Portugal Revisted…#porkclams

Delicious dinner tonight …remembering our time in Portugal last year this time Pre-COVID 19. Feel so lucky to have got there. Great people, culture, art, and food!

Portuguese pork and clam stew with roasted red capsicum paste.

Here’s my original recipe

Portuguese pork and clam stew with roasted capsicum sauce

Cauliflower and fennel mash #mash #carbfree

Who needs potatoes, when you can have this delicious fennel flavoured silky cauliflower and fennel mash?

Easy as boiling the white part of the fennel for about 10 minutes, adding cauliflower florets and boiling until tender, drain, then whizz with a stick blender, add a touch of butter and salt the serve up.

Delicious with roast pork. I roast a few slices of cauliflower in the pork fat towards the end of the roasting time to top the mash with crispy cauliflower for texture.

Cauliflower and fennel mash alongside roast pork and green beans with fennel tops.

Easy Duck Confit #Cassoulet

This is comfort food at it’s best. There are so many variations on the traditional cassoulet and in France there is much debate as to it’s origins and many towns that claim it as their creation.

Carcassonne in the South of France is one that claims it as their own most fiercely and it is featured on almost every tourist restaurant in the old Castle town. The traditional versions of course require days of preparation and cooking.

My version speeds up the process using now widely available products that replace the need for making your own duck confit or cooking beans for hours. (yes, I use canned beans and lentils!!) I have also tried to cut down the calories by removing as much fat as possible by cooking the meats separately first, before combining into the finished dish.

I use brown lentils as well as beans which absorb the cooking liquids faster and help to “combine” all the ingredients and sauce together in the end result.

Preparation time: 1.5 hours Cooking time: 35 minutes, serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pre-made Duck confit Marylands (leg and thigh cutlets) in Australia I use Luv A Duck brand available in good butchers.
  • 1 carton of pre-made oven roasted Coles Pork belly bites – or similar pre-cooked pork belly squares
  • 2 Toulouse or other garlic and herb pork sausages
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1 can brown lentils
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 6 cloves of garlic finely diced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1.5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup or so of Panko or fresh breadcrumbs for topping
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds for topping
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Method

1. Pre-heat oven goes 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Take duck confit from package and place on baking paper lined oven tray, along with the 2 sausages. When oven is hot, roast for 35 minutes until duck is warmed and sausages are just cooked. Halfway through the cooking time, add the halved cherry tomatoes cut-side up into the roasting pan.

3. While duck and sausages are in oven, fry pork bites in a non-stick pan over medium to high heat for 15 minutes until golden brown on all sides. This will also render a lot of the fat from the pork belly. Place fried pork belly on paper towel to absorb as much fat as possible.

Using Pre-cooked pork belly cuts down the time…check your local supermarket for a product like these Pork Belly bites.

4. Prepare vegetables if you haven’t done so already. Dice garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Drain cannelini beans and lentils and keep in separate bowls.

5. Remove duck and sausages from oven, reserving the fat and cooking juices in the pan. Place duck on paper towel to rest. Reserve cherry tomatoes in seperate bowl. Slice sausages into pieces and keep aside.

6. Throw out all but 1 tablespoon of the pork fat in the frying pan, add the reserved duck fat and cooking juices from cooking the duck and sausages.

7. Heat pan juices in frying pan and add garlic, cook for a minute or so until starting to just turn colour, add bay leaves, onions, celery and carrots, salt and pepper… and cook until softened and starting to caramelise. (Don’t forget Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius again if you turned it off)

8. Add thyme, cannelini beans, sausage slices and half a cup of hot chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes, add lentils, pork belly, and another half a cup of stock and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

9. Put the base mixture into a snug casserole dish. Place cherry tomatoes throughout the mixture, and then the duck maryland right on top. Add 1/2 cup of stock to just come to the top of the mixture.

Place duck right on top and only put just enough stock to come up to the top of the base mixture.

10. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds on top to from a crust, avoiding covering the duck.

Super crispy but still juicy duck confit with a delicious hearty bean, lentil, pork and sausage base and crunchy breadcrumbs and pumpkin seed topping.

11. Cook in oven for further 35-40 minutes until breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds are golden and crispy. (Check a few times to see that consistency of base is to your satisfaction ie not too watery, not too dry. Add extra stock if necessary) Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then serve garnished with parsley and with zesty lemon and rocket salad and crunchy bread. Ps, I cut the Maryland’s into halves to make 4 serves.

#Keralan #Pork Curry with Coconut Milk and Green Beans

The addition of coconut milk in this curry gives the sauce a creamy texture and a delicious soft spiciness quite different to the sharper “zinginess” of the Indian Green Pork Curry recipe, although there are similarities to marinating the pork in vinegar.

