one of the largest Rodin´s collection in the world.

The Soumaya Museum, for example, has one of the largest Rodin´s collection in the world.

Ps1. Honestly, that #100HappyDays thingy is really working, I do feel more optimistic and enjoying the simple things in life.

Ps2. Did I mention last time that I found this ubber delicious coffee place just around the corner from my flat? It´s an original concept and the way they prepare coffee is very traditional, not more Starbucks for me on the weekends. The place? El Guapo Café 

Ps3. Wanna see more pics of how is life in Mexico, go for a wee visit to the following link. 

A Binder Full of Crackling

Marry me…

Mini enchiladas, pork crackling, guacamole, seafood spicy broth, dried shrimps, chilli-coated grasshoppers, pico de gallo, green or red salsas, ceviche  or refried beans (Wow, the best opening on any of my posts so far); all these can be found in a botanero. “Botanero” means the place where appetizers (or entrees) are served, something in between a cantina and a restaurant.

In places like my hometown, for every round you order you get one entrée, the more rounds the better the botana. In other places, you just order to the centre of the table and go for it. This type of service was inherited from the Spanish colony, you know them as  Spanish tapas (cured ham, patatas bravas, chipiroles, Spanish tortilla, etc).

Remember to leave the stones in it

La botana is an essential part of Mexican culture, as our ‘get togethers’  and family reunions are events that have food as their basic and most important element. At the kitchen, around the grill or by the oven is where the actual conversations take place, where the gossips are told and the family bonding strengthen.

Peruvians claim this is theirs… nonsense

If you want to have a real Mexican experience, get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich, just kidding, get in the kitchen and listen, smell and taste the flavours that are being created there. While the main dish is prepared, the botanas are served, and with them, stories, anecdotes and juicy information (that will never be shared on the main table).

Ps1. I don’t own the rights of any of the pictures posted here, just saying.

Ps2. The leader of the Mexican Teachers Union (SNTE) Elba Esther Gordillo (If ugly had a face, it will be hers) said that the reason of the deterioration of the individual and Mexican society is due to a (new) shared responsibility for the family income of the mother and her abandonment of the house to go to work. Oh well.

Ps3. This “Binders full of women” thing is funny as hell, just remember, that’s not the most important part of the presidential debate. Neither the ability of Obama of reminding the audience, the Republican Candidate and himself that he is the President. He got his balls back, but still needs to “finish him” on the next debate.

An Ode to Pork Fat

Yes, master

As some of you know, I’m a cuisine enthusiast, I love cooking and trying new recipes, but there’s one thing I love cooking and eating: Pork. This is one of my weakness, thankfully, pork is an important ingredient in Mexican traditional cooking. If you are throwing a Christmas dinner without pork it’ll be a big disappointment (true story). My mum did it once, I still haven’t forgiven her for that.

Once you go porkfat you never go backPork in its many presentations can be found all around Mexico. Pork stewed, roasted, pickled, sealed, fried, etc, every region has its own recipes for cooking pork. My favourite is “Chicharron“, which is a dish made of fried pork rinds. One place that has taken this dish to perfection is a butchery located in Monterrey, Mexico. Carnes Ramos uses a traditional method for its famous “Chicharron prensado” (pressed crackling). They deep fry the pork cheeks with the Ramos’ secret recipe, and later pressed into perfection. The result? A tender juicy meat followed by a perfectly crunchy crackling. If you come to Monterrey, stop by “La Ramos” and order a Kg or so of this beauty, you won’t regret it (well, maybe you’ll feel a little guilty afterwards… just a little).

I´m just going to leave this one here…

When I thought that pork couldn’t surprise me anymore, it did in a very odd but magical way. Last weekend I attended a friend’s wedding, during dinner I watched the waiters serving soup, it looked orange-ish and I thought it was a sort of carrot cream. It smelled meaty and smokey, then I got the chance to taste it, it was beautiful, what was it? Chicharron cream (pork crackling cream or Creme du Chicharron). A beautiful blend of pork crackling, roasted tomatoes and garlic, dried ancho chilli, bayo beans, chicken stock and fresh cream.   If I could marry a cream, that was it.

Sorry for the nationalistic picture…

I gotta go, I’m hungry now.

Ps. If you want to try an outstanding recipe, go for Gordon Ramsay’s Pressed Belly of Pork, F***ing delicious! – “It has these wonderful layers of fat, packed with flavour” G.R.

Ps2. “Putin hasn’t made a monster of himself. He has made a fool of himself.” Said by Stephen Fry on his letter to the jailed Russian band Pussy Riot. (Imprisoned after performing a protest song against Vladimir Putin).

Ps3. On a related subject, Lauro Tijerina, aka “El Carnitas” (His alias literally means: deep fried pork meat, a dish from Michoacan, Mexico) was captured today. He is the alleged regional manager of one of the main drug cartels operating in the state of Nuevo Leon.