Tag Archives: pork

Recipe | Pork madras

Making chicken curry can be quite tiresome. The breast requires all sorts of faffing to achieve the right consistency without drying the meat out, and thigh involves either fiddly boning beforehand or fiddling with bones afterwards. And I’m sorry, Jay, but I’ve got a bit of a thing about mucky, sticky fingers. Alas, we’ll never be bezzies. I’m sure you’ll get over it.

Anyway, pork bypasses this rather neatly. Slow-cooked and then reduced to a thick and unctuous perfection, it was just about the best homemade curry I e’er munched ‘pon. Continue reading

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New Year’s Eve

Whether you like it or not, new year’s eve is pretty much the one night of the year when it’s imperative that, above all else, you have a really good time. OK? It’s undoubtedly this ‘forced fun’ element that makes so many people resent the annual ralf-fest. It doesn’t help that it comes at the end of a solid week of over-eating and drinking, but we can’t blame the baby Jesus for being born exactly one week before the turn of the millennium.

Anyway, to steal a joke from Ali G, I digest. The point is, if we are to concentrate fully on having a really good time, it’s important that 1) we get to eat something that is special and delicious, and 2) that it is entirely fuss free. For example, I could write three completely new recipes. But, uh, hello, it’s new year’s eve. I’m too busy necking sherry and being a rude boy. So instead here are two recipes from the archives for starter and main, along with a new invention which really is a knock-out for pudding. And of course a new year playlist to shake your ass to whilst you cook. Happy New Year!

[See below for the magnificent Fiona Beckett’s wine suggestions].

Chestnut soup with chorizo and saffron cream

I know I only just posted this, but I can honestly say it’s one of my proudest cooking moments, and as far as NYE goes it’s ideal – you can do the soup ahead before reheating and doing the saffron cream at the last minute.

M3NVHKZNQEZJ

Serves 6

200g whole Chorizo, cut into cubes

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 stick celery, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1 dried red chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp finely chopped rosemary

1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed

400-500g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped

1 tin tomatoes

1 litre chicken stock

2ooml double cream

a pinch of saffron

Olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the chorizo until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, reserving the oil.

Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and fry over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until lightly caramelised and soft.

Next add the chopped rosemary, chilli and cumin and stir for a minute or so, before adding the chestnuts, chopped tomatoes and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, gently heat the cream and saffron together until the threads have dissolved. Set aside and blend the soup until smooth.

Whisk the saffron cream over a medium heat until it is a little lighter, then serve the soup with a few chunks of chorizo and some of the cream.

Rolled shoulder of pork with pommes dauphinoises and red cabbage

You could equally do roast tatties here, but the beauty of these spuds are that you can cook them ahead and simply reheat. The red cabbage also benefits from being done ahead.

For the pork

1 rolled, boned, shoulder of pork, about 1.4kg

250ml cider

500ml stock

Salt, pepper and olive oil

Red cabbage

1 head of red cabbage

1 bottle cider

200ml balsamic vinegar

1 cinnamon stick

Butter

For the potatoes

6 Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes

300ml double cream

300ml whole milk

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

A few thyme leaves

A bay leaf

Nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Butter

You can do the cabbage and spuds a day ahead:

The cabbage then. Quarter the cabbage and remove the thick stalk from the centre. Slice the cabbage as finely as you can manage and sling in a saucepan with the cider, vinegar, cinnamon stick, a few knobs of butter and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to as low as you can, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for another half hour until dark and sticky.

The spuds. In a saucepan whisk the milk, cream, garlic and thyme. Grate in a little nutmeg, season and add the bay leaf. Heat until almost boiling, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Wash the potatoes (don’t peel them). Butter an ovenproof dish. Slice the potatoes into discs and start to layer in the dish. Pour a little of the cream mix on each layer, before tipping whatever you have left over the top once you have finished. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.

