Lord of the Rings, elves and dwarves and kings and queens - a pork shoulder worthy of a medieval feasting


I must have been about fifteen when I first got my hands on Tolkien's writings. I went to the local public library one day in search of a Stephen King book - I had just finished reading The Talisman by then and wanted more from the man who came to be my favourite author not longer after - when my eyes came across a small book with a very interesting title, Tolkien's The Silmarilion. Curiosity grabbed me whole and I brought that one home with me, Stephen King being laid to wait for another day, while I was gripped by the cover that soehow reminded me of celtic drawings and celtic knots. I had read The Mists of Avalon, earlier that year, and was quite curious about celtic heritage along with King Arthur, Camelot, Morgan le Fey. In my mind, The Silmarillion looked like it might be something akin to that. How wrong could I have been!


At first it was not easy to dive into that book. I wasn't getting what I had thought I might, and I wasn't much enjoying the reading, but I persevered as that world of Tolkien's seemed to spike my imagination. As soon as I finished that one, The Hobbit was the next in line, quite obviously, filling my head with thoughts of elfs - Oh Legolas!!! - and dwarves and mighty wizzards battling dragons. And a ring, one ring to rule them all. It's not hard to figure I jumped at The Lord of The Rings the next time I went into the local library and carried home with me all three volumes of the portuguese translation of that might story. I remember reading it very fast, I remember spending all my free time - and I had a lot of that, we were smack in the middle of Summer hols, all my friends away, nothing to do but read all day - immersed in that book and in that story.


I was hooked, forever more. Hooked on a fantasy world like I had never been before, excepting for Anne McAffrey's dragon infested planet that made such an impression on me when I was only twelve - I really have her to blame for my obsession with dragons and fantasy stories that feature dragons, you know? -I was hooked on the lives of those characters, their personalities, their stories, the ways of their races. There was in me a longing for the elves' world, for the deep forests and the elven cities, there was in me a warming heart towards Aragorn who would be King of men, but in all honesty, my favourite characters, the ones who made my heart stir and sing, were Sam, and Frodo. And Gandalf, of course, Gandalf is the unsung hero of those books.


When Peter Jackson turned the books into films, I remember being shocked, quite shocked at the casting - especially Aragorn, I could not see Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, really, but Frodo shocked me quite a lot as well. Gandalf was the one I agreed the most with, as I am a die hard Sir Ian fan, and he played the part to perfection. Saruman was also straight into my good books, no one else could have played Saruman, really. Arwen and Galadriel were a bit of a surprise, although I thought at the time Liv Tyler was sure to pull that one off, as I regarded Arwen as a pretty faced elf lady with a heart of gold, and the patience of a saint. Cate Blanchett I was not so sure of - she was Elizabeth I to me and it was hard to think of her any other way. As for Legolas, Orlando Bloom was quite unknown to me but he was hawt, and Gimli... it spurred my curiosity, as Gimli is a dwarf being played by such a very tall actor!


Still, all and all Peter Jackson did a very good job, as to me he managed to bring to life all I had imagined of the world of LOTR, and the actors did an amazing job playing those timeless characters, and a huge fandom came out of the films, much bigger than the love for the books, I think. Many people read the books because of the films, and that is not so bad, I say. I was not obsessed per se with LOTR, but I did like it very, very much, and one day I happened to come across a cooking booked that was based on Lord of The Rings and had such interesting recipes in it, inspired by the elves, the orcs, the dwarves and the hobbits, along with men. Suffice to say, I bought it without a moment's hesitation, and the one dish we cooked the most out of it was a version of the "Pernil á Antiga", a roast pork shoulder. I have adapted it over the years, depending on what I have at home, but the basics of the dish are here.


And this right here is my latest rendition: (adapted from the book "A Cozinha do Senhor dos Anéis" by Ana Costa Cabral)

  • 1 pork shoulder
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 dl red wine
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • four potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • four tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • bay leaves
  • pepper
  • dark soy sauce - just a dash
Start by dicing the garlic bulb and crushing the cloves. Place the prk shoulder on a bowl that is deep enough to fit it in and season with the cloves, the garlc, the bay, thyme, pepper, rosemary and soy sauce. Add the red wine and allow the pork to marinate until the next day, in the fridge. Cook the pork shoulder on a pressure pan - it's faster, it's easier, the meat will be so tender and juicy! - along with the juices from the marinade and the seasonings and a dash of water. Once it's cooked take the pork from the pan but keep the stock, you can use it for soup (recipe soon to come).Once the pork shoulder has cooled, score the top of the skin (the thick layer of fat) with a knife in a criss cross pattern. Peel and chop the onions, the potatoes and the carrots and spread them on an oven trey that's been liberally sprinkeld with olive oil. Season the veggies with salt, pepper and an assortment of herbs - I usually use herbes de provence, but go ahead and add what you prefer! - then wash and dice the tomatos and add them to the trey with a sprinkle of oregano and salt. Place the pork shoulder on the trey and sprinkle everything with enough olive oil. Bake in the oven until the veggies are tender and the crackling is done. Let the meat rest for ten minutes outside the oven and serve.



