Eisbein and Rhubarb Epic

I grew up in a home where nothing was boiled and never did meat touch water in the cooking process, ever. I bought lovely smoked Eisbein and all the recipes I found wanted me to boil the meat first for a few hours before roasting it. No, not in this here house. This particular cut of the pork shank is of German origin and can be fresh but is usually pickled or smoked.

Roast Eisbein and baked apples

Roast Eisbein and baked apples

The name however is Nordic in origin and means “pork knuckle” . In Swedish it is Islaeggor and in Norwegian it is called Islegg. Directly translated into my Afrikaans home language therefor: Ysbeen! The interesting part is that it has nothing to do with the “Ysbeen” in our bodies, but the name stuck because they used to make ice skates of the knuckle bone in the Nordic countries. There you have it!

So upwards and onwards and hell bent on not boiling anything and definitely not my smoked Eisbeins, I googled and found the passionate blog of The Rider who also did not boil his meat but instead did a barbeque and smoked it in a Webber. We corresponded and food friends made, I told him smoking and Webbers are out of the question as it is not going to go down well in an apartment block where no such shenanigans will be allowed. The poor man was having a gall stone attack at the other end of the country after his indulgences with the exact same Eisbein culprit went too far for his doctor’s liking (oh what we would do for good food…). I hope he is alive and well and firing up the Webber again as we speak.

Investigations done, I  found a recipe for pork fillet by Jamie Oliver which he combined with rhubarb of all things and I had rhubarb in my fridge!

Preparation: I formed a bed of onion, garlic and rhubarb. No water no oil no nothing, the meat has enough fat and juices.

Tucked in on a bed of rhubarb

Tucked in on a bed of rhubarb

Oven: The Eisbeins went into the oven, covered with foil. Bake it at low heat (140 C) for 3.5 hours. I added carrots towards the end. Roast : remove foil and roast for another hour or however long you want on n higher heat or if you do not have another hour, grill it at high heat until you have hard crackling. Be around and look often if on a high heat so you do not overdo the roasting and burn the crackling part.

Eisbein & roast veg

Eisbein & roast veg

In other words, take your merry time on a Sunday or whenever because it is so worth it. No need to boil anything and the meat was soft and juicy. The rhubarb with smoked pork is an absolute winner, it has the same tartness as the baked apple. Next time I will put in the rhubarb much later as mine disintegrated into a sauce ( nice) but lost its pink colour and I am all about colour as we know.

imageI served it with baked apple slices and pickled radishes instead of the normal sauerkraut.

Baked Apples: Place sliced and cored apple on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and butter and bake till you have a soft apple.

Random Photos:

I miss Europe. Do I feel a trip comming on…..?

Mont Martre, Paris

Montmartre, Paris

Walk- about

Walk- about

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PICKLED PINK

Aside

Pickled Radishes

Pickled Radishes

I always wondered how the contestants on Master Chef could pickle all they pickle within one hour. I thought pickles had to sit pretty in brine or whatever for weeks to be just right .Well I was wrong. No suprise that I was wrong on that score as I only for the first time preserved guavas a year ago after putting it off for half of my natural life, because yet again I thought it would take lots of time and effort, which it did not.

Today I made a bon voyage lunch for my sister and her husband who is going for a week of 5 star holiday in Mauritius, awful I know….If she loved me she would have taken me with. Another first for me was to make Eisbein which is a robust German dish of smoked pork knuckle and which deserves a blog on its own. I did not have sauerkraut and wanted some pickles to go with the obligatory mustard and veggies for the Eisbein feast.

No hard work for these pickles

No hard work for these pickles

A bunch of big fat radishes lying around in the fridge ended up being just the thing to pickle and low and behold, ready in 10 minutes. I bought a bottle of Verjus which I have never tried before (a lot of firsts being tried out here!) and the label says:: “use instead of lemon juice or vinegar”, perfect for the radishes.image

Mix the following:

1 cup Verjus/Vinegar of your choice

1/2 a cup water

2t salt

2 T honey(I used ginger infused honey)

A bunch radishes sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic

Pickled Pink!

Pickled Pink!

Cook the first 4 ingredients for 2 minutes in the microwave or warm up on the stove top. Add the radishes and garlic to the liquid(do not cook again, the heat is just to melt the honey) and leave to cool down. Taste the liquid and adjust the sweetness if you have to. 10 minutes later you have pickled radishes! Pretty and pink. I will definitely use Verjus again, I like the gentle taste of it and can think of a lot of ways to enhance food with my newfound bottle of joy. If I do not have ginger honey, I will definitely add ginger to the normal ingredients as it just took it to another layer of taste.

Random Photo:

Miss you Tara! Starbucks all the way from Ulsan, South Korea.

My Tara to the right, Jeanri to the left.

My Tara to the right, Jeanri to the left.

 

Floating Islands in the Mist?

Aside

In the mist-Cape Town

In the mist-Cape Town

On a scale of weirdness these past two months were just that, weird. I did not travel(by plane) for two months. First time in eight years. I am a commuter and work in two cities. One where my whole heart lies and where I live and the other where I need to be to do what I do. My body and mind is so used to leaving on a jet plane that at first I was at a loss as to why I felt between two worlds, as if I needed to be somewhere where I am not. The broken up weeks of the past two months with public holidays, Easter Weekend and Workers Day added to the stop-start, stop-start of normal routines. A bit like floating around in the mist really. At least I spent quality time with good people and great mini road trips in between. Just as sudden as this small hiatus started, it stopped and I am on my way again. More sudden is winter that descended with a vengeance and is now here to stay. Good soups, curries and pot pies come to mind!

Walking, walking, walking in Paris a year ago.

Walking, walking, walking in Paris a year ago.

It is now a year since I visited my friend OddlylivinginParis and I miss the walking,walking and talking, talking with her (not to mention the eating-eating…) and sitting in front of her picture perfect Parisian window putting the world to rights! Her written piece on “hands” make me weak in the knees, so beautiful.

Odette's view

Odette’s view

The floating island dessert I made and blogged on my return needs a re-mention to celebrate remembrance.

Oeufs a la Neige/Floating Islands

Oeufs a la Neige/Floating Islands

It is to remember and celebrate mothers passed, mothers around me, sisters near and far and children of my heart. One so far and one so near. Happy Mothers Day.

Thank you Boxofrecipes and lapetitartichaut with their lovely blogs for the rewards, much appreciated. This dessert is also for you!

Random Photo:

Very quirky upside down, inside out display in Paris. I like!

Upside down, inside out!

Upside down, inside out!