Sunday, 17 November 2013

A Ravishing Roast

Before the Ravishing Roast, I just have to tell you about last night's meal. I thought I'd photographed it on my phone, but I haven't. I'm sure your wild imaginations will conjure up some sort of image. You may remember the chocolate pasta dish I had a while back. It was a Nigella Lawson recipe, and it had caramel sauce and toasted pecans and it was divine. Well I bought the rest of the chocolate pasta back with me to university, and I used some of it last night. I made the recipe which was suggested on the packet; a savoury dish made with cream cheese and smoked salmon. As we threw away the cardboard bit of the packaging, I was winging it a little, but I think it turned out pretty well. All I did was cook the pasta and then stir in the smoked salmon and cream cheese. I actually used quark (which is basically a low fat cream cheese) as it was cheaper than actual cream cheese, but it worked fine. I also bought the supermarket own brand smoked salmon trimmings, and honestly they were pretty fine too! The fact that they were in really small pieces actually made it easier to mix in, and meant I didn't have to chop it up, so I think it worked out for the best really. I'm also quite pleased because I thought I would use all of the pasta, but I still have some left. I've got some ideas, so stay tuned on the chocolate pasta front...

And now. Onto the ravishing roast. Once I decided I wanted a roast this Sunday, I had to decide what meat. Originally, I was thinking beef, and then doing a similar thing to the Chicken Challenge (the first post of which is here. The other posts about it are pretty much straight after.). But then I realised I'd had beef for a week already with the beef stew. So that can wait! I went for gammon in the end. I mostly have gammon as a steak with pineapple, and I don't very often cook that, but I do really like it. I chose to do Sam Stern's Cider-Baked Gammon. He did suggest apple juice as an alternative... I ended up with orange juice. I'm not sure how to be honest. But I think it worked well, as the glaze had marmalade in. I could also have used honey (which I had), or apricot jam (which I didn't). Also in the glaze was English mustard and brown sugar. After mixing the mustard and marmalade together, I added half of the sugar and then tasted it. I wanted to retain the spiciness of the mustard, so I didn't actually add any more.
I mixed this while the joint was poaching in water and some of the orange juice, with an onion. After it had had it's poaching time, I put it in a roasting dish and scored the skin in a hatch pattern. Usually, you score the fat, but mine had hardly any, just a little bit in some of the gaps, so I just scored the flesh. Then I stuck cloves here there and everywhere, and spread on the glaze.
The roasting time was 45 minutes, and I basted with leftover glaze every 15 minutes. I did ANOTHER thing while it was poaching, I prepared a rather colourful side dish. It was a suggested side dish to go with the recipe, and it sounded quite up my street, so I thought, why not. It is a mixture of red cabbage, an apple, an onion, cinnamon and wine vinegar (I used white). There was also the option to add brown sugar, but I left it out. It was quite easy to prepare. Aside from finely chopping the cabbage, all you have to do is roughly chop the apple and onion, then layer everything in a casserole-type dish, sprinkling with cinnamon every now and then.
It looks like a purple brain to me... anyone else? No?


And after... And...
... here is the meat! As I served my portion for today first, I got the charred bit on the end... cook's treat! Which I saved until last of course.
Annoyingly, I also forgot to take a photo of the finished product on my phone for the blog, only on the ipad for instagram (my username is anniebellaaa if you want to check it out!). There is also some broccoli and new potatoes under all that, you can juuuust see the broccoli peeping out in the top right hand corner (it's a bit shy). I really, really enjoyed this. Not in the least because it tasted fab and it was pretty and colourful... it made the house smell like Christmas! I think it is because we always have a ham for our Christmas Eve buffet, EVERY year. It may be only mid-November, but it did put me in a little but of Christmas spirit... along with the Christmas songs I listened to earlier... anyway. A pretty great end to the week I'd say!

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