Four hours before dinner, preheat the oven to full whack. Score the skin with a sharp knife several at 1 inch intervals or so. This helps to render the fat and get really good crackling. Season the joint copiously with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. Put in the oven and turn the heat down immediately to 170C. Cook for 3 hours.

Remove from the oven and pop on a warm plate to rest while you make your gravy. Degrease the pan by pouring off any excess fat, then put it over a fairly rigorous heat. Pour in the cider and the stock and simmer.

Pop the potatoes in the oven to reheat for half an hour, and warm the cabbage over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Taste the gravy for seasoning and serve with the pork, crackling, and vegetables.

Homemade Snickers ice cream

This was a slightly whimsical experiment that turned out surprisingly well. Very easy to do, and no ice cream machine required. Can be done at least a day ahead.

100g milk chocolate

50g sugar (3 tablespoons)

125 ml water

50g salted peanuts, roughly chopped

2 egg yolks

50g sugar

500ml double cream

Melt about 3/4 of the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, and leave to cool (but not get cold).

Meanwhile whip the egg yolks and 50g sugar until light, then whisk in the cream. Continue to whisk until the cream thickens enough to slightly hold its shape.

In a non stick frying pan, whisk the other 50g sugar into the water until dissolved, then place over a medium heat until caramelised (don’t stir while this process is occurring). Once a golden brown, remove from the heat and gently toss in the peanuts. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before folding into the whipped cream, along with the melted chocolate. Roughly chop the remaining chocolate and fold this in too.

Transfer to an ice cream tub or something similar, and freeze. After 1 hour remove from the freezer and give a quick whisk. This prevents ice crystals forming, creating a smoother ice cream.

Leave for a further 4 hours minimum before serving. Keeps for a week.

Fiona Beckett’s Wine Suggestions

As James helped me out with my Ultimate Student Cookbook this year I reckoned I owed him one so when he suggested I should come up with some ideas of what to drink with his New Year’s Eve menu I could hardly refuse. Or rather I might have done if I’d looked at the menu but I rashly said yes first.

The soup is a real bugger for a start. It’ll slaughter any half way decent white so you either have the choice of red (a young Rioja, say) or – ta-daaaa – sherry which is rather appropriate as that’s what James says he’s been necking – er, sipping. A dry Amontillado or Palo Cortado I reckon would hit the spot nicely. You could also drink sherry with the Snickers icecream – cream sherry this time though a genuine Spanish bottle not Harvey’s Bristol Cream. PX if you have a particularly sweet tooth.
Which leaves the main course with which you’ll be devoutly relieved to hear I’m not going to recommend sherry but a good Spanish or Southern French red – something like a Gigondas from the Rhone or a Chateauneuf du Pape, for example. With all the cider in the recipe you could even drink cider but I guess most people wouldnt think that was sufficiently festive. And fair do’s it is New Year’s Eve . . .

Thanks Fiona, you’re a star.

To keep you company whilst you spend a happy hour or two in the kitchen, here is a little music:

M3NVHKZNQEZJ

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Meatloaf

A warming and nostalgic escape from this perpetual rain. With a southern-tinged playlist to boot.

Serves 4-6

750g beef mince

250g pork mince

2 finely chopped shallots

1 clove garlic, crushed

75g breadcrumbs

1 egg

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

1 teaspoon paprika, or thereabouts

A few shakes of tabasco

2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves

Salt and pepper

*     *     *     *     *    *    *    *    *    *     *     *     *     *    *    *    *    *

Preheat the oven to 180C and boil the kettle.

Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly with your hands. If you are feeling particularly pernickety, fry a little of the mixture and taste for seasoning. Otherwise trust your instincts, ignore all the salt naysayers, and season the hell out of the mix.

Push your mixture into an oiled loaf tin, and place that tin into a small roasting dish. Pour some boiling water into the roasting dish to reach about half way up the side of the loaf tin and pop in the oven. Bake for an hour and a half.

