I can finally feel autumn starting. Today I had to wear real shoes (I use flip-flops as much as I can) and put on a light cotton sweater. The day is simply extraordinary. Dry, cool, sunny. Talking about the weather again. When is the weather not a valid topic of conversation ? I can very much start each post writing about it. It has an influence on many decisions I make during the day. I particularly relate my moods to the weather a lot. And when it comes to food it absolutely governs me.
When I use pork my first choice is boneless pork shoulder (bondiola de cerdo) which is like preferring chicken thighs instead of breast. The meat is richer and becomes succulent when cooked. This marinade is one of the greatest finds I ever made. It´s just extraordinary.
Lots of ginger, garlic, honey and soy sauce. It works with chicken and pork. I usually leave it overnight to marinate, but I´ve been known to cook it after three days in the fridge. This time I simply sliced the garlic and ginger; I used to grate or finely chop it, but it´s just extra work.
After a couple of times I realized that it makes a difference what soy sauce I use. It should be a good one. Otherwise the sauce remains more watery than it should. If, after the meat is done, you still want more of a syrup just leave the pan more time in the oven while the pork rests. I like it that way, though you can´t tell from the pictures. The sauce caramelizes and thickens and it´s just wonderful. You can reduce it as much or as little as you want. Be careful not to burn it as it has a lot of honey. I roasted some butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper: Sweet potatoes are a good side dish also. This is a recipe you´ll remember and come back to again and again.
It was originally from a specialty food store in the ´70s called Loaves and Fishes.
INDONESIAN GINGER PORK
barely adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten
1 cup honey
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
½ cup peeled and grated ginger root
1 2-pound piece boneless pork shoulder
Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted. Arrange the pork in a ceramic or other non-reactive dish or bowl and pour on sauce. Cover tightly and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC
Transfer the pork to a baking pan. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for ½ hour. Uncover the pan, raise the oven tº to 375ºF/190ºC and continue baking for 30 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 to 10 minutes to redistribute the juices.
Serves 4 to 6