Heinz Oberhummer is a theoretical physicist (astrophysics) and Werner Gruber is an experimental phyisicist (neurophysics). With Martin Puntigam as the host, they discuss various topics. In May, I already saw the Science Busters once with their “The Physics of Star Trek” program. At the end of that, my parents decided to invite friends to the “The Pleasure Formula – Culinary Physics (with live pig roast)” program. Unfortunately, those friends couldn’t go, so who’s the great winner? That’s right, me and my sister!
Anyway, The Pleasure Formula concentrates on Physics with food (like what’s the difference between Himalaya salt and normal salt and is it really worth to pay the price? Short answer: no), while Werner Gruber makes a traditional Austrian pig roast on stage, explaining why his method is the best through physics. And it’s funny.
I have to admit that I liked the Star Trek program a little better than this one, but this one was good, too. And I think that I’ll have to roast a pig soon.
I think the reason that I didn’t like this program so much was that Oberhummer got less stage time, which means that there was less excited gesticulating and less jumping around and less astrophysics. He did get to open five pickle jars in five different ways, but still.
It’s not that Gruber is less interesting, but this time around he just couldn’t keep up with Oberhummer’s child-like enjoyment of physics. He just was way too serious. [I guess there’s no joking about food. :)]
Still, it was very funny and entertaining and well worth a visit.
Okay, I guess you’re all burning for the recipe right now, so here it is:
First, you’ll need a piece of the pig you want to roast. Best thing would be pork belly but it’s also the fattest piece, so you might want to go for shoulder instead. The piece should not be smaller than 2.5 kg or it will end up too dry.
When you have the meat, you add a big handful of salt, 2 garlic (and when I say two, I don’t mean cloves, I mean two whole garlic thingies) and some cumin, if you want you can also add a little cardamom. You make a paste, then you rub it all in the meat, put it in plastic and put it in the fridge for at least 24 hours. [If you’re bored, you can get the meat out and massage the paste in every once in a while.]
After 24-48 hours, you can take out the meat and put it in a casserole with the crust on the lower side. Add water to the casserole, quite a bit, but do not pour it over the meat. Add a little salt to the meat and then take about 125g of Butter and spread it generously on the upper half of the pork. Add a little more salt.
You can put potatoes in the remaining space of the casserole, then put the whole thing in the oven (heated to 180°C) for about 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, take out the meat, turn it around. You can now cut the crust easily (traditionally you cut the crust in small rhombuses), since it’s been softened by the water and the heat. When you’re done, spread another 125g on the meat, this time on the crust, add a little lot more salt and then use the potatoes to make the crust lie in the casserole as straight as possible.
When you’ve done that, put the roast back into the oven for another 45-60 minutes (you can crank up the heat to around 200°C).
Once it’s finished, you should wait for another half hour before you cut it to avoid loss of liquid.
Then you can eat it and be three steps closer to a heart attack!