Delaney Mes: A roast to boast about (+recipes)

‘That Guy’ introduces Delaney Mes to his quirky combination Lork roast.

Leigh Hart adds the finishing pork crackling to his modern take on a classic lamb roast. Photo / Janna Dixon
Leigh Hart adds the finishing pork crackling to his modern take on a classic lamb roast. Photo / Janna Dixon

Some may call it an abomination in food. I certainly wasn't convinced at first. But, for better or worse, Leigh Hart has created a recipe for this year's Selaks Roast Day, now in its fifth year, which features a lamb roast with a pork crackling top. "Lork", it has been affectionately nicknamed, and despite my initial snobbery, it looked good.

If there's one thing the man can do, it's make a damn good pork crackling.

Hart was inspired by those buffet situations where you want the lamb, but you also really want crackling. He explained the problem with his recipe is that you're left with an entire pork roast, devoid of crackling.

Plenty of roast leftovers for sandwiches, I suggested. Hart admits to not doing an awful lot of cooking at home, but he's no stranger to the kitchen and loves taking a lot of time to really nail a recipe.

Back when he was better known as "That Guy", he did a few skits of hilarious-sounding Speed Cooking on Moon TV.

He's now gracing TV One's screens on Thursday nights with his new show The Late Night Big Breakfast, which he describes as breakfast radio on late night TV.

With Selaks Roast Day coming up next Sunday, we spent a morning in the kitchen, head-to-head with our roast creations. Hart is one of three celebrity ambassadors for Roast Day, and if you vote for his Roast Lork (over Shane Cortese's pork loin roast and Leah Panapa's roast chicken with kumara and couscous salad), he gets $5000 to donate to his chosen charity, Mangawhai Surf Life Saving.

A roast meal is one of the most comforting things you can cook. Having friends over for a decent piece of meat, seasonal sides and a few wines is a good way to spend a Sunday night, making your weekend feel that little bit longer before the working week begins again.

I love spending Sunday afternoon in the kitchen tackling a recipe, and a roast can be so much more than the meal you might have grown up with. Roast potatoes are glorious done properly, and I've been converted to Jamie Oliver's "fluffing" method for a few years.

You bring the spuds nearly to the boil, then drain the water but keep them in the pot, shaking them around and drying them out. It makes for a lusciously soft yet crisp roast potato chunk, and alongside the slow-cooked shredded beef brisket and the fresh horseradish cream, it's a delicious take on roast beef.

Brisket is a cheaper cut, and benefits from a long slow afternoon in the oven (or the slow cooker).

As for the venison, I've been a fan of this lean meat since a restaurant I worked at when I was at university served a venison back steak on a mushroom risotto with truffle oil.

What's more, I have hunting friends who donate bounty from their trips. Slow-cooked venison pie is a great winter comfort, too.

The readily available roasts now in stores take half an hour - a good dinner option any night of the week. We had a Saturday night roast recently and my friend Laura followed the venison roast with a classic Edmond's chocolate self-saucing pudding - winter comfort food at its absolute best.

So take your pick - the buffet-inspired Lork, a slow-cooked brisket, or something a bit different in a pepper-crusted venison. Get cooking this roast day and you might come up with your own inspired multi-meat dish. Just don't forget the wine and the pudding.

Recipes

Try out Delaney Mes' delicious recipes at bite.co.nz - links below


Photo / Janna Dixon

Delaney's roast venison shoulder with baby beets and white bean mash
Delaney's roast beef brisket with roast potatoes, fresh horseradish cream and fennel salad
Leigh's lamb roast with pork crackling (roast lork)

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 31 Oct 2014 23:05:51 Processing Time: 1422ms