Winter Solstice 2015

The Winter Solstice comes this year on Monday the 22nd of June – the shortest day of the year. Unlike the Northern Hemisphere, who are enjoying the height of summer, we’re progressing through winter and when they have the longest day of the year, ours will be the shortest.

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If you wanted to celebrate the Solstice, you might choose to go on an energy fast – that means going the whole day and night without using non-essential electricity such as for televisions and smartphones. It’s a time to reflect on what you may do as spring comes.

As temperatures hit their lows, you might want something to help warm up – that’s why we’re providing you with these wonderful winter warmers to eat through the long nights. Try to focus on getting local and seasonal ingredients to personalise your meals.

 

Slow Cooked Stuffed Pork

You will need:

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary
  • ½ cup of coarse salt
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 5 sprigs of sage
  • ½ tablespoon of fennel seeds
  • 1.5 kg pork belly
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

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  1. Roughly chop the garlic and sage as well as de-stalked rosemary and thyme.
  2.  Place the pork skin side down and rub with half of the salt.
  3.  Fill with the garlic and herb mixture and truss close with string.
  4. Score the pork every 2cm along and rub with a little olive oil and the rest of the salt.
  5.  Cook for 230 for an hour, making sure to baste a few times, then leave it for a further two hours at 180.
  6. Then it’s ready to serve!

 

If you’re after more of a boozy winter warmer, how about some mulled wine? Here’s a super simple recipe to follow for a cosy winter solstice in!

You’ll need:

  • 5 cloves
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 2 tsps nutmeg
  • Rinds of orange and lemon
  • 750ml red wine
  1. Put everything except the wine into a large saucepan, and then pour in just enough red wine to cover the base.
    Simmer it all until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to the boil. After about 5 minutes of boiling it’ll become a nice thick syrup.
  2. Turn down the heat and add the rest of the wine.
  3. Turn up the heat and warm for as long as you can – then strain and serve while it’s still warm!

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And finally, make sure you enjoy the shortest day of the year, and look forward to the lengthening hours going forward!