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#Pork

Thai meatball coconut curry

What could be better than the comfort of meat balls surrounded by Thai flavors and swimming in coconut broth? Very little, if you ask me. I am sharing this recipe from “Delicious” magazine as there is nothing I would do to tweak it.You can freeze half of this for another time, which is perfect!

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Serves 4
3 tbsp olive oil
2 red bell peppers, sliced
4 to 5 tbsp Penang curry paste (You can use Thai kitchen Penang curry paste, if available)
2 x 14 oz cans coconut milk (Use sugar-free brands)
1 each large red and green chilli pepper, de-seeded and finely shredded
6 scallions, (spring onions) thinly sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed and inner leaves finely diced
Juice of 2 limes, plus lime wedges to serve
5 to 6 oz ground almonds
(Steamed rice, optional)

For the meatballs
2lbs ground pork
5 scallions, finely diced
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, inner leaves finely diced
good bunch of cilantro, leaves finely chopped
1 1/2 to 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
grated zest and juice of 2 limes
1 medium free range, organic egg

In a large bowl mix the ingredients for the meat balls. Season and with wet hands, form into about 40 walnut-sized balls. Put on a large plate and chill for 15 minutes or until needed.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large, deep frying pan, add the meatballs in 2 batches and fry for 10 minutes until cooked through and browned. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil, add the peppers and fry for 2 minutes until softened, then add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the coconut milk, chillies,scallions, lemongrass and lime juice. Gently simmer for a few minutes then add the almonds and cook for a few minutes to warm through (add a little water or chicken broth if the curry sauce seems too thick)

Add the meatballs to the curry sauce and heat through. Divide half the curry among 4 serving bowls, sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with rice and lime wedges.

** Cool the remaining curry and spoon into a freezerproof container. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw overnight in the fridge, then transfer to a saucepan and heat until the sauce and meatballs are piping hot.

Bacon wrapped dates with almonds and goat cheese

Unctious, divine and so easy.

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MAKES 24
24 large moist dates, such as Medjool
12 not-too-thick slices of bacon
2 oz. softened goat cheese
24 whole toasted unsalted almonds

Move oven rack to upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°. Pit dates, tearing them open as little as possible. Set dates aside. Halve the 12 slices of bacon crosswise. Put the goat cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a round, plain ¼” tip.

Stuff cavity of each date with 1 almond. Pipe goat cheese into the opening of each stuffed date. Wrap 1 half-piece of bacon around width of each date and put dates, seam side down, on a baking sheet, at least ½” apart. Bake until bacon is golden and crisp, 6-8 minutes.
Set aside to cool briefly before serving.

Slow-braised pork shoulder with cider and parsnips

Don’t you just love those long, slow braises when the house fills with the wonderful aroma and you can just leave the dish to cook itself slowly? The parsnips add a wonderful earthy sweetness to the dish too.

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Serves 4 to 5

2 tbsp olive oil
2lb 4oz pork shoulder, diced. (Sometimes this joint of meat is called Boston Butt)
2 onions, sliced
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
3 parsnips, cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp plain flour
12 fl oz (330 mls) bottle of cider
28 fl oz (1 1/2 pints) chicken or pork stock
a good handful Italian parsley, chopped
mashed potato and greens, to serve (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F or 180C.
Heat the oil in a large lidded flameproof or Le Creuset braiser and brown the meat in batches, then set aside. Fry the onions, celery and parsnips with the bay leaves for 10 mins until golden brown. Sprinkle in the flour and give a good stir, then add the pork and any juices back to the dish.
Add the cider and stock so that the meat and vegetables are covered. Season and bring to a simmer, then cover and put in the oven for 2 hrs.
Serve sprinkled with parsley, with mashed potato and greens, if you like.

** One nice tip is that if the braise is too liquidy, take out the solids and boil the liquid down to reduce, then return the solids to the pan.

Asian slow cooker bone broth

As one gets older one needs to retain as much calcium as possible, and I have been reading that in most Asian countries they have a version of this broth that they eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner and add noodles, vegetables or anything else to it, depending on what takes their fancy. It is loaded with calcium from the bones for your bones and is incredibly tasty and light.

 

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The slow cooker can be bubbling away slowly for several days with this and you just have to remember to top up the water level and add ginger, garlic, scallion and lemon grass if you have it.

