A few weeks ago I decided it was time to be brave and get back in the kitchen properly. Whilst I have large amounts of time on my hands, I lack the patience and calm required for cooking a several part meal.
With the weather clearly turning towards autumn it also gave me a chance to stick the oven on for a few hours and warm the place up a bit. Our flat is cold most of the time but on a cold day seeing your own breath in front of you can be a little concerning.
In fairness cooking a joint of pork that was prepared and stringed up by the butcher from ASDA hardly takes much effort or love. I did give it some seasoning and left it to marinate in various herbs and spices for a few hours before popping it into the oven. Doing something to make it feel like I had a form of success was crucial. Besides the thing was mammoth in size and would be used as leftovers for lunch, for both me and my partner, during the following days so ensuring the cold meat had flavour was essential.
And yes I did used to be vegetarian but getting leftovers from those meals to be exciting, appealing and yummy for five days a week was a challenge beyond my small chef mind and student sized budget.
After turning, checking to see if it needed any juice put on top and several hours of just sitting, waiting and anticipating I was finally able to take it out of the oven and let it rest.
Until this point I had never personally cooked such a proper piece of meat and only watched others do it. I had mastered the art of roasting a whole chicken several years ago but this was a whole new level of meaty mastery for me to deal with. I was scared the crackling would be nothing more than a rubbery mess and that the pork would be flavourless or worse dry.
Luckily though everything seemed to go well and as it was supposed to. I took it out the tray and left it to rest whilst admiring it somewhat. I obviously then used the tray to roast some potatoes and they seemed splendid enough too.
Even though this isn’t groundbreaking or overly exciting it took a lot for me to not just go for an easier, smaller and technically cheaper (but not portion wise) and to actually give this a go. I actually love to put my heart and soul into what I produce in the kitchen but I often get so scared of it going wrong, me wasting ingredients or it not being appreciated afterwards that I just avoid it.
I couldn’t become one of those people that do it week in and week out without fail because it is tradition to have a roast on a Sunday but knowing that I can do it and how to do it successfully if I go ahead is just as important. It is no longer another thing holding me back with fear in the cooking world.