Remove and leave to rest for 15 minutes before turning out (beware of the juices that will have pooled in the bottom of the tin) and serving. Good with baked spud and sprouts with fried chorizo.

Meatloaf-making mega mix

Thanks to Dan of Essex Eating fame for introducing me to Louis Prima – what a tune.

What do you like to cook to? Send me your favourite cooking tunes and I’ll fire them into the next playlist.

M3NVHKZNQEZJ

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Pork chops with rhubarb chutney


Ever more rhubarb arrived on the doorstep over the past week or so, either tucked shyly in the vegetable box or splitting the sides of a plastic bag brought down from home. With a view to providing sandwich filling, roast pork accoutrements and an opportunity for sycophancy with the neighbours, I made a big batch of chutney, which we have slowly been chipping away at when not forcing jars of the stuff on our guests.

The other night it made an excellent companion to pork chops. I had a bit of an epiphany with the chops too. The rind, I find, however much you score it, tends to amount to little more than an inedible, chewy annoyance on what otherwise is an excellent piece of meat. However, by cutting off the rind, drying it with a paper towel, rubbing it with salt and sticking it in a really hot oven for 10-15 minutes, you end up with a rather handsome, dainty stick of crackling to serve with your rind free chop.

To make the chutney:

50g butter
2 onions, peeled and sliced
A thumb of ginger, peeled and grated
1kg rhubarb, washed and chopped into chunks
500g caster sugar
150ml red wine vinegar
150ml red wine
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan and soften the onion with the ginger over a low heat for 10 minutes or so. Add the rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, wine and season. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for an hour to an hour and a half, until it has reduced and thickened (it will continue to thicken on cooling). Store in the fridge in sterilised jars.

Serve with pork chops that you have fried for 4 minutes or so on each side, grain mustard and parsley mash, and a stick of crackling. Some broccoli wouldn’t go amiss.

First exam tomorrow. I ought to be working.

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Stuffed fillet of pork


I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to let this thing slip again, but unfortunately I have been under the academic kosh these past couple of weeks so any gastronomic scribing has had to be put on hold. My new year’s resolution was actually to keep a food diary – scribblings of recipes and recipe ideas, and magazine cut outs of foody stuff. What is it with starting things and not carrying them through? I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Lent is not a time for abstinence, but instead for making everyone feel thoroughly rotten about their failure to stick to their lenten fasts. That said, I’m doing OK. My theory (and it was one shared by the chaplain at school) is that, because lent is actually 47 days long, once a week you can let it slip. So since lent began I have allowed myself two beers, which is not bad going….My parents cut out the booze altogether except for Sundays, Dad going so far as to fast during daylight hours. Nutjob. I’d be interested to hear people’s reasons for lenten deprivation – I would gingerly suggest that most of them do not do it on religious grounds, but health. It certainly seems that the vast majority abstain from chocolate, or crisps, or cigarettes. It’s a good moment to do it – less indefinite (and thus absolutely no chance of sustaining) than a new years resolution. Let me know how you’re getting on.

And what of the new, dairy free life? It’s really not all that bad. Well, I say that, I probably dream about cheese or butter in one form or other about 5 days a week, but, rather like when you give up smoking, it is in the context of horror when you dream you’ve relapsed. Last night I made the first dairy free mash potato, using rapeseed oil instead of butter and milk, and it was really good. When pushed through a ricer, the mash is incredibly smooth, and the oil gives it an interesting texture. Definitely thumbs up. Similarly soya yoghurt – with honey and granola, it is an excellent breakfast. The only thorn being that my blood test results arrived, telling me to avoid sesame seeds and nuts. If anyone has a good homemade granola recipe that I could tinker with, fire it my way – jteramsden@hotmail.com – thanks.

This recipe errs towards restaurant-y, but in a pretty homely way. It doesn’t feel too heavy, and is remarkably easy.

