Spring 2015 Newsletter
Slow Cooked Mexican Pork
In our last newsletter, we mentioned the phenomenon of pulled meat, and the usual association with sliders. We have a new favourite that we’d love to share with you, using a tortilla instead of a little bun, and we know you’re going to love it. It’s great for a crowd, and ever-so-easy, as each diner assembles his or her own meal.
Slow-Cooked Mexican Pork
• 3 Ancho chillies
• 3 Guajillo chillies
• 1 Litre chicken stock
• 2 Tbs vegetable oil
• 1.5 Kg boneless pork neck
• 2 garlic cloves chopped,
• 1 cinnamon quill
• 1 bay leaf
• pinch allspice
• 40g Mexican chocolate
• 1 Tbs soft brown sugar
• 1 Tbs cider vinegar
• fresh coriander leaves
• lime wedges
Toast chillies in a pan for a few minutes until fragrant, then cool. Remove stems and process the chillies with 1/2 cup stock to make a paste. Cut pork into 6-8 chunks and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, deep pan, brown pork on all sides, then remove and set aside. Cook garlic 1 minute, add chilli paste, and cook a further 3-4 minutes. Add remaining stock, herbs and spices, and pork. Stir then cover, and simmer 2 hours or until very tender.
Remove pork to a plate. Add chocolate, sugar and vinegar to the sauce and simmer rapidly 8 minutes to reduce. While sauce is reducing, use two forks to pull the meat into shreds.
Pour just enough of the reduced sauce over the meat to keep it moist. To serve, place shredded pork in a panel down the centre of the tortilla, add a squeeze of lime and a few leaves of coriander. Fold the bottom up over the meat, then fold sides across the front so that the tortilla has make a pocket. Serve a bowl of guacamole on the side, if you like. Enjoy! (Leftovers can be frozen.)
What’s new at Herbie’s?
We just love bringing new spice adventures to you! After being quizzed by Californian customers last year (“What have you got for ribs?”) we’ve come up with a Rib Spice which will do the trick whether you’re having beef short ribs, pork spare ribs, or American (sometimes called Australian) racks. We’ve come up with a great marinade that involves no store-bought sauces, and we know you’ll love it. It’s delicious as a general-purpose seasoning as well, so reach for it when you’re barbecueing chicken drumsticks, or roasting potatoes.
Also new is Ancho Chilli Powder, so that we can all enjoy that fabulous Mexican ancho flavour more easily, with anything from boiled eggs to pasta.
Box of Ideas for Spring
Several regular customers have asked us about the possibility of a Spice of the Month, or even a Spice Club. We gave these suggestions the thought they deserved, but eventually decided there was a different, better, way to do a similar thing, without any of you needing to make a long term commitment. The result was our regular seasonal Box of Ideas, priced always at $25.00. It’s a great way of bringing you a selection of spices and herbs to enliven your repertoire for the coming season. Our brand new Box of Ideas for Spring is full of enticing freshness to welcome in the warmer weather. We’re giving the above-mentioned Rib Spice a starring role, as well as another of our newcomers, Chimichurri Spice mix. At the same time, we take a fresh look at some of the old favourites such as Balmain-Rozelle Spice, ground cumin and Family-Friendly Stir-Fry mix. Prepare to be inspired!
Fall in love with Barberries
Thanks to the popularity of Middle Eastern food, many customers have fallen in love with barberries. These bright red, tangy little berries look somewhat like a dried redcurrant, and their colour, texture and flavour all contribute to the appeal of many chicken and rice dishes of countries around Afghanistan, Iran and Palestine. The berries grow on a bush, about 2 to 3 metres tall, developing from clusters of yellow flowers. Throughout history, these berries have been used in medicine from countries as diverse as India, Egypt and native America, but we appreciate them for their flavour alone. Try them next time you’re doing a pilaf or biryani!
Tying in with our 18th birthday celebrations (thanks for all your good wishes, by the way), we have launched a new website. It’s easier to get around, full of lots of easy-access information, and you can ask your burning question of Herbie and have it answered promptly. So much more than just a page for buying your herb and spice needs, there is allergen information, recipes, Herbie’s blog (lots of great information there!), and Frequently Asked Questions. The recipe section is constantly growing, and each recipe now has a photograph so you know what you’re aiming for. To find your nearest stockist, just put your postcode into the top right-hand corner of the screen. All the newsletters are archived there, too, in case you need to look something up. And, coming soon to the website, an Ask Kate section for all your culinary questions, and Kate Hemphill’s own blog, so that you can benefit from her knowledge as co-author of The Spice and Herb Bible, Third Edition.
It’s been a particularly chilly winter for some of us, so enjoy thawing out in the coming months, and remember, Christmas is only 4 months away, so start getting your mind around it!