BOOK EXTRACT

Celebrate: Lorna Maseko’s Favourite Harvest Bits

By Lorna Maseko 8 November 2019

Sticky Pulled Pork with Creamy Polenta. Photo: Frank Ellis

This is an extract from Lorna Maseko’s new book, Celebrate with Lorna Maseko, published by Human & Rousseau.

Because I travel so much, coming home is always comforting – there’s nothing like enjoying a home-cooked meal with your friends. One of the things I love doing is hosting my friends at my house for casual lunches, intimate dinners or barbecues (what we call braais in South Africa). It’s become a ritual if we’re not trying out new restaurants, quaint spots or trendy new bars.

My friends have become my tasters for some of my recipes and these next dishes are a celebration of our love for food, friendship and coming together. Most importantly, it’s about doing life with people you value and who add value to your life and support your dreams, ambitions and overall well-being.

When we have these gatherings, everyone has some kind of responsibility and I’m almost certain that, as I mention each recipe, Tshepi, Kgosi, Sego, Sibi, Muzi, Ayanda, Lungi and Nikki, to mention a few, will recognise their individual responsibilities.

Crunchy Radicchio and Apple Salad with Juicy Pork Chops

Crunchy Radicchio-and-Apple Salad with Juicy Pork Chops. Photo: Frank Ellis

Serves 2–4

Ingredients

½ cup buttermilk

½ cup yoghurt

1 tbs vinegar

1 tbs sugar

handful of chopped chives

3 radicchios, cut into halves

2 apples, thinly sliced

1 cup milk

100 g mild blue cheese

4 pork chops

salt and pepper to taste

sprinkle of walnuts for garnish

Method

In a bowl, combine the buttermilk, yoghurt, vinegar, sugar and chives and mix well. Place the halved radicchios on a platter and arrange the apple slices to your liking. To complete the sauce, add the milk and blue cheese to a pot. Heat until the cheese has melted. Allow to cool and then add the cheese sauce to the buttermilk mixture. Fold in. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and cook in a griddle pan for 4 minutes on each side. Assemble on the same platter as the apples and radicchios and garnish with walnuts.

Sticky Pulled Pork with Creamy Polenta

(See main photo)

Serves 4–6

Ingredients

Pork:

1 tbs paprika

1 tbs cayenne pepper

1 tbs garlic powder

2 kg deboned pork shoulder

1 cup chicken stock

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup smoky barbecue sauce

½ cup dry cider

1 star anise

2 tbs wholegrain mustard

1 tbs mustard seeds

1 cup water

salt and pepper

Polenta:

60 g butter

2 cups polenta

1 cup milk

½ cup water

250 ml cream

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 160º C.

To make the pork, mix the paprika, cayenne and garlic powder in a bowl and rub onto the pork. Place the pork in a roasting dish.

In a bowl, mix together the chicken stock, maple syrup, barbecue, cider, star anise, mustard, mustard seeds, water and salt and pepper and pour over pork. Cover with a lid or tin foil and place in the oven for 3–4 hours.

To make the polenta, melt the butter in a pot and, when soft, add the polenta, milk and water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the cream and season. The polenta should be creamy and soft.

Once the pork is ready, use a fork to pull the meat apart and mix in with those gorgeous sticky juices. Serve with the creamy polenta. DM

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