Monday, 4 January 2016

Cold meat board (GAPS, PALEO)

No-grain antipasto plank

The antipasti are: Lamb and veg meatloaf, Roasted leg of pork, Jamón Ibérico, Smoked salmon, Cranberry sauce, Avocado slices, Green olives, Capers and Walnut and sage crackers.

We like to nibble on cold meat cuts throughout Christmas. This year I made them grain-free. Four meats, four garnishes and walnut crackers were on the menu.

I have made extra care that the meats are additive free. No chemical preservatives and absolutely no sugar in any of them. I also wanted to add gherkins (pickled cucumbers, great with meatloaf) but I could not get one without sugar or firming agent, so I went without them.

What is great about Christmas (from the chef's point of view) that when all the hard work is done: figuring out the menu, sourcing all the ingredients, preparing the feast, refrigerating the leftovers, there is no need to grab a wooden spoon to make breakfasts, lunches or dinners for two to three days.

You will need (feeds 3 for 3 days):
1.2 kg leg of pork (boned and rolled, with a good layer of fat)
5 to 6 whole black peppers
a good pinch of coarse Himalayan rock salt
1 small onion
2 to 3 fat garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of sage

1 generous tbsp honey

1. Put the rolled pork (Ingredients: Pork (100%)) into the slow cooker or into a large enough (about 4 l) stock pot. Cover with plenty of water. Season: salt, whole black pepper, bay leaf, sage, and onion and garlic (halved or whole). If using a slow cooker (like I did) cook for 10 to 12 hours. If using a stock pot on the stove cook on the lowest setting for 4 hours, covered with a lid.
2. When the time is up take the pot into a cool place and let the meat cool down in the cooking liquid. Leave overnight in the fridge if you like.
3. Take the meat out of the pan (reserve the cooking liquid for later) and place it on a tray. Put the tray in a preheated oven and roast the meat at 170 C for until golden and crispy (about 30 to 35 mins).
4. Take the meat out of the oven and brush with the honey. Let it cool before slicing. Rest it in the fridge for a night if you like.

Roasted leg of pork
You will need:
400 g minced lamb
2 medium onions
4 garlic cloves
1 courgette
2 carrots
a good pinch of Himalayan rock salt
2 to 3 whole black peppers, freshly crushed
1 tbsp coconut oil, extra for greasing the loaf tin/dish
1 medium egg
small bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 to 3 fresh sage leaves

an extra egg to brush (optional)

1. Place the lamb mince in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Finely chop the onions, garlic, parsley and sage. Add to the mixing bowl.
3. Grate the courgette and the cleaned carrots (large hole side) and add to the seasoned meat. Mix thoroughly.
4. Add the lightly beaten egg and the coconut oil to the meat and veg mixture.Work with your hands until well incorporated.
5. Grease the loaf tin (I have used a Pyrex loaf dish H8.5 x W12.2 x D28.5cm) with the extra coconut oil. Pack and press the meat mixture tight. Brush the top with lightly beaten egg (optional), and place the dish into a preheated oven and bake for 45 to 55 mins, until fully cooked. Because I have used a Pyrex dish only the top browned so I turned the loaf out onto a tray and baked a little more (about 12 to 15 mins) until it nicely browned all over.
6. Let it cool down completely before slicing. Rest it in the fridge for a night if you like.

You will need:
200 g fresh cranberries
2 sweet and juicy oranges
1 piece of cinnamon

1. Rinse the cranberries and discard the not so fresh ones. Put them in a pan.
2. Squeeze out the juice of the oranges. Add to the pan with the cinnamon piece.
3. Gently bring to boil. Cook on the lowest setting for about 15 mins, covered with a lid. Do not stir just shake the pan occasionally.

You will need (makes 24):
1/2 cup ground almonds
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
4 large walnut halves
3 fresh sage leaves
a good pinch of Himalayan rock salt
1 whole black pepper, freshly crushed
1 medium egg
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut flour

1. Put all the dry ingredients (except egg, coconut oil and coconut flour) into a blender and pulse for 12 to 15 seconds.
2. Add the egg, pulse for 5 seconds, then add the coconut oil and pulse for another 5 seconds.
3. Place the dough into a mixing bowl and adjust the consistency of the dough adding some coconut flour if needed if it too sticky.
4. Shape the sticky dough into a ball, place it on a baking paper, flatten a little, then cover it with another baking paper, and roll the dough between the two baking papers to a thickness of 2 to 2.5 mm.
5. Gently peel off the top baking paper, discard. With a pasta cutter cut up the thin dough into square shapes.
6. Slide the baking paper onto a baking tray and place the tray into a preheated oven and cook on 160 C for about 15 to 20 mins, until it start to turn golden.
7. Remove the tray from the oven and let the crackers cool down completely before breaking them apart.

To assemble the meat board:
1. Take the jamón and the smoked salmon out of the bridge 30 mins prior serving.
2. Slice the roasted pork and the meatloaf and place them on the board. I chose the two upper corners.
3. Place the thinly sliced jamón and the smoked salmon on the board.
4. Place the cranberry sauce between the cooked meats.
6. Put some crackers in the middle of the boards.
7. Garnish the jamón with the green olives. and the smoked salmon with capers, fresh lemon wedges, fresh dill and avocado slices.
8. Share and enjoy!

[i] Jamón Ibérico (Unearthed) Ingredients: Ibérico pork, salt.
Smoked salmon (Inverawe) Ingredients: Salmon (97%), sea salt, oak smoke.
Green olives (Gaea) Ingredients: green olives, water, sea salt, lemon juice.

To see the whole Christmas 2015 GAPS menu, please follow the link.

[i] For more GAPS recipe ideas please visit my GAPS recipes selection.

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