Tag Archives: cider

pasta, pancetta, passata (how alliterative)

And here’s what I did with the half carton of passata!

I go Morris dancing on a Tuesday (yes, really – I do), and I prefer to eat at lunchtime on those days. Still not done any shopping, so …

Chopped onion and garlic, softened off in olive oil. Added a packet of pancetta cubes and a little dried chilli. Bunged in the passata, and rised the carton with some cider (well, it was in the fridge and needed using up!).  Let it cook down while we rustled up some pasta.

Stirred in fresh basil leaves at the end, and smothered in grated parmesan. Very nice.

pork and beans

I have a constant and ongoing battle with my freezer. I used at one point to have three freezers – the one in our USAnian fridge, a 3/4 height one out in the shed, and an under-counter sized one that lived under the stairs, and was entirely filled with minced oxcheek, which we bought in bulk and fed to the cats.

The oxcheek supply fell through, and we gave that (elderly) freezer to some friends. Then in the spring of 2009, we sold the 3/4 one and replaced it with a new under counter under the stairs, partly because our supplier of wonderful Dexter beef was no longer farming cattle, and so we weren’t buying half a cow at a time. Then we moved here, and had no room for anything but the USAnian beast, which in truth is plenty, but I still cannot get out of the mindset of being a three freezer owner, and thus am constantly struggling to fit things into its thankfully Tardis-like interior.

Anyway, I ramble. But we need to actually, you know, *eat* some stuff from the freezer, rather than trying to stuff still more in, so I am on a mission to clear some space. With this in mind, I rummage in its bottom drawers (ooh er), hurling aside the beef mince, the lamb mince, the pork mince (who put that there?), the chicken breasts, seeking the pork steaks, and after all that effort, I got one just one.

Just one because we don’t eat a lot of meat these days, and one is plenty for two of us. When it had thawed, I cut it into cubes, browned them in some olive oil, fought Lilith for possession of the cling film, transferred them to a bowl on a temporary basis, and put the bowl in the grill (then watched Iggy doing his damnedest to open the door of said grill). Then I chopped the white part of two leeks (the green went into the soup pot) and a couple of cloves of garlic, added some butter to the pan, and softened them down, adding some chopped fresh sage leaves.

Then in went a heaped teaspoon of grain mustard (I’m very much in love with this as an ingredient right now),  a dessertspoon of flour, and stirrred it round, then added a good slosh of cider, the pork, and the contents of a carton of haricot beans. Seasoned to taste.

Cooked it for about 25 minutes with a lid on, then removed the lid for the last five minutes or so and turned it up to reduce the sauce. Ate with sautéd potatoes and some brussels sprouts.

pork with leeks, sour cream and cider

I looked in the fridge before we went out yesterday, and found a number of things that needed using up: a head of broccoli, some cooked new potatoes, a rather wizened leek, some cream that had gone over. So I got a pork steak out of the freezer with the intention of cobbling something together with it all.

While hurtling round Asda for bulk supplies of cat food later, I bought a basil plant and was seduced by the thought of a Thai stir fry, but by the time we got home, I’d reverted to Plan A. And here it is.

I cut the pork steak into thin strips (I only used one, because we try not to eat much meat, but you’d probably want one each), and browned it off in some olive oil. Fished out the pork and set it aside (in the microwave, as there were a number of hungry cats marauding thereabouts).

Washed and sliced the leek, and chopped three cloves of garlic, and cooked them down in the olive oil, with a small knob of butter for good measure. Added four chopped sage leaves from the garden. When the leeks were softened, I put the pork back, seasoned it, and added about half an inch of cider, stuck a lid on and put it on a low heat.

Cooked it for about 25 minutes, by which time the cider had evaporated, and the dish had almost caught at the bottom of the pan (horror!) then added a couple of tablespoons of cream, stirred it round, warmed it through.

Ate with the broccoli, steamed, and the potatoes, fried in a little olive oil.  Lovely.

chicken and fennel with pasta

Our local Co-Op had special offers on chicken last week – two packs of diced breast for a fiver, and the same for whole breast.  I picked up two packs of each and stowed them in the freezer, not least because I’m trying to cut down my red meat consumption.

There was also a head of fennel in the fridge; I love fennel, but tend to forget about it and just lob it in the soup, so I wanted to actually, you know, make something with it deliberately.

In the morning, I took half of one pack of diced chicken – it was in a plastic tray divided into two, so that was simple, and I stuck the other half into a poly bag and replaced it in the freezer.

This evening, I cut the chicken into slightly smaller chunks, and browned it in some olive oil.  Put it in a brown bowl, then added sliced fennel and a chopped red onion to tha pan.  Sauted the veg until soft, then added a spoonful of Dijon mustard and stirred it round.  Added a knob of butter to the pan, and when melted, returned the chicken, and added about a wineglass full of cider, and some seasoning.

Stuck a lid on the pan, and left it for about 12 minutes, then took the lid off and reduced the liquor down, finally adding a little double cream.  We ate this with pasta – my share of that was about 35g, which ain’t too bad.

No idea of the calorific value of the rest of the meal, but as Pete and I went for a 6 mile walk this morning, I reckon I’ve earned it 🙂