Comments

  1. Oh wow! Looks nice ♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  2. Adorei os filmes de LOTR, mas confesso que ainda não li os livros...ao contrário do meu namorado...shame on me, I guess! ;) No que ao fantástico diz respeito, eu cresci com o Harry Potter e com a bela (e pouco divulgada!) trilogia Mundos Paralelos...não tinha dragões nem elfos nem nada que se parecesse (isso apareceu fortemente nos livros do Ciclo da Herança (Eragon, etc), que entretanto nem acabei...adorei a parte das diferenças raças, incluindo os elfos, mas os livros demoraram tanto entre eles que entretanto perdi o fio à meada e ficaram esquecidos). Mas esta mágica e romântica trilogia foi como música para os meus ouvidos de adolescente, era uma ideia do mundo tão assustadora, tão pungente, mas simultaneamente tão bela...tanto que tentei que a minha irmã se inteirasse desse sentimento, mas em vão...ela nunca leu muito, para minha infelicidade! Igualmente infeliz foi a tentativa de fazerem um filme do primeiro livro (Bússola Dourada), que resultou muito muito mal...

    Dito isto, um dia tenho de ler Tolkien à séria e experimentar este porco! ;)

    beijinhos, Nádia
    My Fashion Insider

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    Replies
    1. Não gostaste do filme da Bussola Dourada? Eu adorei!!! Ainda ontem estive a ver com o meu filho, e a pensar, este filme é tão fixe, este filme dá-me precisamente a sensação de calorzinho na barriga que me dava a série das Crónicas de Narnia da BBC - e que os filmes não conseguiram dar tão bem. Não conheço os livros, nunca tinha ouvido falar deles. Já a Inheritance... bom, lê-se bem, é divertido, é soft e levezinho. Se nos dois primeiros volumes se nota bem a tenra idade do autor - sendo que o primeiro é verdadeiramente pueril e ingénuo e infantil mas num sentido que não é mau - no último então vê-se uma clara diferença na maturidade dele. Achei o volume final muitoooooooooooooo chato, mesmo muito chato, foi com algum esforço que o li, idêntico ao esforço que fiz a ler A Guerra dos Tronos, mas lá o acabei e até gostei da forma como ele fechou a saga. EM termos de sagas fantásticas, de facto acho que LOTR é a minha favorita - o Paolini foi buscar TUDO em termos de raças ao Tolkien, tendo mudado aqui e ali algumas coisinhas - mas sou também grande fã da série Dark Tower do Stephen King - clarooooo!! - fora isso, tudo o que vou lendo parece que me desilude sempre um pouco. Vá, ok, tb gosto bastante das crónicas de vampiros da Anne Rice, os primeiros volumes, depois era sempre mais do mesmo, e as das bruxas tb, o The Witching Hour é dos meus livros favoritos proque está TÃO bem escrito, ela escreve mesmo muito bem, depois acho que se perde um bocadinho nos enredos e não aprecio grandemente alguns dos twists dela, mas a escrita, fogo, spot on!! Se leres Tolkien, por favor lê em inglês. Sério.

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    2. Talvez me tenha desiludido depois de ter lido o livro, suponho... Acho que esperava algo diferente...

      Tenho de terminar os livros do ciclo da herança um dia destes!

      Ah, nunca li Dark Tower...aconselhas em inglês também?

      beijinhos, Nádia
      My Fashion Insider

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    3. Aconselho sempre em inglês, principalmente Stephen King.

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  3. god dammit se este prato e estas fotos não são uma verdadeira ode aos filmes LOTR (não li os livros não, shame on me)! também me lembram um pouco do game of thrones setting! perfeito! a copiar um dis destes! ;)

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    Replies
    1. GOT sim, lembra-me tt isso looool!!!

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  4. Tem um ar divino ! Bem eu adoro ler e perco me totalmente em livros de fantasia, uma coisa que adoro nos livros é quando descrevem comida (não faço ideia do motivo )

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    Replies
    1. LOOOOL EU TB!!!! Aliás, nos tempos em que fui vegetariana devo-o apenas e só a uma série de livros de fantasia, as Redwall Chronicles e as imensas descrições da comida que havia em todos os livros, várias vezes, em inúmeros capitulos. Tenho de voltar a ler esses livros, aos anos que não lhes toco, nem que seja para me inspirarem com novas receitas!!
      http://bloglairdutemps.blogspot.pt/

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