One trend I’ve noted of late is the one where cocktails are transformed into alcohol-infused cupcakes. It’s a notion that’s been around for quite some time already and one that, frankly speaking, I can’t see the point of. But, then again, I’ve never really been a fan of the whole trendy cupcake scene, nor have I ever really enjoyed cocktails save for the occasional Bloody Mary, Margarita (blue ones, please), and Cuba Libre. (That’s a rum-and-cola with lime for the uninitiated.)
I’ve never been a trendsetter; I was never one to start anything, seeing how I’ve always been the unfashionable one either at school or at work. But I think the idea of turning some of the more savory-tasting cocktails into marinades for meat, fish, and even vegetables may just be worth taking a look at.
This particular recipe is another of those “clean out the damned fridge and feed the clan” things: the end result of using up stuff that’s occupying a little too much space in one’s refrigerator or kitchen cupboard. In this case, it made use of some Antonov ginger alco-pop left from the last time I made a truffle ganache and several packets of tomato ketchup that came with the fast-food takeaway. Along with the tomatoes and vodka, I also threw in a bit of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce; it’s a combination that evokes, oddly enough, a classic Bloody Mary.
It sounds a bit iffy, even trashy when you read about it, but you end up with succulent pork with a crisply caramelized exterior, and fragrant sweet-savory meat that goes down a treat on plain steamed rice, mashed potatoes, or even polenta.
Bloody Mary Pork
- 1 kg pork belly ribs
- 1 cup vodka-based ginger or lemon-flavored alco-pop
- 2-1/2 tablespoons (or 3 packets) tomato ketchup
- 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (Tabasco actually works best; Sriracha puts in serious fire)
- a few dashes Worcestershire sauce or Knorr liquid seasoning
- 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Place the pork in a non-reactive dish. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the pork, massaging well so that the meat absorbs the marinade. Leave to soak for two hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
Pre-heat your oven or Turbo Broiler to 375 degrees / Gas Mark 5. Place the pork on a roasting tin and drizzle over some of the marinade; reserve the rest of the marinade. Cook for 20 minutes, drizzling over the reserved marinade every five minutes. Turn the ribs over and cook an additional 20 minutes; continue basting as before.
Put the ribs on a serving platter and leave to rest for five to ten minutes before carving. Serves 6.