For years now I find it difficult to follow recipes, I can read and I understand them, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered. Especially when I cook for myself that is, I just try to remember. So when I was composing the menu and trying to find what courses I would include for my NYE Supper Club I was thinking of two things.
Which dishes are most popular and the yummiest when it comes to Greek food and secondly but more importantly, what do my Greek relatives and Greek family have for dinner on New Year’s Eve. I know in some parts of Greece, turkey is on the menu! I’m not talking politics, but food, the big bird turkey! My family, however, has not had the turkey tradition at all, it’s mostly been pork, lamb and other creations my mum would cook, always with a free mind. So no New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day lunches and dinners have ever been the same!
So I digged out this idea of roast pork with prunes and discussed the recipe with my mum and a cousin. They both liked it and my cousin added that apricots and prunes and pork are kolasi…. hell! But Hell meaning a good thing, it’s so tasty in other words we call it hell. It doesn’t make sense in English but in Greek it does.
I bought my pork, apricots and prunes and found a couple of quince fruits in my fruit basked at home so I decided to add them as well. A few years ago some friends from Thessaloniki cooked pork with quince and I thought the pork with three types of fruit appealed to me as an idea. Would it work as a complete dish?
What better way than to try it. So I put some salt and pepper on the leg of pork, just a small part of the leg. Poured some olive oil over, (Greek Extra Virgin) and oregano and scattered the dried apricots and prunes around. I cut the quince in wedges and added that too, a tiny splash of water in the tray, some mustard and lemon mixed with some olive oil to baste the pork while baking and then I kept myself busy making a karydopitta (Greek walnut cake) so I would not be staring at the oven all the time.
As the piece of meat was only just about 1 kilo, it took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to roast.
Once it came out of the oven, I left it to cool and settle for 15 minutes and cut thin thin slices of the pork and added some prunes, apricots and quince to the plate with a small dollop of mustard.
That’s the part of the cooking process, thinking about what I want to do, discussing the recipe idea from my head with those around me and then execution and as I look around what’s more in the kitchen, I add it in the dish.
We’ve got pork on the menu for the NYE Supper Club in London http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=180439125306114&index=1 and now having tested my idea, this will be what I’ll be cooking for my guests on the last day of the year, together with a big selection of salads and mezedes for starters.
I hope you can join us and if not what will you be eating for New Year’s?