Pork Dishes

Nothing goes down quite like a lovely pulled pork sandwich, or a pan fried pork chop, or a choritzo quesadilla, or a sausage jambalaya… I could go on… basically, there is nothing quite like pork… here are some of my pork recipes!

Sausage & Chorizo Roll

Sausage & Chorizo Roll - perfect hot or cold!

Sausage & Chorizo Roll – perfect hot or cold!

This is a simple dish that tastes amazing when served up with some lovely roast vegetables and a nice red wine gravy.  It’s a take on the  classic british sausage roll with a touch of class to it, helped along by the chorizo, mushroom and apple stuffing.  Delicious hot or cold this is definitely one dish that will please everybody!

As always I have used a sweet smoked chorizo here, but if you like a kick, then feel free to use spicy if you prefer.  The mushrooms are fine if they are normal white ones, but chestnut are a little nicer in my opinion, if you want a really pungent mushroom flavour then consider using porcini mushrooms. As with any dish using sausages, make sure you have at least 70% pork in there. As for the cheese, well that’s up to you too, I use a smoked cheese, because I like the flavour, but that doesn’t mean you have to! Try different combinations and flavours until you find what you like!

Oh, one more thing, don’t waste time making pastry, shop bought puff pastry is just as good and far less time consuming!

INGREDIENTS

  • Packet of puff pastry
  • 250g pork sausage meat
  • 100g chopped chorizo
  • 100g chopped mushrooms
  • 50g chopped apple
  • 1 celery stick, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 2-3 slices smoked cheese
  • 5-7 sage leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 egg, mixed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 5.
  2. In a large non stick frying pan heat the oil on a medium heat and add the celery and garlic, followed a minute later by the chorizo, Liquid Smoke, apple and mushrooms.  Stir every 30 seconds or so and add the sage leaves. Take off the heat after about 5 minutes, when everything is soft and well cooked and leave to one side.
  3. Prepare your pastry – if it’s in a block, then roll it out until only 3-4mm thick and in a rectagular shape. If the pastry is ready rolled, all the better because you don’t have to do anything! Lay it out on a lightly floured work surface and move on to the next stage.
  4. Take your packet of sausage meat and cut it in half. Take the first half and flatten it until it is a long rectangular shape, roughly 2-3 inches wide and 6-7 inches long. Place the sausage meat rectangle into the centre of the pastry.
  5. Next take your fried mixture and spoon it generously on top of the sausage meat layer you just placed on the pastry. On top of this, lay all of your cheese followed by the other half of the sausage meat, in the same rectangle shape as the bottom piece. Then, brushing the edge with egg, fold the sides of the pastry up and over, making a sausage roll shape, press the far ends down firmly and place the whole thing, seam side down (so basically what WAS the top should now be the bottom) onto a greased baking tray before brushing all over with more egg mixture and slicing 3 or 4 times in the top to allow steam to escape during cooking.
  6. Pop the tray into the oven and allow to bake for about 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into thick slices and serving.
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Categories: British Dishes, Meat Dishes, Pork Dishes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Toad In The Hole

Toad In The Hole - the ultimate British comfort food

Toad In The Hole – the ultimate British comfort food

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned Toad in the Hole, cooked together with creamy mashed potato and a good onion gravy?  It’s the ultimate comfort food, admit it! In this recipe I use a herby yorkshire mix, and plain pork sausages, though you can easily leave out the mustard and herbs and if you want to use different sausages, that’s entirely up to you!  It is a good idea to check with your butcher when buying the sausages to ask what the pork content is, anything less than 70% is not a good sausage, if buying from a supermarket, it will tell you the amount of pork used in the sausage in the ingredients list on the back of the packet. I’ve also included my own recipe for a good onion gravy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 285ml milk
  • 115g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 8 pork sausages
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 500ml beef stock

