Food-lover Reece Lippolis knew his Italian heritage was worth building on.
So he quit his job as a construction site manager and set up a deli in Crookes with wife Grace last spring. It was a bold move; their twins, Freya and Edward, were six months old. But the Urban Pantry took off and last week won best Independent Food Retailer at the Eat Sheffield Awards.
“Starting a food business was the natural choice. My Italian grandparents staged big feasts at their house and I judge how good my pasta sauce is by my memory of theirs,” says Reece, 33. “I learned to cook at a very young age with my parents, me in my paper chef’s hat. My recipe for Star readers to try is adapted from an Italian cookbook I got from my aunt at 19 and have used many times since.”
Pork With Marsala and Juniper
Serves: four Cost: £9.74
25g dried porcini mushrooms
4 Moss Valley pork escalopes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
8 garlic cloves
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp marsala wine
Several sprigs of rosemary
10 juniper berries, crushed
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Put the porcini in a bowl, cover with hot water and leave to stand for half an hour to rehydrate them.
Brush the pork with 1 tsp of the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Boil the garlic cloves for 10 minutes until soft, drain them and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the pork and fry quickly until the meat is browned on the underside. Turn it over and cook for another minute.
Add the marsala wine (if you can’t get hold of this sweet wine, then a nice sherry will be fine), plus the rosemary, mushrooms, four tablespoons of the liquid from the mushrooms, the garlic cloves, juniper and the remaining vinegar to the pan.
Simmer gently for about three minutes or so until the pork is cooked through. Season lightly and serve with baby roast potatoes.
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