A delicious and easy pork feast the whole family will love 

Lilly Higgins: Creating a home restaurant, just for one night, is one way to enjoy the time lockdown creates

 

I’m planning on creating a restaurant at home for the evening next weekend, enrolling my three young apprentices as both staff and fellow diners. I used to love running supper clubs from private homes, when I did it about 10 years ago.

Pop-up supper clubs were few and far between at the time. I decided to set up my own and went to visit the underground supper club in London run by Kerstin Rodgers. It was in her own private home, her dining room transformed with several tables, mismatched chairs, vintage crockery and homemade marigold strewn bread rolls.

The seating was mixed and everyone mingled as we were treated to many creative courses including cobnut soup from cobnuts that she had foraged for the previous day. She had countless blue and white platters lining the wall in her kitchen, cluttered with curiosities. Everything was made from scratch by Kerstin and cooked on her beautiful cream Aga.

There was so much charm, personality and fun in everything that night. It was like being at a friend’s dinner party. She went on to write a book detailing how to run your own pop-up restaurant and I may need to dust off my copy in preparation for our own little restaurant.

These days, during lockdown, it’s about taking joy in these small moments and having the time to spend creating a bigger event over something that we usually wouldn’t fuss over. Suffice to say, they are all excited and I’ve even heard plans of heart-shaped ice cubes.

Happily, all I have to do is cook. I’ve created a speedier version of the traditional Chinese barbecue pork, char siu. Using pork loin (pork steak), is just the solution. I bought the most amazing free range pork steaks from Caherbeg in west Cork. The meat is a darker colour than usual, and the flavour is incredible.

Pork always pairs so well with ginger and Chinese five spice. I love this pork sliced and served with rice or noodles, rounds of cucumber and sautéed greens such as spinach or bok choy. It’s really delicious and easy feast that the whole family will love. 

Recipe: Chinese barbecue (char sui) pork

 

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