 

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It is tremendously simple to make and the whole house will fill with the smell of the broth as the slow cooker gives forth it’s wonderful goodness. I have a 6 qt slow cooker, so I can fit in 4 to 5 lbs of bones.
If you use pork or chicken bones, you don’t have to roast them, but if you use beef bones, you may want to roast them at 350 F for 30 to 45 mins so the broth will be richer. Remove any marrow from the beef bones before you put them into the slow cooker or the broth will be cloudy and somewhat mushy!

Recipe

4 to 5 lbs organic chicken or pork on the bone. (For pork I use the spare ribs. For chicken, use wings and feet.)
Two good sized 2 inch chunks of fresh ginger, cut in half and peeled
2 stalks lemongrass (optional) peeled, halved and bruised
6 scallions,white and green parts, halved then tied with kitchen twine
1 head of garlic halved horizontally.

Put the meat in the slow cooker, add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and scallions then fill the slow cooker up to within 1 inch of the rim with cold water. Put the lid on.
Turn the slow cooker on high for about 1 1/2 hours so it bubbles and gives off scum. Open the lid and skin off the scum at this point.
Put the lid back on and turn it to low and cook for about 8 hours. You may want to skim again during the cooking process.
After 8 hours, ladle out the liquid, put into containers and let cool until the liquid is cool enough to put into the fridge. Top up the slow cooker with more water and turn on for another 8 hours, repeating the process.

You can scrape off any fat from the refrigerated liquid and add fresh chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, some red chilli, some noodles or anything else you fancy and you have the most wonderful meal that is very low calorie and incredibly good for you.

Maple mustard slow roasted pork

Here’s a recipe from BBC Good Food that you won’t forget in a hurry. This meat just falls off the bone, is so succulent and tasty. Served with a winter coleslaw, that’s all you need.

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Serves 6 with leftovers
Takes 8 hours minimum and must be started the night before for the marinading.

7oz sea salt
11 oz dark brown sugar, or light Muscovado sugar
4lb 8oz piece of pork shoulder
4 fl oz pure maple syrup
4 oz wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp English mustard powder, like Colmans

Mix the sea salt and 7 oz of the sugar in a large food bag, add the pork and coat it well. (If you don’t have a bag, rub over the pork in a dish and cover with plastic wrap) Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

The next day, remove the pork and wipe down the meat with kitchen towel.
Heat the oven to 275 F (140C/120C)
Mix the remaining sugar, the maple syrup, mustards and some ground pepper. Rub half the mixture over the pork and sit it on a rack in a roasting tin. Roast for 6 hours.

Spoon the remaining maple mixture over the pork and roast for 1 hour more.

Remove from the oven and rest the meat for 30 mins on a platter loosely covered with foil. To serve, tear the pork into big chunks and after skimming the surface for fat, spoon over any juices from the roasting tin.

Rich and warming braised sausages

I adore sausages and of all meat, sausages and bacon are the ones I would miss the most if I ever became vegetarian. This is a hearty, flavorful and warming braise, great for those Fall and Winter evenings and all it needs is some good mashed potato to soak up the juices.

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Serves 4

2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
12 of your favorite pork sausages
6 rashers bacon, rinds removed and cut into 1 inch lengths
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 to 1 tsp smoked paprika
1 x 14oz can chopped San Marzano tomatoes
10 fl oz chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dark brown sugar (Muscovado is great)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 fl oz red or white wine
1 x 14oz can butter beans or another type of bean you like, drained and rinsed
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for 10 mins, turning every now and then until nicely browned all over. Transfer to a large saucepan or a flameproof baking dish and set aside.
Fry the bacon pieces in the frying pan until they begin to brown and crisp then add to the sausages
Place the onions in the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes until they begin to soften, stirring often. You should have enough fat in the pan, but if not, add the other tbsp of oil.
Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more until the onions turn a pale-golden color, stirring frequently.
Sprinkle over the smoked paprika and cook together for a few seconds longer.
Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and herbs.
Pour over the wine and bring to a simmer.
Tip carefully into the pan with the sausages and bacon and return to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover the pan loosely with a lid or aluminum foil and leave to simmer very gently for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Alternatively, you can cook it in the oven at 350 F for 45 minutes.

