Sunday, 18 April 2010

Pork Paprikash (sort of)

I try to do a lot of cooking of the "What's on special offer at the supermarket" variety. As we all do these days.

The other day, ragout de porc being on cheap, that was obviously what we were going to be eating.

Last time I bought such packs, the meat was in reasonably large chunks- this time, each piece came with at least one long thin bone running right through it, and although I could have chopped them through with a cleaver and a call to Peter to come and use some muscle power, I didn't bother.

First I browned the pieces, then took them out of the casserole, and left them to sit whilst I tipped in onions in thick slices, softening them gently and slowly in the fat from the pork. I added a heap of spices: about 2 tbs of mild paprika (I find this has so little taste, I usually only use it for colouring!), 1 tbs of hot paprika, about a tsp and a half of cumin seeds, about 1/2 a tsp of cinnamon, black pepper, a couple of big pinches of marjoram, and a bit of herbed salt.

I let all the spices warm up with the onions, stirring, then added a whole bottle of white wine- a Petite Recolte from Nicolas, Cotes de Ceressou Moelleux from 2004. I really liked this wine back in 2004, so I had some crates of it, and this was the last bottle. I poured myself a glass before tipping the rest into the casserole- then tasted my glass, and poured that in too. It had no depth of flavour left at all- just a surface layer of "hello, this is a grape-based alcohol".

I have very little palate for wine, but I do know when there's nothing there.

I brought the stew up to the simmer, then added a bottle of passata- about 700 ml. Back up to simmer, put the meat back in, and simmered it gently, with the lid on, for three hours.

Very gently removed the meat, which was falling apart, and pulled out most of the big bits of bone. I then reduced the sauce like mad, boiling it fast with the lid off, and it thickened very satisfactorily. I had originally planned to add mushrooms, but once I'd put in the tomato, I changed my mind.

I really must use up those mushrooms.

Put the meat back in, warmed it all up, and served it over egg noodles. Yummy- it did Peter and I two meals, and a third one for him.

This week, there was a special offer of cote de boeuf (one bought for Peter, I will nibble around the edges and probably eat vegetables instead), and liver. I love liver. There are two lobes for each of us in the fridge... probably to be cooked dredged in seasoned flour, then fried quickly, and served in slices either with mushrooms and onions, or just onions, or maybe with egg noodles again.

We have some friends turning up on Monday night, rather unexpectedly, as they were on holiday in Italy and are now, due to the volcano, stuck there and can't get home. So they're coming here until they can get a flight out. So I'm going to have to do some food shopping and planning for the coming week, as I'll be feeding double the usual number! Besides having to plan it more than my usual "open the fridge, then decide what I'm cooking" method.

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