Tag: pork

pork and pasta

I had a boneless pork chop, about 120g worth, loitering in the freezer. We’re trying to eat up all these oddments, so I fetched it out on Monday to do a stir fry. Pete volunteered to cook it, and while it was very nice, it would have been even better if he’d remembered to put the bloody pork *in*.

So last night I fashioned it into a quick pasta dish. I cubed the pork and fried it off in a little olive oil, then set it aside. Put chopped onion, courgette, garlic and mushrooms in the pan and sweated them down, then put the pork back in with some salt and pepper. It was a bit … blah, so I rummaged on the spice shelf for inspiration, and added some aniseed. When the pasta quills were cooked, I added them to the mix, with about three dessert spoons of creme fraiche, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

About 454 calories per serving.

christmas pig

Attentive readers will remember that we always have a goose for Christmas. But they’re getting more and more expensive, and there’s not much eating on ’em, so this year we thought we’d have a change. We had a big piece of pork, which I did in a Scandinavian stylee, after I’d seen a recipe in the Times (sorry, it’s paywalled, so I can’t link).

Basically, you take the skin off a shoulder of pork so it’s in one piece (or, alternatively, you get your butcher to do it – T L Norman on Princes Ave, Hull are fab, and always do any prep I want). Then score the meat, and rub in a mix of cardamom pods, chilli, star anise, lemon zest. Stick the skin back on the top, into an oven at 190C. Our pig was 2.5kgs, so it got 2.5 hours, and I did put a piece of foil over it for the first hour.

‘Twas utterly splendid, and was served with roasted potatoes and parsnips, spiced red cabbage and apple, brussels sprouts, apple and calvados sauce, and a creamy gravy. The flavour in the meat was fabulous – it permeated right through and I will most certainly be doing it again.

I don’t know how much it cost – my Christmas meat bill was £38, to include a dozen eggs, 8 thick rashers of back bacon, and three tubes of sausagemeat, but however much, it was a damn sight less than a goose, which cost us the thick end of £70 last year.

It fed three greedy people on 25th, two greedy people on Boxing Day, and another two slightly less greedy people the day after that. Then we were going away for a bit so we put the remains in the freezer. It came out again this week, fed us with roast veg on Sunday, and the last of it has gone into marinade with sesame oil, cornflour and shoyu for a stir fry tonight.

thai stir fry

Red Pepper by JenOneill, on FlickrWell, we almost have a kitchen again, although there are still some shelves to do, and the very last bit of painting, and the floor to lay, so I’m not going to bore you all with any final pictures until it’s finished.

The freezer and the fridge have been fairly run down over the past couple of months, and a mega shop is in the offing, but I rummaged about in the freezer yesterday and found a lone pork steak which I thought would do for supper. There was also a bag of peppers looking a little forlorn. Later in the day, I asked Pete if he would like rice or pasta, and he said he’d prefer rice, so that dictated what I did.

I cut the pork into thin strips, and fried it in some groundnut oil, in a wok (oh – the joys of a proper wok ring!), then set it aside. Then chopped three small tired spring onions, and sliced a handful of left over mushrooms and a huge red pepper, hurled them in the wok and cooked them down, then cheated a bit. I keep jars of ginger, chilli, etc in the fridge for when tiredness strikes, so I used those, plus jarred garlic, lemon grass, and thai curry paste – added a teaspoon or so of each, then mixed up about 3/4 mug of powdered coconut milk (such a useful cupboard ingredient), and simmered it down to reduce.

It took as long, start to finish, as the rice, i.e. 26 minutes. And I had a glass of home made elderflower wine while I cooked it. I do like my new kitchen 🙂

a load of mince

We are having the kitchen refitted  in the next few weeks. I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to the process, not least because I’m not. I want it to be done, obviously, but oh my … blocking up doors and knocking out walls and moving the gas points, etc. Still, it will be lovley when it’s finished, or so I keep telling myself.

As part of the preparation for this, I’m cooking all the ingredients in the freezer into meals that I can freeze, so we can at least eat well while I weep into the wreckage. So last night, I removed all the minced meat – 2lbs each of pork and lamb, and 1lb of beef. Stuck them all in the microwave to thaw (not to thaw electronically, just as a cat-proof box), then when we were warming the microwave hotties last night (rock’n’roll lifestyle that we live), I stuck them in the oven as it is similarly cat-proof

While rummaging for the mince, I found a box of frozen banana muffin mix: we love muffins, and they’re far nicer fresh, so I often freeze half the batter; banana muffins for breakfast, then! I came down and put the oven on to warm – and you’re all way ahead of me, aren’t you?

Thankfully I realised in time, and removed the meat before anything dreadful befell it, apart from the edge of one packet of lamb, which Iggy and Ron were quite happy to deal with. The pork and beef were turned into meatballs in a sweet pepper sauce quite, but not exactly, like this – only had two fresh peppers in the veg drawer, so added a jar of roast, and bunged honey and a dash of shoyu in the sauce. They’re in the slow cooker doing their thing.

