Pork rib (see below)
Black pepper
Colemans English mustard powdered

Take a good sized piece of thick pork rib – the part between the belly and the chops – around 2 – 2 ½ inches thick.  It should be all in one piece, flat, with the bones in and the skin on.  Allow about ½ kg per person, but it is best to do this for 4-6, so around 2 – 3 kg.

Have the butcher cut across the bones once or twice depending on length (once cooked you will cut the joint into 2 – 3 in. squares so having the bones cut makes this easier.  Also ask the butcher to score the skin in diamonds to encourage the crackling.

The day before cooking the pork take plenty of salt and finely ground black pepper and rub well into both sides of the pork, working well into the skin, between the cuts, and into the underside of the meat.  On the underside also rub in about half a small tin of Colemans English Mustard powder, again rubbing well in where the bones have been cut and into the meat.  Put the meat on a large plate or tray and cover with cling-film then refrigerate overnight.  Remove from the fridge a good half hour before cooking.  Heat the oven to 180ºC.  Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper onto the skin.  Place the pork, skin side down, on a rack over an oven tray containing a couple of litres of boiling water.  Roast for about 1 hour.  Remove the oven tray and empty the remaining water into a jug to make gravy later, then return the tray to the oven to catch any drips.  Turn the joint over so the skin is now uppermost.  Raise the temperature to 200ºC and roast for a further 45 minutes or until the crackling has formed – keep testing it by tapping a knife on it, if it sounds “hollow” the crackling is done.  Very occasionally crackling does not form easily – if you get desperate, cut off the skin, still attached to the fat, and place under the grill for a few moments, but watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Alternatively, for a more Australian twist, remove the joint from the oven after the first hour over the water (which helps the meat to puff up and lose some of the fat), then finish it off on the barbecue turning from time to time to crisp up the crackling.

Once cooked through, allow to rest for five minutes then cut into squares and serve.

This dish is traditionally served with boiled potatoes and red cabbage.

Ingredients for the red cabbage:
1 small or ½ large red cabbage
1 large cooking apple or 2 eating apples
20gr butter
salt & pepper
cider vinegar
ground nutmeg

Discard outside leaves, quarter, core and finely slice the cabbage (use a mandolin if you have one or a very sharp knife).  Peel, core and finely dice one large cooking apple or two good flavoured eating apples (Pink Lady or Fuji are good).  Put it all into a good sized non-stick saucepan with 20gr. butter, about 400ml water, a little salt and black pepper, one tablespoon of cider vinegar, a little ground nutmeg, and two tablespoons of sugar (or powdered sweetener for a lower calorie version).  Cover with a lid, bring to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer and allow the cabbage to cook slowly for at least an hour, stirring occasionally to ensure it does not catch and adding a little more water if necessary.  At the end of cooking you need to have enough liquid to thicken to give a coating sauce.  Stir out one tablespoon of cornflour in a little water, add to the cabbage mix and stir whilst reheating and allow to bubble for a minute or two to cook out the cornflour.  Taste for seasoning – it should be sweetish but with an “edge” of vinegar.  For a fruitier version you can also add the juice of an orange to the cooking liquid.  The cabbage can be made in advance, even the day before and re-heated.

With the traditional version a sauce is usually made – melt a good sized piece of butter (ca. 15gr.) in a saucepan, stir in 1 ½ tablespoons flour (if too dry add a little more butter), add a good stock cube then slowly add the reserved cooking liquid from the oven tray until the desired consistency is reached – it should easily coat the back of a spoon.  Add a little black pepper to taste and a little ground nutmeg, and a couple of table spoons of cooking (single) cream, mix and bring back to the boil before serving.

If serving the barbecue version in warm weather, you could substitute cooked new/salad potatoes and make a coleslaw with red cabbage:

Ingredients for red-cabbage coleslaw:
1 small or ½ large red cabbage, outside leaves discarded, quartered, cored and finely sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Small tub crème fraiche
Equal amount of good mayonaise
Dash of sweet hot-dog mustard or sweet chilli sauce – to taste
Sweet pickled cucumber (optional)

Put the prepared vegetables in a large bowl and mix well.  Add half and half crème fraiche and good mayonnaise – sufficient to coat the vegetables well – a teaspoon of sugar (or powdered sweetener), salt and pepper to taste and a dash of Scandinavian-style sweet hot-dog mustard (if available) or sweet chilli sauce.  Mix through thoroughly – if you can get hold of them, a Scandinavian-style sweet pickled cucumber finely chopped (or a couple of slices from a jar, chopped) together with a spoonful of the liquid from the jar adds a good flavour to the coleslaw.

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