I have brought home seemingly half a hog from The Sister’s engagement party and we have now – nearly – had our fill of hot pork and apple sauce sandwiches (with mayo of course). So what to do with the rest of it? I mentally flicked between a Thai-inspired curry with some not-very-tasty melon I found in the fridge and a ragu-style sauce for pasta but found neither particularly epicurean-ly satisfying. Then I hit upon the idea of something quite salty-savoury (oven-roasted cubes of potatoes with plenty of seasoning) against a backdrop of fruity-sweet. This is what I came up with.
Fry a chopped onion in a little butter and oil until golden and caramelised and deeply sweet. Stir in a mere tsp of flour as a thickener, cook out for a couple of minutes then pour in about 250ml red wine. (I’m trying to give precise amounts but mostly I just do this by eye). Add in a sprig or two of rosemary and reduce the wine to almost a syrupy consistency. Then pour in around 250-300ml chicken stock and reduce again until the sauce is the consistency and flavour you like. At this point I then threw in a good handful of halved seedless black grapes and – and I realise this is a curio but it was a blinding move – a tbsp of mulberry vinegar. Lacking that particular vinegar, I’d experiment with a fruity balsamic perhaps – anything with a sweet-sharp edge. Let the grapes soften and then season the sauce. Lay your slices of hog in to re-heat.
I served with those salty little potatoes and the first cavalo nero of the season (gulp) sweated in a little butter and garlic.