Somewhere along the line, I ordered some chorizo for cooking with, in a huge pack, and then froze it. This weekend, I started trying out recipes that use chorizo. I bought the pork loin from MacLean’s shop in Benbecula, and the spices are mostly purchased online from Seasoned Pioneers. I got the recipe from the Moro cookbook. Most of the other ingredients I found in the co-op. Irritatingly, you can only buy peppers in packs of three in the co-op, so I went to MacLennan’s for the green peppers. The recipe took about 45 minutes to make.
- 7 or more tablespoons of olive oil
- 350g pork fillet or loin, cut into 7mm strips
- 120g cooking chorizo, cut into little pieces
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 large green pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 250g paella rice
- 2 ñora peppers, or a good pinch of sweet paprika
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 900ml hot chicken stock
- 500g spinach
- 1 lemon, cut in wedges
- salt and pepper
- In a large flat pan, such as a paella pan or a very large frying pan, heat the olive oil on a high heat, and then quickly fry and stir the pork strips so that they are just about cooked, it doesn’t take long. Remove the pork from the pan with a slotted spoon. season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- In the same pan, put in the chopped chorizo, stir and add the onion, stir and add the green pepper. Turn the heat down to medium. Make sure you aren’t stingy with the oil. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring to make sure that all of the onion caramelises.
- Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
- Add the rice, and stir so everything is evenly mixed.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add the paprika. If you are using ñora peppers, these should be torn up, seeds and stalks discarded, and soaked in hot water first so that they are soft. Add the hot chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and is just about cooked through.
- About 5 minutes before the end of the cooking period, put all of the washed spinach in a very large pan, turn up the heat and cook until it is all wilted down.
- When the rice is cooked, add the pork and spinach and push it into the paella, so that the oil soaks in. Cover with a lid and let everything settle for around 5 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges. The lemon is absolutely essential for bringing out the best flavour. It needs a lovely fresh salad as well, for example a green salad or a tomato salad. So delicious.
We are eating what is in the fridge, to avoid going to the shops, and keeping it simple. We had some cuts of cooked pork in the freezer, and this was a really quick meal to make. The quantities below should serve 4-6 people, depending on their appetites, and the rest of the meal.
- 300g pasta such as penne rigate or pipe rigate, or tubetti
- Olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 450g left-over cooked pork. chopped to 1cm dice
- a small glass of red wine
- 1 tin of tomatoes, preferably San Marzano tomatoes
- chopped flat-leaf parsley
- grated pecorino cheese
- Heat a large pan of salted water ready to cook the pasta
- In a skillet, or large heavy frying pan, heat the olive oil and then fry the chopped onion over a medium heat until it softens, around five minutes
- Add the pork, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and scrape round the bottom of the pan to pick up all of the flavour there.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, and rinse out the tin with a little water, adding this to the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for around 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the pack. When it is done, drain it and add it to the sauce. Add a little pasta water if required, to get the sauce to a consistency that you like.
- Serve in bowls, garnished with parsley. The cheese should be grated and served in a dish on the table for people to serve themselves.
We had guests round, and I had some pork chops in the freezer. This was delicious, nothing left at the end. Here are quantities for two.
- 2 pork chops
- 25g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- around 150ml white wine
- around 150ml double cream
- 1 tsp grain mustard
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Cornichons (optional, around 4 per serving)
- Before cooking, season the chops with salt and pepper and set aside for at least half an hour
- In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil together, and add crushed garlic, and then the chops. Brown the chops on each side and then cook until they are no longer pink inside, taking care not to over-cook them.
- Set the chops on a warm dish and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, pour off any excess fat and oil, and then add the wine to the pan. Bring to the boil and scrape any delicious sediment in the pan so that it dissolves.
- Pour in the cream, bring to a gentle boil for a very short time, stir in the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If you are using cornichons, you can add a tbsp of the liquor from the jar to the sauce.
- Pour the sauce over the chops and serve with mashed potatoes.
In the freezer I had a large Italian pork sausage, flavoured with fennel. I made this stew, which could be made with any good quality coarse pork sausage, for example a Cumberland sausage. The stew is very easy to make, and we served it with creamed potato and celeriac mash, and sea kale florets.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 coarse Italian pork sausages (around 400g) or similar
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, or other chilli powder
- 1 tsp date syrup, or treacle
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 300ml stock
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp mixed herbs (I used the mystery herbs from Italy)
- salt and pepper
- Fry the sausages in the oil in a large frying pan for around 8 minutes, until they are browned. Transfer to a casserole dish.
- Fry the onions in the same pan over a medium heat, for around 5 minutes, until they are beginning to brown.
- Add the crushed garlic and chilli, and cook, stirring for another couple of minutes
- Add the stock, tomatoes, puree and herbs, and bring to a simmer.
- Pour over the sausages in the casserole dish, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
This tastes better if it is not boiling hot, let it sit for a few minutes whilst preparing the mash and vegetables.