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas Mark 7
  2. Firstly make your yorkshire pudding batter by tipping the flour into a large mixing bowl and stirring in the mustard powder and a good pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and crack in the eggs and a dribble of the milk.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating more and more of the flour, until you have a smooth batter in the well. Add more of the milk and continue stirring until all the milk and flour has been mixed together and is a smooth lump-free batter the consistency of double cream. Tip the batter back into the jug you had your milk in and stir in the chopped thyme and rosemary leaves before leaving to stand either in the fridge or in a cool place for 15 minutes.
  4. Use a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the links between the sausages if there are any, then throw them into a 20 x 30cm roasting tin.  Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, shaking the tin and coating both the sausages and the base of the tin thoroughly, then roast in the oven for 15 mins.
  5. When the sausages are nicely browned, remove the hot tray carefully from the oven, and quickly pour in the batter.  It will sizzle and bubble a little when it first hits the hot fat but that is exactly what we want here, if it doesn’t do it, then something isn’t right!  Put the tin back into the oven, and bake for 30-40 mins until the batter is cooked through, well risen, golden and crisp. If you poke the tip of a knife into the batter in the middle of the tray it should be set, not sticky or runny, if it is, pop it back in for a while with some tin foil over the top to prevent burning.
  6. While the tin is in the oven use the time to make your gravy, to do this, soften the onions with the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large non stick frying pan on a medium/low heat for about 15 mins, stirring often, until they are golden brown.  Sprinkle in the sugar and cook for another 5 mins. Add a tablespoon of plain flour, then simmer, stirring constantly for 2 mins, so the onions are well coated and there is no dry flour left at all. Gradually pour in the stock a bit at a time, stirring well all the time to make a smooth sauce.
  7. Turn the heat up a little and allow the gravy to bubble and thicken for 4-5 mins, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve everything together with some creamy mashed potato for some ultimate comfort!
Categories: British Dishes, Dishes of the World, Meat Dishes, Pork Dishes | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sausage Polpetti Spaghetti

Sausage Polpetti Spaghetti

Sausage Polpetti Spaghetti – just add cheese!

Sausage Polpetti Spaghetti (Sausage meatballs and spaghetti for want of a boring title) is really one of the easiest meals to cook, the yummiest to taste and the messiest to eat! It’s a great meal for the kids and adults in the house alike and they are a big midweek favourite in our house because they are so quick and easy to prepare and cook when you have so many other things to do.

Some like to use plain pork or beef sausages but I prefer flavoured gourmet sausages, all of the major supermarkets have their own range and among others I find that Parmesan and Panchetta, Pork and Apple and Pork and Caramelised Onion work best in this recipe but it’s entirely up to you! Chorizo sausage also adds a certain pep to the dish, as well as my best friend in a bottle, Liquid Smoke. Basil adds to the aroma and I always have at least 1 plant on my windowsill, you pay a couple of pound for your first plant, then keep it trimmed and watered and it will keep you in fresh basil for an absolute age. More in my Herb Garden piece later.

Don’t worry about cheating when it comes to the sauce either, I can and sometimes so make my own as with my Quick Tomato Sauce, but 9 times out of 10 when cooking a spaghetti sauce meal I use a good old jar of Dolmio, it has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and when something ain’t broke why replace it? Making your own sauce is time consuming and sometimes, quite frankly, not as nice… Anyway, there are plenty of varieties out there, Dolmio is my sauce of choice but you may have another, or you might prefer to use your own, not a problem!

There are so many recipes for Sausage Meatballs out there, but this one is mine… it serves 3-4 so go ahead and give it a try why dontchya?

INGREDIENTS

  • Pack of 6-8 sausages (whatever flavour you wish)
  • 1 stick celery
  • 150g chopped Chorizo sausage (you can use spicy but I use sweet and smoky)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Handful fresh basil leaves
  • Jar of tomato sauce or your own batch ready made
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 servings of spaghetti
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve

