Celebration and indulgence…
That night marked the end of the long-distance living or dual location households. It’s OVER! Hooray! It was hard; it was costly; it was stressful; it was emotionally damaging. I know many couples are doing this, whether or not by choice, and I wonder how they manage it.
Well, it didn’t fit for us and the biggest struggle was not being able to eat together and, for him, not finding any food outside.
When I asked what he wanted for dinner on his moving day, he screamed ‘PORK!’.
So I took out two packets of pork shoulder cut from the freezer the first thing in the morning. I scored the skin in a criss-cross pattern and rubbed it generously with coarse salt. I also drizzled some kimchi juice over the meat and sprinkled Schiuan pepper and rosemary.
After resting in the fridge the whole morning, it was ready for the oven. Since the cut was individually packaged, not in whole, I had to find a way to make it sit with the skin side up, and this was my solution.
After the initial blast at 230’C for about 20 mins, I lowered the heat to 170’C and let it cook for 3 hours, which wasn’t that long, due to the small cut. Perhaps, it would be an idea to roast meat in a smaller size to save time? I basted it every 30 mins with its own fatty juice.
The result is this succulent, super crispy skin pork! Oh my goodness… you’ve been long missed…you naughty crackling! I’ll devour you; I’ll strip you naked!
Recently I’ve noticed some fine wrinkles and dryness on my facial skin so I nourished myself with collagen and good fat. It’s the secret behind the beauty of K-pop and Asian idols. It’s the pork skin.
Whatever it might do to my skin, – which I don’t really care about – it did help to lift up my soul and happiness. Fork-tender meat and crispy crackling… ultimate food porn, right?
What do we have here? My kimchi, my special bbq sauce with mustard, tahini and chili paste, and pickled red cabbage and apple.
Let’s get the party started!
Wrap it in lettuce…
Wrap it in yufka, the thin flatbread… yes, this won the game.
And the wine?
I’ve been exploring Greek wines lately as you’ve noticed, and it’s been really saving my dinner as well as my palate. What’s the latest discovery?
Mavroudi of Thrace 2016 by Vourvoukeli Estate won the honour to entertain the evening. I’d wanted to wait a few more months before tasting it since it was very young but I couldn’t find any better option to pair with the meal in my wine stock.
So the cork was pulled, nice cork, and I was greeted with an opulent aroma of berries and spices. So far so good. A nose tells a lot about a bottle; you can guess 80% of how it will taste.
Mavroudi, meaning ‘black’ in Greek, is better known as a noble Bulgarian grape, in which case is spelled as Mavrud. When I first encountered the name, I immediately linked it to Mourvedre but in fact, it’s rather compared to Pinot Noir, and it’s darker and more tannic.
On the nose, it had aromas reminiscent of Syrah and on the palate, it was a medium body with med+ acidity and supple tannins, which can benefit from ageing. Though young, the tannins were not rough and quite pleasant, especially with the fatty pork! It was matured in oak for 12 months and the oak flavours were well-integrated.
A lovely wine with a friendly price tag, and I’m really curious how the same bottle will taste a year or two later!
Coincidentally, the label has a wild boar and it’s said that local wild boars like to eat the grapes. Now the positions are reversed, haha, the grapes are eating ya-boar!
This wine has intrigued me to learn more about Mavrud and I’ll definitely seek out more bottles on my next trip to the western Thrace, including other wines by the same producer.