When it comes to Sunday lunch, nothing beats a rack of pork beautifully prepared for you from your butcher. They will expertly remove the chine bone and trim the joint so that it is oven-ready, making it much easier to carve. Make sure you always check for the Bord Bia Quality mark. When making the marinade, you could spice it up with harissa or an aromatic Chinese five-spice powder. Pork takes on these flavours very well.

The next recipe is a seasonal dessert. Now is a great time of the year for rhubarb, as it’s nice and light. We serve rhubarb in the restaurant as a pre-dessert with ginger crumble and rosewater. It is a nice combination of flavours and people enjoy it. And if you don’t make your own meringues, you can find them easily in any supermarket.

Happy cooking,


Roast rack of pork with root vegetables

Ingredients: serves 8-10

2.25–2.75kg (5–6lb) rack of pork

(ask your butcher for it to be ‘chined’ and have the rind scored)

1 large onion, thickly sliced

2 carrots, cut into thick slices on the diagonal

2 celery sticks, cut in half

1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra

200ml (7fl oz) white wine

Gravy, to serve

Apple sauce, to serve

For the marinade:

2 tbsp olive oil

2–3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted

Juice and rind of 1 lemon

For the roasted vegetables:

10 red onions, cut into large chunks

10 carrots, cut into large chunks

10 small parsnips, cut into large chunks

10 potatoes, cut into large chunks

3 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 A day ahead, if possible, marinate the pork: mix the olive oil, garlic, fennel seeds, lemon juice and rind together in a small bowl. Place the pork in a shallow, non-metallic dish that will fit into the fridge comfortably. Spread over the marinade, then cover with cling film. Leave in the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to penetrate the flesh.

2 Preheat the oven to 240°C (475°F/gas mark 9). Take the pork out of the fridge half an hour before you plan to cook it. Put the slices of onion, carrot and celery in a large roasting tin, then season well and drizzle over a little oil.

3 Pour in the wine to the side and place the marinated pork on top.

Season with salt and put in the oven, then immediately turn the heat down to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6) and roast for two hours, until cooked through and tender, basting halfway through.

4 After the pork has been cooking for one hour, put on the roasted vegetables: toss the red onions, carrots, parsnips and potatoes in the olive oil in a separate roasting tin and season to taste, then place on the top shelf above the pork.

5 Roast for 45–50 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to caramelise. Toss once or twice to ensure they cook evenly.

6 When the pork is cooked, take it out of the oven and transfer to a carving board to rest. How does the crackling look? If it doesn’t look crispy enough, use a sharp knife to peel the skin

away from the layer of fat and the meat. Put this crackling back into the oven on a baking sheet for another 5–10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Cover the meat with a layer of tin foil and a clean tea towel and put aside until ready to serve.

7 When the vegetables are ready, heat up some gravy and open up some good quality, store bought applesauce. To serve, carve the pork into slices and arrange on warmed plates with chunks of the crackling.

8 Serve with gravy, apple sauce and roasted vegetables.

Rhubarb and ginger Eton mess

Ingredients: serves 4

550g (1¼lb) rhubarb

75g (3oz) caster sugar

2 pieces of stem ginger in syrup,

drained and finely chopped

450ml (¾ pint) cream

3 tbsp sifted icing sugar

225g (8oz) meringues broken up into bite-sized pieces


1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).

2 Trim the rhubarb and cut into 2.5cm (1in) pieces. Tip into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle over the caster sugar. Cover with foil and roast for 15 minutes.

3 Remove the foil from the rhubarb and check that all the sugar has dissolved. Give it a good shake, sprinkle over the stem ginger and roast for another five minutes, until the rhubarb is tender but not mushy and the juices are syrupy. Leave to cool.

4 Whip the cream and icing sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon some of the sweetened cream into the bottom of a serving bowl or in individual glasses and scatter over some of the broken-up meringue, then spoon the roasted rhubarb and ginger mixture on top. Repeat these layers until the bowl is full, finishing with a layer of cream. Serve immediately.

Read more

Neven Maguire: taco ’bout tasty dishes

Neven Maguire: al fresco fusion feasts