Rullepølse for expats

My rullepølse.
My rullepølse.
One of the few Danish types of cold meat that lack any close equivalent in Scotland is rullepølse, basically rolled and pressed pork.

Here’s how you can make real Danish rullepølse yourself:

  1. Buy a large piece of pork belly (they regularly stock them in Makro).
  2. Cut off the skin and any ribs that might still be attached to it (you’ll need a very good knife for this). Trim it so that it’s perfectly rectangular and of a uniform thickness. It should now weigh about 1500g. You’ll probably end up with a lot of surplus meat and fat, but you can mince it all and use it for a medisterpølse.
  3. Make a brine by boiling 2000ml water with 200g of sugar, 300g of salt, a couple of bay leaves and 10 pepper corns. Cool it down and put your pork into in. Store this in the fridge for 48 hours.
  4. Take it out and discard the brine. Chop up one onion and a large bunch of parsley. Distribute this on the pork together with ground pepper, some ground allspice and a few sheets of gelatine. Tie it up tightly with some string.
  5. Boil it for two hours. Let it cool down a bit, and then press it overnight in a cold place between two chopping boards (I used some clamps to apply pressure, but you could also put something heavy on top.
  6. Slice and enjoy!

Enzo’s rabbit recipe

Two rabbitsLast time we visited my parents in the Tuscan village they’ve retired to, we got invited to dinner by two brothers, Enzo and Franco. Enzo is a trained chef, and he cooked an absolutely perfect meal. Amaia has been raving about his rabbit ever since (she ate half of it), so when I asked her what she wanted to eat on her sixth birthday, it was no surprise that the answer was rabbit.

I therefore sent my dad down to their house to beg Enzo for the recipe, and I thought I’d share it with the world. It’s a wonderful dish — the rabbit is moist and tender.

  1. Chuck a lot of rosemary, sage and wild fennel (don’t substitute normal fennel if you don’t have any — just leave it out), nutmeg, garlic, olive oil, salt and chilli into a blender and process to obtain a thin paste. (Enzo used black pepper instead of chilli, put the whole garlic cloves into the rabbit instead of adding them at this stage, and I don’t think he used a blender.) I also added a bit of lemon juice after tasting it, but the recipe didn’t call for it.
  2. Rub the rabbits (I used two for eight people) inside and out with this paste. Put the rabbit livers and one or two thick slices of pancetta into each rabbit and tie them shut with some string.
  3. Put them into an oven at 180ºC. After half an hour, pour over enough white wine to cover the bottom.
  4. Cook them for another 60 to 90 minutes (depending on size), turning them over a couple of times.

Tre år gammel mesterkok

Eggs - oops!
Eggs – oops!, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
Phyllis laver tit scrambled eggs til frokost, og Amaia hjælper hende. Jeg har derimod aldrig lige fået styr på, hvordan man laver den ret.

I dag skulle Phyllis lige gøre et job færdigt først, men Amaia var sulten, så hun begyndte at kommandere med mig: Giv mig den kasserolle der! Og det lille piskeris! Find smør, æg, mælk og ost! Hjælp mig med at skære et stykke smør af — dér! Sådan! Tænd for blusset! Så, nu er det smeltet — hurtigt, der skal mælk i! Nej, mere, ja, sådan! Og nu æg! Seks! Og nu skal jeg piske! Nej, du må ikke hjælpe, far! Og nu skal der ost i! Nej, ikke med rivejernet, med kniven! Seks stykker! Nu skal der ikke piskes mere, der skal røres. Og nu er det færdigt, sluk for blusset!

Ovenstående er ikke et ordret citat, da hun taler 80% engelsk til mig, men det var helt nøjagtigt, hvad hun mente.

Og resultatet var glimrende — æggene var brændt lidt på, men det smagte lige så godt som normalt.

Så nu har jeg en datter på tre år (hun bliver fire til januar), der er bedre til at lave scrambled eggs end mig. Hun har lært meget, siden hun var lille og kun brugte æg som kasteskyts som på billedet!

Buchwider Bräu β₂

Beta 2
Buchwider Bräu ??, a photo by viralbus on Flickr.
My first Belgian witbier was full of ginger, coriander and orange peel, and although the result was unpleasant it didn’t really taste like my favourite witbier, Korenwolf.

This time I managed to find some recipes on Dutch home-brewing forums (sometimes it’s useful to be able to read Dutch!), and I used them as a basis, adding interesting ingredients such as spelt malt, curação orange peel and elderflowers.

The result — Buchwider Bräu ?? — is quite nice, but it’s still not right. I need to add more orange peel and elderflowers, but there’s something else that isn’t right yet. The Dutch recipes called for the addition of flour (yes, real, normal flour), and perhaps this is the missing ingredient?

I need to get hold of some more Korenwolf bottles, however — my memories of it are becoming too hazy for precise flavour comparisons.

Buchwider Bräu λ₁

Buchwider Bräu ??
Buchwider Bräu ??, a photo by viralbus on Flickr.
I wanted to brew something different for a change, and I opted for a real, alcoholic ginger beer.

It was very simple and cheap to make, but the result is extremely dry — you have to be a real ginger beer lover to enjoy it without adding something to it.

However, a dash of lime cordial turns it into a pleasant and refreshing drink, although at 6% it’s not something you should drink too fast!

Pickled green tomatoes

Green tomatoes
Green tomatoes, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
I planted the tomato plants a bit too close together in the greenhouse this year, and the resulting perpetual shade has produced a harvest of 2.7 kg of green tomatoes, but only one single red one!

Fortunately, pickled green tomatoes is one of my favourites, so I spent an hour pickling them yesterday.

Here’s the receipe I used, adapted from this Danish one:

1 kg green tomatoes
2 chillies
2 vanilla pods
300 ml white wine vinegar
300 ml water
400 g sugar

Wash the tomatoes and the chillies and pierce them deeply with a fork.

Split the vanilla pods.

Bring vinegar, water and sugar to the boil and add the chillies and the vanilla pods.

Add one layer of tomatoes and boil them for 5-7 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the tomatoes.

Put the tomatoes, chillies and vanilla pods into sterilised jars. Top up with the hot liquid, and put the lids on.

Leave for two weeks before eating.

Buchwider Bräu κ₁

??, a photo by viralbus on Flickr.
I brewed Buchwider Bräu ?? on 7th February. It’s a Berliner Weiße clone, and it’s only just becoming drinkable now, which is completely normal for that type of beer — it’s recommended to leave six months between brewing and drinking. (For the first three months after bottling, it had a horrible sulphuric smell.)

I brewed it used Wyeast’s Activator 3191-PC Berliner-Weisse Blend, and although many people recommend using separate yeast and lactobacillus, this blend seemed to do the trick. Contact me if you’re interested in the recipe!

Berliner Weiße is a sour beer, very similar to a Belgian lambic. Some people like it on its own, but most will want to drink it mit Schuss, i.e., with fruit syrup. On the photo, I’ve added rhubarb syrup, but I can also recommend woodruff syrup, which produces a brilliant green colour and a unique taste!

The beer is extremely weak (only 2.7%), so it’s great for drinking in the sun when you don’t really want to get drunk.