Prunes and Apple Stuffed Pork

DSCI0509

A hearty Winter warmer and an all-round family favourite – which virtually cooks itself!

Andrew: Another of my kind of recipes!!! One for the lazy cooks!!!

Ingredients

Serves upto 6

1kg (1000g) joint of pork

14 dried prunes, chopped small

1 eating apple, grated

Salt and pepper

Method

  • With a sharp knife, cut along the pork joint to reveal its inside.

Dawn: I’m using an inexpensive cut of pork here, the shoulder and it cooks well with the stuffing adding to its flavouring. 

  • In a small bowl, mix together the chopped prunes and shredded apple.
  • Place this stuffing mixture along the pork’s cut length and pull the pork sides together, securing along its length with intermittent pieces of string tied together to keep the stuffing in place.
  • Season with salt and pepper the skin.

Andrew: Mmm…crackling! 

Dawn: That’s the idea, Andrew. 

Andrew: The crackling was my granddad’s favourite.

  • Wrap the pork in cooking foil and place in an ovenproof dish. Place in a pre-heated over at gas mark 6, 200 degrees centigrade electric for 30 mins and then turn the heat down to gas mark 3, 160 degrees centigrade electric for 2 to 3 hours.

Dawn: I like meat that’s tender so I always go on regularly checking it with a fork during its cooking to see how tender it’s becoming. 

Andrew: Again, personal preference? 

Dawn: Absolutely, Andrew. Guidelines suggest 35 minutes per pound in weight (450g) plus 35 minutes thereafter. I think it’s down to how you personally prefer your meat cooked. 

  • Keep checking the pork to see if it’s cooked by sticking a fork into it at periodic times. When it’s soft, it’s cooked.
  • Remove the cooking foil to expose the pork for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking to enable the skin to crackle and go crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes prior to craving.

Andrew: Oh, crackling! Yum! And for more ‘cracking’ – get it? – great, easy and inexpensive dishes, follow our blog here and our Twitter account @Love_Food_UK

Dawn: Our Roast Root Ribbons go nicely with this, cooked in the succulent juices of the pork along with some green vegetables and a nice dollop of mashed potato, too. Mmm…my mouth is watering!

Roast Root Ribbons

DSCI0578

An easy side dish to accompany a nice Sunday roast, this takes minutes to prepare and once popped in the oven, you can get on and do what you need to do as it’s virtually self-cooking.

Andrew: I like dishes like this!

Ingredients

Services 4

8 large carrots

8 large parsnips

2 tsp of cooking oil

salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  • Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips into long ribbons.
  • Place in a saucepan of boiling water and partially boil for 5-10 minutes. 

Dawn: The partial cooking via boiling is optional and you can simply put the root veg into a large, ovenproof dish if you’re short on time.

Andrew: That’s usually what I do.

  • While the vegetables are partially cooking on the hob, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200 degrees centigrade electric and place an ovenproof dish with the cooking oil in, in it.

Dawn: I’m using the cooking juices from a tasty joint here to add an extra “umph” to the vegetables taste.

  • Next, drain the vegetables of the boiling water and place in the cooking fat.

Andrew: Can I add garlic halves?

Dawn: You can add any root vegetables you may have in, Andrew. You’re only limited by your own imagination. I have a lovely baked onion recipe that I’ll share later in our side dishes section, too.

  • Cook until the vegetables start to look ‘caramelised’ and crisp in appearance.
  • Turn the vegetables occasionally so the whole of the root becomes golden in appearance.
  • Serve hot, seasoned to personal preference.

Andrew: Is this really down to personal taste, Dawn?

Dawn: No pun intended! Yes, Andrew. I tend to leave them for about 45 to 60 minutes because I really enjoy the ‘caramelised’ taste. Very yummy!

Andrew: Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!

Dawn: Indeedy! And speaking of which, you can decide to add a little splash of lemon juice to the cooking oil if you fancy a zing to the finished cooked taste. 

Andrew: And don’t forget to follow our blog and Twitter account @Love_Food_UK to stay tuned for more easy, quick and inexpensive recipes!

WebRep
currentVote
noRating
noWeight

Yummy Chunky Chilli

DSCI0700

A family favourite if ever there was one! And makes great “ready meals” for pulling out of the freezer for when time is precious – and let’s face it, time is something we all need more of! Whether you’re looking for a nourishing mid-week meal for the family or making up batches of meals to freeze, this is a “must” try delicious dish you’ll cook time and time again.

