Thursday, November 05, 2009

Paul Mercurio

Murdoch Books
NZRRP: $39.99

Mercurio’s Menu bundles the best recipes from the ‘Mercurio’s Menu’ TV series and features Paul’s own recipes in his fun, laid-back style
It seems that dancing is not Paul Mercurio’s only passion and his foodie travel show ‘Mercurio’s Menu,’ watched by over a million people in Australia and New Zealand, would indicate it’s a passion well-shared.
Paul Mecurio takes his viewers, and now his readers, on a humour-filled journey around Australia and New Zealand seeking out great regional produce and cooking with the locals. Along the way he indulges armchair travellers with some incredible scenery and entertaining foodie hints and tips.
Paul covers all Australian states and territories plus parts of New Zealand. The book is organised by state and includes many captivating photographs of the landscapes and producers Paul meets along the way.

Murdoch Books have bundled the best of the program’s recipes, imagery and fun facts into not only the perfect companion book to the TV show, but a book with a simply great mix of antipodean recipes and stunning location photography.
One of these recipes especially appealed to me so Paul and his publushers kindly agreed to let me reproduce it here for readers of Beattie's Book Blog:

Bangalow sweet pork roast with anchovy sauce
Recipe by Daud Kendall from Byron Bay Beach Café
Serves 6

1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) pork loin, rind on
1 tablespoon oil
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 anchovy fillets, crushed
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Dry the pork well with paper towels. Rub the rind surface lightly with oil and rub in a generous amount of sea salt. Sit the pork on a rack in a roasting tin and place into the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and pour the water into the base of the tin to prevent the fat from splattering.

Cook for a further 1 hour, then turn on the top element or place under a preheated grill (broiler) for about 5–10 minutes to make the crackling nice and crisp. Set the pork on a plate and rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes.
For the anchovy sauce: Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic and fry until lightly golden, then add the anchovies and rosemary and fry for 30 seconds. Splash in the balsamic vinegar and remove the pan from the heat.
Serve the pork with the anchovy sauce and roasted vegetables.
The quality of the pork is the key to this recipe. We have used Bangalow sweet pork from the Byron Bay hinterland. The loin should be tied by the butcher and the rind scored. If you are using a bone-in roast, it is not necessary to tie it.

Paul Mercurio is best known for his lead role in the Baz Luhrmann blockbuster Strictly Ballroom, but he is jack of many trades. Most recently, Paul was on the panel for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in Australia and New Zealand and his own culinary travel show ‘Mercurio’s Menu’ is shown on Food TV (SKY Digital Channel 9).

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