Traditionally it a dish that the Syrian Christians, who eat pork, serve at special occasions. The history of the ongoing “survival” of this group of Christians thought to date back to AD52 in Kerala is interesting. Here’s a bit of background Syrian Christians in Kerala

My version is adapted to use leaner pork shoulder instead of pork belly and only involves cooking for about an hour.

Kerala is also famed for it’s spices including black pepper and tamarind which are widely used in Keralan cooking and I have added to this recipe. If you haven’t used tamarind before here’s a good how to guide Cooking with Tamarind

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time:1 hour

Ingredients:
  • 500g pork shoulder cut into medium sized cubes
  • 2-3 handfuls of green beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic and equal amount of peeled ginger
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of tomato passata or diced tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder or cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil would be most authentic)
  • 3 dried chillies (exclude these for a milder version)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Large handful of curry leaves(optional)
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick of cinnamon bark (1/2 small quill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds(optional)
  • 25g tamarind pulp soaked in 1/2 cup of warm water until dissolved or 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate dissolved in half a cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • Coriander to garnish

1. Put pork into bowl and add black pepper, salt, cummin powder(not seeds), turmeric powder and chilli powder. Add vinegar and tomato, mis thoroughly and set aside for at least 25 minutes.

Marinate pork in spices, salt, vinegar and tomato which help the meat to tenderise.

2. Chop onion finely.

3. Peel garlic and ginger and pound into a paste in a mortar and pestle.

4. Top and tail green beans and slice very finely on an angle.

5. Heat oil in a casserole pot over medium heat, add cummin seeds, dried chillies, cardamom pods, curry leaves and heat until fragrant.

6. Add onions and cook gently until transparent then add fenugreek seeds if using and mix through onion mixture.

Cooking the spices and onions in oil creates a fragrant base for the curry.

7. Add pork to onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly until pork is sealed – without allowing to burn or stick to the pot, add some after if needed.

8. Add tamarind water, and 1/2 cup or more of boiling water to just cover the pork mixture and simmer for 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the curry to make sure it isn’t sticking at the bottom and add a little additional water if needed along the way.

9. after 40 minutes, then add coconut milk and cook for a further 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened to a creamy consistency. The pork should be tender and cooked by now. Taste to check if additional salt is needed.

Cook the pork simmering in tamarind water and plain water, then add coconut milk after 40 minutes and green beans at 55 minutes.

10. Add the finely sliced green beans and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender.

11. garnish with chopped coriander and serve with white basmati rice, dhal, mango chutney and salads.

Delicious Keralan Pork Curry with Coconut milk and Green Beans

#Homestyle #Pork #Vindaloo

This is what we’re having for dinner tonight! It’s not as fiery as it sounds and is downright delicious.

The vinegar tenderises the pork and it cooks to a beautiful texture without drying up. It”s not one of my family recipes but it is a favourite now in our home.

Here’s the link to my original post from 3 years ago when I had a lot fewer than 3,395 followers. Hope you try and enjoy!

https://freespiritfood.net/2017/06/11/pork-vindaloo-with-dried-and-fresh-chillies/

Ginger Pork with soba noodle salad

This pork dish is healthy and quick to make, great for a weeknight dinner and it’s delicious. With a quick marinade in sake and ginger juice, the pork is tenderised and any meaty smells vanish.

The accompanying soba noodle salad can have any vegetable ingredients you like, but I love the crunch of the endamame. I keep a packet of frozen endamame in the freezer and throw it into salads often.

This recipe serves 2 but is easily adaptable for more.

  • 300g piece of pork fillet
  • 2 tsp sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 tsp ginger juice (squeeze juice out of grated ginger)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Ginger Sauce

  • 2 tbsp sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced ginger

Soba Noodle Salad

  • 100g Soba or buckwheat (Zaru soba) noodles
  • 1/2 cup frozen Endamame cooked in microwave
  • 1 Grated carrot
  • 1/2 Thinly sliced yellow/red capsicum
  • 1/2 cup bean shoots
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • Dressing: 1 tablespoon Mirin, 1/2 sesame oil, 1/2 tsp vegetable oil, Lime juice

Method

1. Marinated pork fillet in sake and ginger juice

2. Very thinly slice pork

3. Mix ginger sauce ingredients in a bowl.

4. Heat oil in a non-stick (preferred) frypan over medium high heat.

5. Pan fry the the pork, browning on both sides, then adding the sauce sauce, cooking for 2-3 minutes until cooked but tender. try to keep pork flat during this process, not like stir fry.

6. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, drain then add salad ingredients and dress.

Serve pork with noodle salad and green salad on the side.