We are once again exploring a new habitat. Like bears emerging from a dark, cosy hibernation haunt, we are venturing out into the unknown world of Grey Lynn. Like a bear, my hair is slightly unkempt and has the odd stick in it. Sticks, you say, hmm. Maybe its time to drop this blog as Victoria seems slightly odd. I am a little, but I implore you to hang in there. I have solid reasons. Firstly, as many of you may have experienced, finding a new hairdresser in a newly adopted home is almost as hard as finding the Holy Grail, almost. I have been testing the waters, so to speak, and have yet to settle on a new best friend for my locks. So please send through any tried and tested recommendations. Secondly, the sticks have come from my foraging! As you know I am not naturally a green finger. So I was consumed by a general fear mixed with delight at our new home's orchard. It is an orchard of five fruit trees, heavily hanging with fruit. Apples, mandarins, limes and lemons. No, no fig‚ yet! This, to a Sydneysider, is like stumbling into a market garden. I have taken to daily groveling around below the trees, foraging for fallen fruit. The sticks are a necessary side-effect. Initially we could consume the Basket of Eden that was delivered to us daily. We are now having to get more inventive as it is slowly taking over the fridge and the bench. I set to, to use the sour green apples for dinner. The obvious favourite is pork.
Unlike bears, I like my meat sophisticated, seasoned, flavoured and cooked to perfection. I have been keen to try a recipe from another Balmain local, the brilliant Katie Quinn Davies, Author of What Katie Ate At The Weekend, as I was kindly given the recipe book from my lovely Sydney friends for my birthday. I started with The Roast Pork with Maple and Cider and tweaked it to suit my pantry. I decided to beat down the pork rump, (the animal in me was still lingering) then rolled them up with a stuffing of grated sour green apples, roasted walnuts, sticky prunes, breadcrumbs and an abundance of fresh herbs. These sweet little parcels were tied up with string and doused in a marinade of brandy, maple syrup, garlic, a dash of Worcestershire and vege stock then roasted in the oven, turning halfway so every side deliciously caramelises. I served this with a salad of seared peach, goats feta, hazelnut and baby spinach and darling, baby, roasted rosemary potatoes.
I hope this proves that I am not a lost cause, quite yet, despite my unruly behaviour and hair.
More to come on my wanderings through Grey Lynn‚. Any tips and recommendations, I am all ears.
Enjoy, savour and devour from The Epicurean Architect!
Sticky Prune, Pork & Walnut RouladeServes 4 Prep time 30 minutes Cook time 45 minutes
400g Pork rump, butterflied
sea salt and cracked black pepper
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 crushed clove of garlic
2 cups vegetable stock
1 slice of bread, blitzed to crumbs
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 cup pitted prunes, finely diced
1 cup walnuts, roasted & finely diced
1 cup green apple, grated
1 cup fresh herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano), finely diced
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 180C/375F. Mix the stuffing ingredients all together. Lie pork rump on a board and thinly slice through the centre, not quite all the way through so you can open the piece out flat. Season and lay a thick, 5cm sausage of stuffing along one edge of the pork. Roll the pork tightly up around the stuffing and tie at either end. You can make individual rolls for each person. Place on a rack, in a roasting tray and pour the marinade over the pork. Place in the oven and cook for 30 mins or until pork is cooked through. Turn halfway through the cooking time to ensure both sides are browned.
Remove from the oven, transfer pork to a warm dish and loosely cover with foil. Place the roasting tray on the stovetop, on low heat, adding enough stock to create a smooth gravy. Let the gravy simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce and thicken.
Serve with a fresh salad of seared peach, crumbled goats feta, roasted hazelnuts, baby spinach and a red wine vinaigrette (2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 4 Tbsp e.v. olive oil, 1/2tsp wholegrain mustard, shaken) and baby, roasted rosemary potatoes (1kg baby potatoes par-boiled for 5 minutes and then roasted in hot oil, rosemary and sea salt in the oven for 45mins).