There are variations of chilli amass and this version is my own concocted favourite, an experiment with a little extra here and there. Using succulent cubed beef and a few extra spices, this is a filling, hearty version of a firm favourite and very easy to make.

Andrew: So great for singles, couples and families to freeze for quick, instant and good food, What a great dish! So, how do we start?

Ingredients

Services 4 or 6 dependent upon the individual portions served

1 tsp of cumin seeds

1 clove of garlic, peeled, chopped and crushed

1 tsp of paprika powder

¼ – ½ tsp of chilli flakes (dependent upon individual taste)

600g cubed beef (I tend to use the 500g size frozen cubed beef available in all good supermarkets and bulk the dish out with more vegetables, in this instance, cherry tomatoes would be good or more tinned tomatoes)

2 x 400g tins of tomatoes

1x 400g tin of red kidney beans (drained and washed)

3 red peppers (or mixed will be fine as well as using frozen mixed, chopped peppers)

250ml beef or vegetable stock

Allow 60g per person of brown dried rice or a rice of your preference

Serve with a mixed salad

Method

  • Using a large saucepan or frying pan (with a lid), roast the cumin seeds until the aroma is released. This will take 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Adding the cubed beef, brown the beef, allowing it to release its juices. You may wish to add 1 tsp of oil pre-browning the beef off but I prefer to cook without so offering a low fat option. If the beef starts to stick to the pan, then add 1 tsp or a little more of water to allow the beef to brown freely without sticking.
  • Now add the crushed garlic and paprika coating the beef all over.

Andrew: Do you add the chilli flakes now, too, Dawn?

Dawn: You may, if you wish, Andrew but I prefer to add later to allow the true flavours of the combined ingredients to be released first. Also, I’m not a great fan on food that’s too spicy so I like to add a tiny amount of the chilli flakes and keep tasting until I have a flavour I’m happy with.

Andrew: I love fresh chilli! Can I have use of those?

Dawn: You can use them if you like, but be careful with the SHU of the chilli otherwise you will blow your socks off!

Andrew: That’s the Scoville Heat Scale! Check it out online. A Scotch Bonnet has a powerful punch!

Dawn: Also be very careful. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. I have seen a lot of red eyes from people wiping their peepers with ‘chilli hands’!

Andrew: Yes! And our gentleman readers need to be very careful!

Dawn: Too much information, Andrew! Can I get on now?!?

  • With the beef covered in the spices, added the chopped red peppers and stir into the beef and spices mixture.
  • Now add the two tins of tomatoes and the stock, stirring into the beef mixture. I like to rinse out the empty tins with the stock so all the lovely, yummy mushiness of the tomatoes clinging to the insides of the tins is washed away, into the cooking dish.
  • Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to allow the ingredients to simmer. Add the kidney beans. Cover and leave to cook on the hob until the beef is soft and succulent. Do pop back and give the dish a stir and you can towards the end of cooking, sample and add salt and pepper to season.

Andrew: Can I use dried kidney beans?

Dawn: You can, but you must boil them on a fast boil for ten minutes to eliminate any toxins, before cooking thoroughly.

Andrew: I remember that was one of Esther Rantzen’s great campaigns on That’s Life. They are so good for you aren’t they? Now, how long does it take to cook, Dawn?

Dawn: Well, I normally cook mine for about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours to ensure the meat is really tender like I like it to be.

  • About 10-25 minutes before the chilli is due to be ready, put your brown rice into a saucepan of boiling, salted water and cook as per the instructions. The cooking time may vary so follow the particular instructions you have.
  • At this stage, you can also add the chilli flakes to the chilli to allow the flavour to be soaked up into the mixture. Try adding a tiny amount and tasting until you’re happy with the strength and depth of flavours.
  • You’re now ready to serve the dish and I like to add a mixed a salad for a cool and refreshing contrast to the chilli.

Andrew: That’s delicious, and a really great ‘ready meal’ for the freezer and a quick, filling week night dinner.

Dawn: Yes, Andrew, it’s a an excellent meal to portion up and freeze for eating when you haven’t much time to cook.

Dawn and Andrew: Bon appetit! Or buon provecho as they say in Mexico!!!