The lamb was fried off and hurled in a big casserole dish (having realised that the first one I started wasn’t going to be big enough – roll on the dishwasher). Fried of carrots, courgettes, onions, celery in olive oil, added some home made Ras el Hanout, salt, pepper, tin of tomatoes, splash of home made wine and in it went with the meat. Added some bay leaves and thyme from the herb pots

I reckon I’ll get about seven meals worth from that lot for the two of us; moussaka tonight, with spinach under the aubergine (works really well) and a half pack of feta that needs eating up.

And now I must go and clean up the kitchen.

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.

a sort of goulash

goulash-ishWe had friends coming for supper on Sunday evening – lovely, as I love cooking for people, and don’t do nearly enough of it since we moved! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to cook, but I went to the butcher and bought some beautiful lean pork, and there was a big bag of mixed peppers in the fridge, so that was a start. I wanted to use some beans too, to pad it out, so found some dried butter beans on the pantry shelf on Saturday morning, stuck them in to soak, then cooked them in the slow cooker overnight.

I started off by deseeding and slicing thinly four peppers, red and yellow, and a huge spanish onion, and cooking them down in some olive oil. I added some cumin seeds and a splash of honey and some garlic, and it was heading towards Middle Eastern. Then in went some paprika, and we were off with goulash. More paprika followed, some fennel seeds, some caraway and then a jar of roasted peppers, sliced up. These give a lovely depth to a dish, and when cooked in the slow cooker, they sort of melt into the sauce. A carton of chopped tomatoes, some rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and seasoning, and the sauce was done.

This all went in the slow cooker (now devoid of its butter beans), and I diced and browned the pork, hurled it in the cooker, and then we just left it completely alone apart from the odd stir for about seven hours. The butter beans must have been very old – I know they accompanied us from Somerset – because they needed another 40 minutes on the boil, so they were added a bit later.

The dish was gorgeous – it made six servings, and four have gone in the freezer, as unfortunately our friends had to cry off due to illness.

supper 5 sept 2010We followed it with Molten chocolate cakes with raspberries and cream. There’s two of them left too. <parp>.

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.

pork and leeks with calvados

Still using stuff up before we move in a fortnight, we invited some friends for supper last night, and fed them with the two small and one huge pork fillet in the freezer.  I normally do this recipe with cider, but we didn’t have any in, so I improvised.

I cut the pork into chunks, and browned it off in batches in some olive oil.   Placed it in a shallow casserole dish, and deglazed the pan with some apple juice, which also went into the cooking dish.

Chopped up the white part of four leeks (the green remains will go for soup tomorrow), and softened them in some olive oil, then added to the casserole.  Chopped a couple of carrots into batons, and added them, then bunged in a bit more apple juice, and a couple of tablespoons of Calvados.  Oh, and some chopped fresh sage.

Cooked it in a low oven for about 90 minutes, then stirred in a carton of double cream.

We served it with cauliflower and broccoli cooked in veg stock, and some rice.  There was some of everything left over, so we did egg fried rice with the left over veg, and decanted the pork sauce over it – not particularly authentic, but rather nice!

pork with leek and peppers

The great freezer transfer disgorged a box of pork fillets, so I though I’d cook one last night.

I cut it into thin strips, and fried it up in some olive oil, then set it aside.  Then into the pan went a big knob of butter, a few sliced mushrooms, a yellow pepper deseeded and cut into strips, and two elderly leeks, chopped into rounds.  Fried them down a bit, while I rummaged in what’s left of the herb garden for some sage.

Finely chopped the sage and threw it in, together with about 3/4 of a mug of good apple juice.  I recommend you keep apple juice in your store cupboard – it makes a really nice change from stock or wine for cooking.

Seasoned with salt and black pepper, put a lid on it, and set it over a low heat.  I guess it had about 20 minutes in all, but the pork was well cooked before I got to this stage – I’m a bit paranoid about cooking pork well.

We had a bowl of cooked spuds in the fridge, which had been destined for an Easter fry up breakfast which never materialised.  So I cut them up, and fried them in olive oil and butter to go with the pork.


thai pork stirfry

pork stirfry

using up: peppers, basil, mushrooms

I bought one of those pots of basil – you know, the ones that last two days then die.  This one is still going strong on the kitchen windowsill several weeks on, but it does look as though it might be starting to flag a bit now.  I love basil – so sweet and peppery at the same time.

I took half a pork fillet out of the freezer (a whole one is a bit much for two of us, so I tend to bifurcate them before freezing).

Slice it thinly across the diagonal.  Also thinly sliced one red pepper, some tired chestnut mushrooms, one shallot.  Put a lemongrass stick, four cloves of garlic and a knob of fresh ginger into the whizzer and whizzed.

Fried the pork in the wok in some groundnut oil, in batches,  and set aside.  Wiped out the wok, heated more oil, and added garlic/ginger/lemongrass, stirred around for a minute or so.  Added mushrooms/shallot/red pepper, stirred around until cooked.  Returned pork to wok, added a good splash of lime juice, ditto fish sauce, and some instant coconut milk (powdered, so you can mix up how much you need – excellent larder standby).  Cooked this through for a couple of minutes to deepen the flavours, then added cooked noodled and a handful of chopped basil.

Ate from bowls.  Followed with mince pies (well, it’s that time of year, isn’t it).