 

Easy Asian pork in lettuce cups

I love wrapping food in lettuce cups and usually I use ground turkey or chicken, but this recipe is with strips cut from a pork tenderloin, marinated and cooked. It’s such a fun dish to serve as a starter and let everyone fill their own lettuce cups.

 

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Serves 2 or 4 but can be easily augmented.

The marinade
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark (toasted) sesame oil
1 tbsp Asian chile sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 green onions, white and green parts chopped

The other ingredients
1lb fresh pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 head iceberg lettuce (I actually buy 2, incase the leaves tear as I’m separating them)
2 tbsp peanut or safflower oil
1/2 cup hoisin sauce

To prepare the marinade, in a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well. Cut the pork into matchstick pieces, add to the marinade and stir to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325F. Spread the pine nuts on a small baking sheets and roast until they turn golden, about 8 minutes.
Gently separate the lettuce leaves to use as cups. Cut the larger leaves in half. The lettuce leaves can be refrigerated until you’re ready to cook the meat.

Place a wok or saute pan over high heat and when it’s hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork, stir and toss for 3 minutes until it loses it’s pink color. Stir in the pine nuts.
Transfer to warmed dinner plates and serve at once, accompanied by the lettuce cups and hoisin sauce.
To assemble, place a small amount of hoisin sauce in each lettuce cup, add some pork and eat in your hand

Easy Thai pork satay

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As you probably know by now, I am an Asian food freak, especially anything with coconut and lemongrass.
This is so tasty and tender with super flavors and is pretty simple to to throw on the bbq. Ideally a charcoal fire would be better, but if you have a gas bbq that is fine.

Makes about 10 skewers
1 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp chopped fresh lemongrass (outer leaves pulled away, and only the tender inner stalks used)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp chopped galangal or fresh ginger if you don’t have galangal
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 & 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I roast my own)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1lb  pork fillet, cut into 1/4″ thick sliced (silverskin removed)

Puree 1/2 cup coconut milk, the lemongrass, coconut oil, galangal/ginger, sugar, turmeric, coriander, salt, cumin and cayenne in a food processor.
Toss the paste and pork slices in a bowl, coating well and chill for 4 hours or more.
Thread 3 slices pork each on to 10 skewers, spoon the remainder of the coconut milk onto the meat and grill, turning until charred, about 7 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Asian spicy ground pork (or turkey) and green soup

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So soothing, cleansing, light and tasty. Oh, and easy too!  I found this in an old Bon Appetite magazine and adapted it slightly.

Serves 2
1/2 lb ground pork (or turkey)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated and peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely chopped (I roast mine for more flavor)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 bunch mustard greens, or kale, beet greens or other greens, torn (about 4 cups)
4 to 6 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp Thai fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
8 oz wide rice noodles

Mix the ground pork, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes and cumin in a medium bowl.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the pork mixture, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a fork, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the broth and bring to the boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the flavors meld, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the torn greens, scallions, soy sauce and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and divide the noodles between the bowls and ladle the soup over

 

 

 

 

 

Thai ginger lettuce wraps

Thai ginger pork lettuce wraps

 

This is a really easy dish to make and can be such fun to serve with a big platter of sturdy small lettuce leaves and a big bowl of the spicy, gorgeous Thai ginger pork.
Stick it in the center of the table, whether for starters or a main course and everyone can help themselves. It certainly cuts out the formality of dining with guests. Very low carb and inexpensive to make too

Serves 3 – 4 but can be easily doubled.
3/4 lb ground pork (you can use dark meat turkey, if you don’t eat pork)
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp grapeseed oil, or canola oil
One 8 oz can whole water chestnuts, drained and diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
24  Boston Bibb lettuce leaves, baby romaine lettuce leaves or a small lettuce leaf strong enough to hold the meat filling.

In a medium bowl, combine the ground meat with the bell pepper, garlic, ginger, chili sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil and 1 tbsp of the grapeseed oil. Mix well.
In a large skillet or wok, heat the remaining 1 tsp oil until shimmering.
Add the ground meat mixture and stir fry over high heat, breaking up, until it is cooked through and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the water chestnuts, scallions, oyster sauce and cilantro and remove from the heat.
Spoon the ground meat mixture into bowls. Stack the lettuce leaves on plates.
To eat, spoon the meat onto the lettuce leaf, roll up and eat!

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