METHOD

  1. Firstly get a pan of salted water on the go for your spaghetti to cook while you are sorting our your meatballs – don’t skimp on the salt, for years I only sprinkled salt in the pan until I realised that a decent pinch of sea salt made the pasta taste all the better.
  2. Warm the oil in a decent sized deep non stick frying pan and then take your sausages and with a sharp knife, slice down the length of the sausage, only a shallow cut, in order to be able to peel of the skin, which you then discard.
  3. Cut each sausage into 5 pieces and with wet hands, roll each piece into a ball, don’t worry if you use pork and apple and a few bits of apple fall out.
  4. Dice the celery and Chorizo (if whole) and pop into a bowl on one side, then chop the garlic finely and place into another bowl with the basil leaves, which you need to tear or chop into smaller pieces.
  5. Pop the little balls of sausage into the pan to begin to fry on a medium high heat for about 8 minutes, shaking the pan every couple of minutes to allow the heat to distribute throughout nice and evenly.
  6. When the sausages are beginning to brown nicely, then add the chopped celery, Chorizo and the Liquid Smoke and stir.
  7. After a couple of minutes, you will see that the juices in the pan are turning red, this is from the Chorizo, this is also when you add your garlic and basil to prevent them burning and turning bitter.
  8. Another couple of minutes later and you now need to turn your heat right down to medium low and add your sauce, stirring it in and leaving it to heat through.
  9. While the sauce is finishing off the main dish, sort out your spaghetti which should now be cooked through, when draining, try and keep an eggcup full of the starchy water from the pasta to help prevent the pasta from sticking together, and making it easier to mix with the sauce.
  10. Pour everything from the meatball pan into the spaghetti pan – or vice versa if you prefer – stirring until everything is nicely mixed together.
  11. Grate plenty of parmesan cheese (I use Italian Pecorino Romano which is nice and nutty and not overly strong) over the top of the dish and serve along with crusty bread and a salad.

Magnifico!

Categories: Dishes of the World, Italian Dishes, Meat Dishes, Pizza & Pasta, Pork Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honey Jack BBQ Pulled Pork

Honey Jack BBQ Pulled Pork

Honey Jack BBQ Pulled Pork with a warm cheese baked roll and a side of sauce

Oh, Pulled Pork… you must surely be my only vice… well you and the several other vices that I have.

Whenever we have friends over for dinner and I ask them in advance what they would like to eat, they tell me 8 times out of 10 Pulled Pork. I serve it as part of a bigger spread, with sweetcorn, my Oven Baked Mixed Potato Fries, Homemade ‘Slaw and lashings and lashings of my Honey Jack BBQ Sauce

The thing about Pulled Pork is this, people don’t like to attempt it because they think it is too arduous a task and too tricky a recipe. well that is utter pants I tell you, Pulled Pork is one of the easiest and most delicious meals out there, sure, it’s a bit of a hike as far as the cooking time goes but it’s not that big of a deal, it takes care of itself, really it does!

The other thing about Pulled Pork is this you do NOT need a smoker to cook it in, I have always cooked mine using my slow cooker (although I would love a smoker) where it takes care of itself and I can merrily go about my day.

So in this recipe here, I will show you how to make the Pork itself, I will show you the side dishes too, but not here…

There are 3 parts to cooking a good Pulled Pork and they are as follows:

  1. The rub and overnight marinade
  2. The first cook
  3. The second cook and cut

You begin by making a rub, which can either be dry or wet, my particular rub is wet. This sits on the pork overnight and when in the cooker, helps to give it a bit of a crust. Then you have the first cook, where the pork sits in the slow cooker on low for at LEAST 6 hours (the longer the better really). Finally you have the second cook followed by the cut, where you add your BBQ sauce and cook for another few hours before removing the pork form the pot, getting rid of the fat and shredding it for serving.

Pulled Pork Rub Ingredients

So first, the rub. There are a TON of recipes for rubs on the Internet, hot and spicy, sweet and mellow, and I tried and tested many of them before making up my own, which I will show you now along with the method and how to get the pork ready for the next morning and the cooking pot!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pork shoulder (big enough to fit snugly in your slow cooker)
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt (any will do if you can’t find unrefined)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon english mustard powder
  • 1/3 cup Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

