It is wrong to cry over spilt milk. This much we know. We were taught this as children and now hardy any of us drink milk as a result.
But it is 100 per cent CORRECT to cry over this magnificent, wonderful, glorious pork dish.
The breed is Iberico (sourced from the wonder that is Jack O’Shea’s butchers in Primrose Hill); cut, a three-bone rack. The marinate is a smoky overture of smoked paprika and intense herbs. The recipe is inspired by Tom Kerridge from his ‘Best Ever Dishes’ cookbook.
It is glorious. Cook rare, if you dare (there is no risk with Iberico). Or just cook if, damn you. JUST GET IT AND COOK IT AND ENJOY AND SALIVATE.
And then weep salty tears over the greatest pork dish you have ever and will ever taste.
2-3 bone pork rib, skin removed
For the spice paste
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp finely chopped sage leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
For the pickled cabbage
Vegetable oil, for cooking
1 onion, very finely sliced
½ white cabbage, tough core removed, very finely sliced
100ml white wine
100ml white wine vinegar
20g caster sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1. With a sharp knife, carefully cut a slit between the rib bones and the meat, following the contour of the bone. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the spice paste. Rub most of the mixture into the gap between the bones and the meat. Push the meat back onto the bones and tie up with cooking string. Wrap in clingfilm and marinate in the fridge overnight.
3. The next day, unwrap the pork from the clingfilm and place it on a roasting tray. Season with salt.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Cook the pork for 35-40 mins then use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Once it reaches 60C, remove the pork from the oven and cover with tin foil and leave to rest for approx. 20 mins.
5. While the pork is resting, make the pickled cabbage. Warm a little oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and gently cook, stirring from time to time until it begins to soften.
6. Add the cabbage and give it a good stir. Pour in the white wine and vinegar and sprinkle on the sugar. Cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time, until all the liquid has evaporated and the cabbage is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Remove the string from the pork and carve into chops.
8. Serve with the cabbage and mashed potato. Drizzle over any resting juices.