A TV appearance and a recipe. German-style roast pork with "Heaven and Earth" & brandy sauce

At this time of year I love warming home-cooked feasts which feed the soul as well as the stomach. I'll often invite friends over to share a meal and some of my fondest memories are of these informal supper parties.

Last week I was invited to appear as a news pundit on a programme called The Week with Carl Jones on Made in Birmingham TV which excitingly launched on Sky, Virgin and Freeview TV that very same week!

The programme was recorded on Thursday lunchtime for airing at 10pm on Friday. I felt I couldn't just demand my friends come and watch my latest moment of fame like some total diva so lured them  with promise of food and drink.

Luckily my friends are easily persuaded like this so on Friday night, ahead of showtime, we sat down to a German-style "schweinebraten" pork joint, cooked over carrots, potatoes and onions swimming in stock with a melt-in-the-mouth crust of garlic, mustard and paprika.

I served this with Himmel Und Erde - heaven and earth, which is basically mashed potatoes with stewed apple and butter swirled through giving a gorgeous sweetness. This is topped with fried bacon and onions. Perfect cold weather food!

I added buttered cabbage (sorry dieters) and made a brandy sauce which was very tasty!

The whole lot disappeared. Even one of my fussier friends ate it, despite the fact I refused to tell her what the ingredients were. I knew she would balk at apple in potato for a start!

We finished with a chocolate fondant pud then, full to the brim, sat down to view The Week with Carl Jones -and me!

Schweinebraten Pork recipe:

1 loin of pork with skin on to suit number of guests.
1tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 chopped garlic cloves
1tsp paprika
2 cups stock
1 glass red wine

carrots, potatoes, quartered onions to suit number of guests.

Score pork skin. Sear pork all over then rest on top of veg which has been chopped into medium chunks. I don't peel my veg but I leave that up to you.

Add 2 cups stock -I used chicken stock as I had some- and wine. You can substitute with German style beer.

roast for time suggested on pork packaging  to suit your oven. Baste at least twice during cooking.

Rest pork for 10 minutes.

Brandy Sauce.

1tbsp plain flour
1oz butter
half a cup brandy
2tbsps sugar
1tbsps wholegrain mustard.

Make a roux by melting butter then whisking in flour and stir briskly until ball looks shiny and moves cleanly around pan. Add liquid slowly whisking constantly then add mustard and sugar. Simmer for five minutes. Adjust sugar/brandy to taste.

Heaven and Earth

Fry thinly sliced onions and pancetta cubes or finely chopped smoked bacon.

Make mashed potatoes then stir through stewed apple (or apple sauce from a jar) to taste. I added about four TBSPS apple to mash for 8 people.


If you want to watch me on TV while you eat your pork, here's the link.