My darling mother is, to use her own words, “closer to 90 than 80 years young” Mum has a remarkably open attitude and a positive outlook on life. She paints in oils, having graduated from watercolours some years back. Her pictures are bright and bold and they reflect a fun, childlike humour and her bubbly personality.
“What has any of this got to do with that big chunk of meat?” I hear you ask. Let me explain in chunks as I prepare this lovely recipe for Rosemary and Lemon Smoked Pork.
Way back in the day when we children were children, Dublin was a different kind of place to live. The back gate at the top of our garden was left unlocked. The back door to the house was only closed during the day if it was either cold or raining. The big metal bin was kept outside the back door, and, on collection day, was moved the length of the garden and left in the back lane for emptying.
A chunk on the food: I got my hands on an eight rib piece of free range, organic, rare breed pork. It works well with apple, so I smoked the pork in the Bradley Smoker, using sweet apple wood for the smoke. There are but a few ingredients for this recipe. Pork, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper. The instructions for this are very straightforward.
Chop up a couple of handfuls of rosemary, plucked from the back garden. If you are going to prepare this, get your rosemary from your own garden. Stay out of mine!
Slash through the skin and into the fat of the pork using a very sharp knife. Rub the pork all over with salt, pepper, rosemary and lemon zest.
Leave the pork in the fridge overnight. This allows the flavours to get into the meat.
Back to the story about my Mum; One day, she was baking bread in the kitchen when she saw two large men walking down the garden. She could tell by their dress (No, they wern’t wearing dresses) that they were two of the bin men. One knocked loudly on the open back door and began to talk to my mum. “Jaysus, Missus, that bin of yours is awful heavy. The lads and I were just sayin’ how heavy that bin of yours is….” This performance by two burly six footers in front of a five foot nothing mother of six children.
Back to the cooking; The meat (like our bin) is big and heavy. That is what got me thinking of Mum’s story as I carried the pork out to put it in the smoker. The smoker lives in the garden shed. Everything in the shed smells of smoke. I let it smoke away until it reached an internal temperature of 68ºC. This took about 3 hours.
While the pork is resting, lightly stew some apples with ginger.
Ingredients for perfect apple sauce
- 3 cooking apples
- Juice of a lemon
- 4 or 5 slices of ginger, chopped up small
- 3 or 4 teaspoons of sugar
Peel and slice the apples, into pieces, about the size of a segment of an orange. add to a saucepan. Add the other ingredients and heat over a medium heat until the segments start to break down. Remove from the heat. A nice bit of firm apple is good in this sauce. Skin the pork, slice and serve with a nice pork gravy and mashed potato.
This recipe for Apple Wood Smoked Loin of Pork will not disappoint. Though I know you would be disappointed if I didn’t finish that little story of my Mum and the bin men.
The object of the complaint was to extract a “tip”. In today’s more enlightened world, we would call it “graft” or “bribe”. But they were simpler times. My darling Mum’s response was to look him in the eye and say “Yes, I thought it was a bit heavy when I carried it up the garden.” They left, shamefaced and un-tipped. Wonderful woman my Mum.