April 27, 2011

The importance of produce...

morning views


Like most people, I took the opportunity of a long weekend to get away. And as I spent the days foraging for mushrooms to have with breakfast, catching fish for dinner, and being gifted with the most beautiful quinces imaginable I couldn't help but think what a perfect example of the importance of good produce this was.


'shrooms!


fishing at Cape Liptrap


quintessential quince 


While a technical challenge can be fun, I think people sometimes forget that you don't always need to perform fancy maneuvers for an impressive repast. If you take the time to source a few really good-quality ingredients and have a little knowledge of what compliments what, you need do little more than let the produce speak for itself in creating a most enjoyable feast. By holding back on the embellishments, you better appreciate the flavours in each delectable morsel. And, if nothing else, by starting with the best, it's very hard to go wrong.


honey-roasted quince


steel-cut oatmeal with lightly-poached quince


  poached quince with vanilla, cinnamon and star anise


So when the opportunity presented to have some stunning Berkshire pork delivered direct to my door, understandably I was more than just a little bit *squee!*. Free-range heritage pork is fantastic. Not only do you have farmers dedicated to sustaining a rare breed by rearing them in a manner that I personally find most agreeable, but their flesh has such an amazing flavour and juiciness you'd be hard-pressed to find anything more delicious.

And so, after quelling the post-delivery hyperventilatory excitement, it was simply a matter of taking an indescribably impressive porcine shoulder, rolling it with a few herbs and poached quinces, roasting it on a bed of fennel and balsamic, accompanying it with a few vegetables picked up from the farm gate, and voilĂ !, the perfect 'Sunday' roast.


Greenvale Berkshire pork with fennel and quince


the perfect end to the weekend


Although, admittedly, it was perhaps just that little bit more perfect followed by some apple and honey-roasted quince crumble to finish...


Quince and apple crumble
       

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