Sunday, 15 June 2014

Recipe(s) Review: Morito Three Ways

Recipes from Morito by Sam & Sam Clark
By: Mr Robot

So the wife has already waxed (waxen?) lyric about Sam & Sam coming to Bath to talk about the Morito book. She has also cooked the most delicious courgette tortilla though I'm afraid there are no pictures because we were both too bloody starving. But trust me it's a darn good way to clear a courgette (or indeed egg) glut.

However as I've noted before, my first instinct is to hit the pork belly, and since Morito has two recipes on adjoining pages the only appropriate response is to declare Fornicate It and do them both. 

Double pig

Perhaps facile to say (hence it comes so naturally) they are variants on a theme: rub with goodness, roast as you will, and dress afterwards. Dress the dish that is: I don't think The Sams are suggesting you dally with pork fat naked.

Why god gave us trousers

 So the recipes in question are:
     Chicharrones (described as basically pork scratchings with the meat still on!) and
     PX, meaning done with Pedro Ximenez sherry

Spagnophiles that we are, we have oodles of sherry kicking around but PX is a bit challenging for casual drinking so we're always up for a good use for it.

Pedro Ximenez is not, repeat NOT, casual

Both recipes call for a kilo of meat each, so I bought one kilo and halved them - regular readers will recognise the massive restraint involved here. Chicharrones, then, are seasoned meatside with garlic and fennel, while the PX is garlic and rosemary, then cook your pig.

I must commend The Sams for their generosity towards, and confidence in, the reader: they give a roasting method but make a point of saying, if you have a method that works, use it.

Bugger two hours roasting, this was poached Vietnamese style

This is good on two fronts: 1) a friend had already tried the chicharrones recipe and been sad about his crackling (oven seal not up to snuff would be my bet) and 2) I've found Uyen Luu's approach to be infallible.

Of course I could use my own method without the authors' permission, but it's still nice they give it.

But more, much more that this..... I did it Uyyyeeenn's Waaaay....

Anyway, do that. Hack the chicharrones into easily scoffable pieces, and with the PX piece remove crackling for serving and do same. The chicharrones simply get served with lemon and cumin, while the PX gets returned to the oven with Pedro Ximenez, sherry vinegar and bay to get stickily glazed.

Pork, you say? In sherry? Where do I sign?

By now, observant/pervert readers will be shouting YOU PROMISED ME A THREE-WAY or something and wondering where the third element is. Well it was a late decision to do what the book calls Wrinkly Potatoes but the rest of us know as spuds arrugadas. These Canarian joys are new potatoes cooked in seawater until they look like your fingers after three hours in a hot bath, but are a whole load tastier.

Now, I could've sworn an oven should be involved but the book says hob, so hob it is. Here's where it all went wrong. Undoubtedly it's my fault, but I honestly can't tell you why: maybe there was too much water; maybe not enough salt; maybe the wrong level of low-to-medium simmer; maybe it just hates me.

Whatever the reason "20-30 minutes, until water is gone and spuds are wrinkly" turned into "after an hour of getting very cross, open another beer and 17 seconds later find that all the water has gone, the pan is basically destroyed and the potatoes STILL aren't f'ing wrinkly."

See the wrinkles? Nor do I, curse it

At that point of course you curse vividly, dish up like nobody's business, try to persuade the wife that she should be at the table, the cat that she very definitely should not be on it, and admit the pork has probably suffered for sitting in a warm oven for however long. And realise you've forgotten the sodding lemon & cumin on the chicharrones.

After all that, sitting down with a triple-whack of Morito plus - bless her - Mrs R's tomates alinadas is a monstrous relief and, moreover, an absolute delight. Ok so my arrugadas were a little short on arruga but they do all the right things on the tongue.  The pork PX is sweet, sticky, slightly sour, rich, smokey; in fact it has a lot in common with char siu. The chicharrones are amazingly crispy (in your face, failure-friend) and the belated lemon & cumin give a zing to cut the fatty soft meat and increase dribblousness exponentially.

Go on - complain. I dare you.

Overall time to cook is between one hour and twenty hours, depending on how wrinkly you insist upon the potatoes being. More practically, 10-15 mins prep, 30 mins or so cooking but both pork recipes need to cool before finishing: do any of this when you can wait an hour or so before eating. You really won't be sorry.

Gratuitous pork p0rn

If you were hoping to blag a free recipe here you’ll be disappointed – we don’t do that. These cooks need to make a living just like anyone else so if you like the look, buy the book

All images (c) PP Gettins

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