METHOD

  1. In a small mixing bowl, put all of your dry ingredients together, followed by the wet. Mis it all together to make a stodgy, gross looking mixture, it smells so strong and you may be tempted to taste it, but trust me, you don’t want to do that just yet, better save it for later…
  2. Unwrap the pork shoulder – you can leave the butcher string on the joint, otherwise it will fall apart before you even cook it and you don’t want that, better to remove it when shredding it later on.
  3. Take a sharp knife and make deep cuts all over the fat on the pork joint. Then, rolling up the old sleeves, grab handfuls of the rub and smear it all over the pork shoulder, on the top, in the sides, across the bottom, in any little crevices you find… everywhere.
  4. Next, take some cling film and wrap the pork up snugly for the night. Don’t be stingy, its going to bed in the fridge, would you like it if you weren’t wrapped up warmly? Wrap the pork in double amounts of cling film, followed by a couple of layers of kitchen foil.
  5. Then, put it inside a larger mixing bowl and pop it in the fridge overnight.
  6. That’s it for now, off to bed you go, see you about 8am for the next step!

Ok then, it’s the next morning and you’re up nice and early, grab yourself a coffee and turn your slow cooker onto LOW.  What we’re going to do now is get the first cook going.

INGREDIENTS

  • The marinated pork shoulder
  • 100-150ml of liquid, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, ginger ale or water all work

METHOD

  1. So, take the marinated pork parcel out of the fridge and unwrap it carefully, trying not to lose too much of the juicy marinade from the edges in the process.
  2. Add about an inch of liquid to the bottom of the slow cooker, this will stop the pork form gluing itself to the bottom later on which is going to make your life a lot easier than you might think! You can add ANYTHING, some good suggestions are Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, ginger ale and good old fashioned water. The acids break down in the pot and make the meat juicy and sweet.
  3. Pop the pork snugly into the cooker, pop the lid on and head off to work or whatever it is you are planning on doing until about 5-6pm. A quick note here, yes, I have said to run the first cook through from 8am till 5-6pm BUT it doesn’t matter if you are unable to do this, if you get home at 7 or 8 even it will be fine because to be honest, the longer this baby cooks, the better it will taste.

Right, onto the final stage now, it should be late in the afternoon and you have just arrived home, good day at work dear? Here is the method for the last part of the cook and the recipe for the gorgeous tangy sweet Honey Jack BBQ Sauce that will follow the pork all the way from this part of the cook to the table and your mouth!

INGREDIENTS

  • The slow cooked pork shoulder
  • 1 bottle good BBQ marinade sauce (I use Paul Newman’s Hickory, but you can use any as long as it is good, or you can even make your own!)
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 50ml fresh pineapple juice
  • A good dash of Jack Daniels (or any bourbon if you don’t have Jack)

METHOD

Remove the pork shoulder from the slow cooker and place it on a chopping board.

Discard the liquid from the bottom of the slow cooker pot, this is mostly fat and juices from the meat and the now boiled liquid from before. You can keep a little to add to your sauce if you wish, but I don’t bother as a rule.

On the chopping board, remove the butcher string from the pork and cut off the thick layer of fat from the top of the shoulder. Then place it back in the slow cooker.

Into a small mixing bowl, pour 3/4 of the bottle of BBQ sauce, add the honey, pineapple juice and the Jack Daniels and mix thoroughly.

Pour the mixed sauce over the meat in the pot and replace the lid.

Leave to simmer in the pot for another 15-30 mins while you get the other sides ready to serve.

When you are ready, remove the pork from the pot again, leaving the sauce in the pot. Place on a chopping board and begin to pull the joint apart with a couple of forks and a sharp knife for those big chunky strips.  Place all of the pork you have shredded onto your serving platter.

Over a small bowl, sieve the sauce that is left in the pot, then pour that into a jug. You can either pour the sauce over the meat now before serving or you can put it on the table for those who don’t want a lot to choose how much sauce they use (my preference, you don’t want to force it on people!).

Slice up some nice warm cheese topped subs or rolls and serve up the pork, delicious in the rolls topped with the BBQ sauce and a large spoon of my Homemade ‘Slaw.

Categories: American Dishes, Dishes of the World, Meat Dishes, Pork Dishes | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mushroom & Chorizo Stuffed Pan Fried Pork Chops

Chorizo & Mushroom Stuffed Pan Fried Pork Chops shown here with Honey Glazed Carrots and Mixed Potato Mash

I love pork, I think that I must seriously cook with pork more than just about any other meat, it’s cheap, versatile and goes down a treat if cooked correctly… and no, it is NEVER, EVER plain, dry OR boring in my house!