This was one of my mother’s standard recipes, very delicious, slightly sweet and sour, and best served with rice.
- 1 1/2 lb lean pork, diced
- 1 oz fat
- 1 oz flour
- 1 lb onions
- 1/2 pint stock
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 4 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1 dessert spoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb chopped carrots
- 1 can of tomatoes.
- Set the oven to 160C, gas 3
- Fry off the pork in the oil, and set aside
- In the same pan, gently fry the sliced onions until they are soft, and beginning to brown
- Add the browned meat with the flour, and stir for a minute or so.
- Add the stock and vinegar, and stir well, then add the sugar, tarragon, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to the boil
- Add the carrots and tomatoes and bring to the boil again.
- Transfer to a casserole dish and cook for 3 hours in the oven – check to make sure that it remains moist, and add stock if required.
We took this recipe from ‘The Organic Meat Cookbook’ by Frances Bissell. We used some spare ribs from Ken Wilson’s croft: they were HUGE and delicious. The book says to allow 450g ribs per person but that was way more than enough. We used the oriental variation of the recipe.
- 2 spare ribs per person (or 450g)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine
- 2 tbsps rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp angostura bitters
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp chinese five spice powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Mix all the ingredients except for the ribs and the cornflour, and put them in the bottom of an ice-cream tub or similar, large enough to take all the spare ribs. Mix well.
- Put the ribs into the marinade in the tub, make sure they are all coated in the marinade, and leave in the fridge overnight
- When ready to start cooking, turn the oven to 200C and take the ribs out of the fridge to warm up a bit.
- Take a roasting tray with a rack, and put a enough water in to cover the bottom. Put the ribs onto the rack, and put this in the oven. Save the marinade for basting
- Bake for 1 hour, turn and baste the ribs every 15 minutes or so.
- Once the ribs are cooked, take them out of the oven, and set aside on their rack. Take a spoonful of the liquid in the bottom of the tray, mix with the cornflour, and stir this back into the pan. Bring this to the boil to make a thickish gravy.
We served the ribs on rice cooked with a little shredded cabbage. One suggestion is to add sesame seeds to the ribs for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking. We sourced most of the more unusual ingredients from Lovats (Carnan)
This is another recipe from the fantastic Organic Meat cookbook, from Frances Bissell. The accompanying mashed potatoes with pears is a real discovery, absolutely delicious.
- 4 pork loin chops
- 30g plain flour, seasoned
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 can chopped organic tomatoes
- 140ml marigold stock
- 140ml dry white wine or dry cider
- Salt, pepper
- chopped parsley
- Trim the fat from the chops, dust lightly with flour, and fry the chops in the oil in a large frying pan. Transfer them to a shallow casserole dish.
- Fry the onion until golden brown, and add to the pork
- Pour the tinned tomatoes over the meat. Deglaze the frying pan by pouring the wine and stock into it, and then add that to the casserole as well.
- Season the casserole with salt and pepper, and cover. Bake in the oven at 220C for 30 minutes, and then 180C for 45 minutes. Take the lid off the casserole for the last 15 minutes.
- Serve with a scattering of chopped parsley, your favourite seasonal vegetable, and mashed pear/potato.
This was amazing; the first time I cooked it, I was still telling people about it for days afterwards. I got the recipe from Frances Bissell’s book, the Organic Meat cookbook. I used a random bit of Ken Wilson’s pork, and some white wine from the fridge. The book specifies a cut that I didn’t have, and some wine that I didn’t have. It was still amazingly delicious. Serves 2.
- 1 tenderloin of pork approx 250g, sliced 1 inch thick
- 8 large prunes
- 150ml Vouvray or other white wine
- 1oz butter
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 4 tbsp double cream
- Salt and pepper
- Soak the prunes in the wine for at least 6 hours
- Melt the butter and cook the shallots very slowly until soft
- Turn up the heat, and add the meat, browning on both sides
- Add the wine and prunes, and bring to a simmer: cook until the pork is tender
- Stir in the redcurrant jelly, lemon zest, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to simmering point, and stir to amalgamate the cream with the sauce.
I served this with new potatoes and braised spring cabbage. Delicious.
This made a real mess of the grill but it was sensational. Recipe from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries. I love the way he is really showing us good ways to eat, rather than fancy ways to cook.
- 2 large pork chops or steaks
- 50g blue cheese
- 50g butter
- 50ml single cream
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- a sprinkling of salt
- Mash the cheese, butter, cream, mustard, thyme and black pepper together, and put in the fridge to chill a little.
- Sprinkle the chops with a little salt, and grill under a hot hot grill, until just beginning to colour on each side, and the chops are just cooked through, about 7-10 minutes on each side
- Put a slice of the blue cheese/butter mixture over the chops and return briefly to the grill, until the blue cheese melts onto the chops. Leave it too long and the mixture drips into the grill pan and makes a mess.
I served this with new potatoes, courgettes in a lemon and olive oil dressing, and some braised fennel.