When the weather is cold and wet there is nothing better than a dish you can bung in a casserole and simmer. Not only do you get whatever deliciousness you’re conjuring but you also get the delicious aromas drifting about as it simmers, allowing you to anticipate and relax! Hungarian Goulash is one of those recipes that has been a staple in my family forever. In fact, prior to acquiring my mother my father had but one cook book and Hungarian Goulash was one of the only recipes he cooked. (Chilli Con Carne and Spaghetti Bolognese also featured in his repetoir I belive!)
250g diced pork
2 x 40g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp paprika
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped*
100g mushrooms, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
– Heat a splash of oil in a large, heavy casserole.
– Add the pork and cook til browned.
– Add the tomatoes, puree, paprika, peppers and mushrooms. Give it a good stir and season to taste.
– Swill out the tomato cans with a little water (about 1/4 of a can for each) add to the casserole.
– Bring it to a boil, put the lid on and turn down to low.
– Allow to simmer for 45 minutes until the sauce is reduced, glossy and thick.
– Serve with tagliatelle, rice or mashed potatoes, whatever you fancy. A dollop of creme fraiche also goes very nicely!
*Optional, we all have Opinions about green peppers.
For years I have read about Pulled Pork in American food blogs and seen it on cooking shows. I have always been inrrigued by the idea. It always looked and sounded delicious. One thing that stopped me, however, was that I was never sure about preparing that amount of pork. I mean, what if I didn’t actually like it! I live alone and have a small family so if I ended up with tonnes of pork no one liked it was going to be rather a large waste of time and money.
Then, I came across a small pork shoulder in Tesco that seemed perfect for my purposes. Small enough to fit in the small slow cooker and small enough that it would do as a meal for 4 not 5000! I immediately grabbed it and proceeded to research the best recipe online. I’m pretty happy with the recipe I pulled together from here and there. Some places simply suggested chucking a bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce in with the pork and cooking it that way but I don’t have a favourite BBQ sauce and that seemed like cheating a little bit! I wanted something I could tweak the spices for as I saw fit. This is the recipe I came up with.
I love that you can actually put this on in the morning and come back after work to find your house smelling of BBQ and dinner all but taken care of. That is my idea of a true slow cooker recipe! So often with recipes with cooking times of 3 hours or so I’ll be out at work when it would need to go on and I may as well just cook the thing the traditional way when I get home. This is so convenient and more than worth the lack of time and effort it takes!
Serves 4 (8 breadbuns)
1 small boneless pork shoulder (~400g)
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup dark muscovado sugar
1/4 cup tomato purée
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
– Put all of the ingredients except the pork in the slow cooker and give a little mix.
– Add the pork and nestle it in the sauce so it’s covered.
– Turn the slow cooker on to Low and cook for 8 hrs.
– Remove the pork from the slow cooker and put it in a bowl. Take 2 forks and ‘pull’ the meat apart with them until its all broken up.
– Turn the slow cooker up to high and add the meat back in.
– Leave it for another 30 minutes then serve in bread buns with crisps and pickles!
1 pork fillet (I’d give you a weight but I threw away the package. Mine was about 6″)
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp mixed spices
1 litre chicken stock*
1 clove garlic, bruised (press down on it with the flat of your knife)
1 chilli, cut in half
1″ chunk ginger root, cut into smaller chunks
3 pak choi
2 packets instant miso (Mine has tofu in it too)
5 tbsp soy sauce
2 bundles of ramen noodles if you can find them or 2 nests of egg noodles if you can’t
1 carrot cut into matchsticks or julienned
1/2 can bamboo shoots (select the best looking ones)
2 hard boiled eggs
– Heat the oven to Gas mark 7.
– Drizzle sesame oil oven the base of an oven proof dish then put in the chilli flakes mixed spices and sesame seeds.
– Roll the pork fillet in this until it is coated all over.
– Leave it to stand for about 10 minutes to absorb the flavours and then roast it for 25 minutes.
– Let the meat stand for 10 minutes then slice into thin slices.
– Take the chicken stock and add the garlic, chilli and ginger. Bring to the boil in a large pan for 5 minutes.
– Fish out the bits so you’re left with a clear stock.
– Slice the pak choi into quarters and cook in the stock for 7 minutes. Drain and put 3 quarters in each bowl.
– Add the instant miso and soy sauce to the stock. Stir until it’s combined.
– Cook the noodles as per the packet instructions then divide equally between the bowls.
– Divide the carrots, bamboo shoots, half a boiled egg** and sliced pork between the bowls.
– Arrange everything nicely then ladle the stock over the top.
– Serve with a dash of chilli oil.
* See next post for how to make chicken stock from scratch.
** Obviously you see no hard boiled egg in that photo. That is because they are still sitting in the fridge. I forgot them, oops!
Aesthetically pleasing they are not yet but my technique will improve with practice… I hope. That or I’ll just start placing them seam down. It’s supposed to be a sort of pinch and twist motion but I obviously haven’t mastered this yet!
For the dough:
300g bread or plain flour
10g baking powder
4g fast action yeast
pinch of salt
15g vegetable shortening (Trex)
For the filling:
475g minced pork
3 spring onions, chopped
1/2 a can bamboo shoots, chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame oil
– Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
– Pour the milk and water into the well and mi well with a spoon until it all combines into a dough.
-Then add the vegetable shortening and knead this into the dough.
– Continue to knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.
– Place the dough in a bowl and cover. Put in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size.
– While you’re waiting mix together all of the filling ingredients in a bowl.
– When the dough has risen knock it down and divide into 10 pieces.
– Keeping the dough you’re not working with covered, roll out the pieces into circles of about 5″.
– Put a large spoonful of filling in the centre of the circle, run a wet finger round the outside of the dough and then pinch and gather together in the centre. Place on a circle of waxed/parchment paper (I actually used flattened bun cases but they stuck). *
– Place in a steamer so that they’re not touching and steam for 15 minutes.
*At this point you can flash freeze them and keep them for later. To cook just defrost and steam as normal.