So, with the humble piggy in mind, it is with great delight, that I bring to you, my first ever blogged recipe… Mushroom and Chorizo pan friend pork chops… yum… I’m trying not to drool on the keyboard here, perhaps blogging about food wasn’t a great idea in hindsight.

These chops are delicious served with Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots and Mixed Potato Mash or my Roasted Seed Root Vegetables (all of which you will find recipes for on this blog under ‘Side Dishes’), when cooked correctly, the oils from the chorizo melt into the chops and just add to the flavour… delicious! You can fry them in a plain old frying pan, but they really do get that lovely charred flavour if cooked on a cast iron griddle so it is worth investing if you haven’t already got one. You could also BBQ them if you like… but be careful of those juices on an open flame!

Now there are a few ingredients here that you may not recognise, and that is perfectly fine, but do not be afraid!!! Many supermarkets are now selling a fantastic range of specialist ingredients and failing that, you can often get great deals on herbs and spices on eBay and Amazon, and often for less money! I will be covering a lot of these ingredients such as liquid smoke and sweet smoked paprika in my Tips area so don’t panic…

This recipe will serve 2, but for 4 people you just double it, or for 6 treble it and so on…

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 thick cut pork chops (thicker the better)
  • 50g chopped sweet smoked chorizo (if you like a kick go for spicy instead)
  • 50g chopped chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic – finely chopped
  • Pinch of Gyros-Souvlaki herb mix (Recipe and info here: Gyros-Souvlaki Herb Mix)
  • Pinch of sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of liquid smoke
  • Olive oil for frying

METHOD

  1. Begin to prepare your chops by cutting off any thick pieces of fat from the edges and removing the bone if you wish (not necessary, but it saves hassle on the dinner plate!).
  2. Take a very sharp knife (and be careful, this isn’t a recipe for finger stuffed pork chops) and cut a pocket into the side of the main flesh of the pork, you don’t want to cut the chop in half, just make a slit and then poke about in there with your knife to make it a little wider.
  3. Put your chops to one side or in the fridge and grab a frying pan in order to prepare the stuffing. Add a glug of olive oil (or if you want to be luxurious, butter) to the pan and thrown in the liquid smoke, garlic, chorizo and mushrooms. The mushrooms are like a sponge and will soak up a lot of the lovely savoury sweet smokey flavour that will ooze out of the chorizo turning everything red in the process – it’s awesome. Fry for a couple of minutes until everything is nice and soft. If you like you could throw in a small amount of diced pepper or some chilli if you like things hot…
  4. Let the stuffing cool down so it is ok to handle and sit down with a brew for 5-10 mins.
  5. Head back to the kitchen, pop a glug of olive oil into a cast iron griddle (or a frying pan if you don’t have one) and put it on the stove on a medium high heat.
  6. Grab your chops and taking half the stuffing mixture (so half per chop if you are using 2 chops), gently open the slit in the meat and stuff the cooked chorizo and mushroom mixture inside taking care not to tear the meat in any way.
  7. When the chop is suitably stuffed, take a pinch of Gyros-Souvlaki herbs and a pinch of smoked paprika and gently rub it into the top of a chop. Then, making sure you don’t burn your fingers or lose the stuffing from the side of the chop, place each chop into the griddle herb side DOWN. Then, when they begin cooking you simply take another pinch of herbs and paprika and rub it on the upturned sides of the chops.
  8. Fry the chops on the heat for about 5-8 minutes either side or until they are a nice golden brown colour with a spot of charring for flavour from the griddle.
  9. Serve on a bed of my Mixed Potato Mash, surrounded by Honey Glazed Carrots either dry or with a nice mushroom gravy or sauce. If cooking on the BBQ, perhaps one of my Crisp Baked Potatoes with a nice salad accompaniment or some of my simple Homemade ‘Slaw (yes, I’ll give you the recipes, geesh, what do you think this is? A cooking blog?)…
Categories: Meat Dishes, Pork Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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