Now let’s talk about Kiwi food, the first time I set foot here in New Zealand like any other migrant or tourist one of the first questions you will be asking is what are the best traditional Kiwi food items or recipes out there and where will I get them? To my surprise most of the ones I asked did not know what to answer or they had answered “Nothing really, I think the closest one would be savoury pies”, that surprised me a lot as I lived and visited in different South East Asian countries and when I asked that question, it will be an endless conversation or even argument to those people I presented the question with on which is the best dish for them to let me try.
As I stayed longer I started to see some really dishes unique to New Zealand which I guess people I knew are not so adventurous to try or they just really love their meat pies and Chinese takeaways, they totally forgot that there are other wonderful dishes out there. Most of the dishes that I was interested on are those where they combine meats and fruits because from where I came from only young fruits are used for cooking savoury dishes and not the ripe ones. I saw several dishes where they used kiwi, peach, apples and grapes with meats and vegetable and I guess this is what’s unique with New Zealand. Though it may be an improvised menu from another country, I think it is still brilliant mixing fruits and meats, combining the sweet and tangy fruit to a savoury meat, it enhances both flavours bringing the umami out of the dish. Some of these dishes are common in cafes like wraps served with fruit chutneys, steaks served with fruity gravy, green salads with different fruits grilled or fresh and stews or braised meats in fruit based sauce like this recipe which was adapted from a TV ad called “Food in a Minute“.
800g thick cut pork shoulder chops
1 stick celery, thinly sliced
2 pcs granny smith apples, peeled, sliced and cored
500ml apple cider
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dried sage
1 onion, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground black pepper
1. Season pork with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a wide heavy pan which you can cover, lie pork flat then brown both sides, remove from pan then set aside.
3. Add onions, garlic and celery, stir until onions caramelizes. This will take around 8 minutes.
4. Place back the pork then add the cider, honey, sage and apples. Cover pan then simmer very gently for 1 hour add water if needed.
5. Remove from pan and place pork pieces on a plate leaving the sauce. At this stage apples are dissolved into the sauce.
6. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes then season it with salt and pepper. If sauce is too thick adjust it with water.
7. Pour sauce on top of plate then serve.