Monday 7 November 2011

Pork hock and kale mash in Eastbourne

I went to Eastbourne at the weekend. I used to hate it there as a teenager ("where are the cool shops/bars/clubs?") but with time I've grown to appreciate this sleepy seaside town. I love walking on the South Downs, trawling the charity shops and watching the sea. Although I'm sure that I've changed a lot since I was a teenager, this is one of the only things that I actually feel has changed inside me.  Whenever I come here, I read some of my old diaries. I have hundreds of them, as I've been writing since I was 12, and read Anne Frank. Sometimes they make me cringe, other times they make me laugh, but this time what I read just made me really sad. Between the lines, there seemed to be this longing for something pure and good that was forever out of reach, and I had no idea how to find. What cheered me up, however, and what I initially wanted to share with you, was this dinner my mum made. With a little help from me, in the form of drinking wine, chatting and grating cheese
It's a pork hock, otherwise known as knuckle. The one up there was already prepared (mum brought it  from Holland, where it's more popular than here) but if you buy this at the butcher, you need to cook it for a looong time in some kind of sauce. Beer and a bay leaf work well. If you have a slow cooker, you could leave it on all day, otherwise I reckon about 3 hours, but you'll know when it's ready as the meat will be practically falling off the bone. The mash was extra creamy, as mum used double cream instead of milk. We mashed it with salt and then added chopped and sauteed kale. Then, just to be really healthy we put loads of cheddar on top and baked it in the oven until the cheese melted. Amazing.

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