We have a bit of rhubarb at the moment. I want to cook some of it down into a puree for breakfast and for crumbles and keep it in the freezer. I should use some of it to accompany some fried mackerel and maybe I will, if on Thursday if I can find some fresh fish at the market. Last year I transplanted lots of rhubarb crowns from my friends’ allotment, but they are still recovering and only producing spindly stalks – something not helped by the hens pecking at them. I am hopeful that in a few years I will be overrun with the stuff and will lie awake at night worrying about what to do with it!
For now here is a recipe for Rhubarb Jam – use an equal amount of fruit to sugar. Cut the rhubarb into bite-sized pieces, put in a glass (or non-reactive) bowl cover with sugar and leave over night. The next day place in a jam pan – add a little lemon juice or orange juice. Rhubarb is low in pectin so it helps to add some via lemon juice. Bring to the boil and cook until it reaches setting point. The put in sterilised jars and seal.
I forgot to add the lemon juice to the last batch – it isn’t the end of the world, the jam just sets a little looser. You can also add some crystalised ginger to the jam when it is done or add in a bashed piece of ginger root while it is cooking for the marvelous Rhubarb and ginger jam.
And for dinner last night I made Slow cooked pork with rhubarb from Jennifer McLagan Odd Bits: How to cook the rest of the animal (73). Ingredients: shoulder of pork; few stalks of rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces, 1 apple (peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes, two cups of cider, 2 bay leaves, 8 cardamon pods crushed, 1 dried chilli, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 tbs honey. Brown the pork in a large saucepan. Once browned remove and add the cider, bay leaves, garlic, chilli, cardamon pods and apple to the pan. Add the pork back. Pop some baking parchment on top, cover with lid and put in oven at 160C for two or so hours. Remove lid and parchment and cook for another hour or until very very well cooked.
Remove the pork to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Strain the juice through a sieve and put in a clean saucepan. Add the honey and the rhubarb and cook until the rhubarb is done. Cut the pork into thick slices and serve with some sauce and rhubarb spooned on top.
We ate it with bread and asparagus given to us by the lovely Matilda and her parents who have been staying on the site this week – thank you. They also gave us some chocolate too – how lovely is that?
N.B. This was really delicious – who knew that pork and rhubarb could be so good. We might eat some of the rest of the pork with some re-fried beans tonight.