Sunday, 15 January 2012

Pork and Cider Casserole

I fancied something different this week and with some nice pork shoulder steaks in the fridge and a glut of apples from the veg box in the living room this tasty casserole fitted the bill. Serves three if served with some mashed potato and steamed cabbage. Nice quick meal that works well for a mid-week supper.

2 pork shoulder steaks (cut into bite sized pieces)
4 eating apples (cored and cut into quarters)
1 large leek (trimmed, sliced longways then finely sliced)
1/2 a bottle of good cider
1/2 a tablespoonful of plain flour
1 teaspoon of dried tarragon
2 tablespoons of thick natural yoghurt or sour cream

Fry the pork in a little oil until coloured. Remove from the pan and add the leek and fry until softened. Return the pork to the pan and add the flour and stir for a few minutes. Add the cider, the apples and the tarragon. Stir and put a lid on the pan. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes then add the yoghurt or cream. Heat through gently but don't allow to boil.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Christmas Curry

Haven't blogged many recipes recently, Liz has been away and with Christmas and guests visiting I've been busy cooking traditional seasonal food. As usual there has been lots of leftovers and salads of cold ham and turkey with slaws made from cabbage, apple, onion and home grown beetroot have been a staple. However after a while I start to crave something spicy and so here is my version of something my mum used to make. She used to make this after we had a roast chicken on a Sunday for supper on a Monday. I've tried many different versions and have eventually been able to get close to the taste of her curry. These quantities made enough for three generous portions and three smaller portions for lunch the following week! The chickpeas are my addition I don't think I had heard of them back in the seventies!

Two large onions sliced finely
4 medium carrots grated
2 eating apples grated
1 chilli finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of malt vinegar (I use the vinegar from a jar of good pickled onions as it has a bit more flavour)
Cold roast turkey or chicken or beef or lamb cut into chunks
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 bunch of coriander
A thumb sized chunk of root ginger grated 
1 stick of cinnamon
2 fresh tomatoes, quartered
Handful of frozen peas

Spice blend:

1/2 a teaspoon of peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/2 a teaspoon of cloves
The seeds from 8 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon of turmeric

Fry the onion in a little vegetable oil until softened and starting to brown at the edges. Add the carrots, ginger and chilli and fry for a few more minutes. Add the apples and fry briefly. Grind the ingredients of the spice blend together and add to the pan and fry for a few minutes (add a little water if the spices start to catch) then add the vinegar, turkey and chickpeas. Stir then add the tomatoes, the cinnamon stick and a can and a half of water.
Simmer for 30 minutes then add the chopped fresh tomatoes, frozen peas and 2 teaspoons of garam masala. Simmer for 5-10 minutes stir in the chopped coriander and serve with rice.

For a non-meat alternative use a firm fish cut into large chunks and add after the rest of the curry have been simmering for 20 minutes, cook for 10 more then add the tomatoes etc. You could also replace the meat with a cauliflower or more chickpeas.