Honey & Rooibos Infused Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
A rich, dark vinegar reduction with satisfying viscocity and distinctive notes of honey, supported by the sweet, herby, 'tea' notes of Rooibos.
Its the well modulated sweetness and warmth that earn this infusion its fans: its gentle enough for a 'yellow, orange and red' salad, with sufficient presence to stand its ground with pork and game birds.
A great friend of mustard - it works exceedingly well in a mustard sauce - provides the sweet and sour 'bookends' that make mustard flavours glow.
Brush the cut ends of a pork belly with reduction before cooking, and again while its resting (avoid the crackling - it will spoil the crackle!). Meantime, make a green apple sauce to serve on the side; add a splash or two (taste before adding the second!) of reduction to the pan juices, thicken with a few spoonsful of the apple sauce (it will add an intriguing 'echo')...
Vegetarian meal-salad: Pan-fry cubes of butternut squash until they're coloured on the outside and cooked (but not mushy soft). Season lightly. Do the same for slices of red pepper. Pan-fry some batons of Haloumi cheese in butter and oil. Dry-toast some chopped Macadamia nuts and sesame seeds (optional: add a few un-shelled hemp seeds for texture) with a sprinkle of salt, ginger, cinnamon, cumin and coriander. Place the peppers on a warmed plate, pile the butternut on top, alternating with the Haloumi cheese, dress with Honey and Rooibos infusion and top with toasted nuts and seeds. Serve with a light rye and pumpkinseed bread.