Stuffed loin of pork with swede and parsnip bubble and squeak cakes

Serves 4

For the bubble and squeak
A small swede
2 parsnips
1 small savoy cabbage
For the pork
1 shallot or small onion
2 flat field mushrooms
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 apple
A little cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 fillet of pork, trimmed of any excess fat
6 slices of prosciutto
100ml cider
100ml hot stock
Salt, pepper and oil

N.B. If you’re allowed, I’d recommend adding butter to the bubble and squeak.

Kick off by peeling the swede and parsnips, chopping into chunks and bringing to the boil in salted water. Meanwhile, finely slice the cabbage and steam or boil until tender, drain and blanche in cold water. Once the root veg are cooked, drain and mash thoroughly, or ideally whizz up in a magimix until smooth, adding butter if using, and lots of salt and pepper. Mix with the cabbage and allow to cool (they hold their shape better this way).

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Peel and finely chop the shallot and soften in a little oil. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the pan. Increase the heat and stir for a minute or two until the mushrooms start to soften. Grate the apple into the stuffing, add a dash of vinegar and the mustard. Stir through, season, and take off the heat.

Lay the prosciutto slices out alongside each other, overlapping at the edges. Lay the thicker half of the pork fillet over the ham and pile the stuffing on top. Fold the other half of the pork over the top of the stuffing, and wrap up tightly with the prosciutto. Tie up, if necessary, though the natural oils in the prosciutto should act as a glue. Heat an oven proof-frying pan over a lively flame with a little oil, and quickly brown the pork on all sides, before popping in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, shape the bubble and squeak into cakes. After 20 minutes are up, remove the pork to a warm resting plate, and put the pan back over a medium flame. Add the cider and stock and simmer for 10 minutes or so, scraping any caramelised meat juices off the pan. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, and fry the bubble and squeak cakes for 4 minutes on each side.

Slice the pork and serve with the bubble and squeak and a drizzle of gravy.

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This little piggy went in my tummy [roast shoulder of pork]


Good ol’ Jamie was on the BBC breakfast programme this week telling us about his new mission to raise awareness about how pigs are being raised in Europe. While in the UK our porkers are raised in relatively good conditions, E.U. legislation is not so uncompromising, and the poor swines, and in particular pregant sows, are kept in horrendous conditions – for the period of gestation (3 months or so) they are kept in pens that don’t enable them to turn round, walk, go to the post office…nothing. Terrible really. So, in the real spirit of Jamie-ness, from this day forth let’s all make a concerted effort to buy British pork.

I am lucky enough to have oinkers at home rooting around in the forest garden, chomping down leftovers and having happy, organic, outdoor upbringings, and so the freezer in Bristol is groaning with sausages and pork chops and bellies and shoulders…a real treat. Cuts like shoulder and belly are really cheap too, British or not. It shouldn’t be difficult to eat British (and there are environmental implications too, of course). This recipe is fab with pickled red cabbage, beetroot, anything really.

Roast shoulder of pork

Serves 4

1 rolled, boned, shoulder of pork, about 1.4kg
Salt, pepper and olive oil

It’s important with any cooking, if at all possible, that you take the ingredients out of the fridge a good hour before you start cooking. Part of the reason, I think, that people find recipes don’t work is because they are putting a freezing cold piece of meat into the oven…inevitably this elongates cooking time…

Anyway…preheat the oven to full whack. Score the skin with a sharp knife several at 1 inch intervals or so. This helps to render the fat and get really good crackling. Season the joint copiously with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. Sling in the oven and turn the heat down immediately to 170C. Cook for 3 hours.

Remove from the oven and pop on a warm plate to rest while you make your gravy. Degrease the pan by pouring off any excess fat, then put it over a fairly rigorous heat. Pour in some booze (cider, wine, marsala – whatever is kicking about really) and some stock and simmer for five minutes.

Carve the pork and serve with the crackling and your vegetables – a bit of apple sauce would be nice too.

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