A freezer full of pork

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Today I went and picked up the side of free range pork I ordered from the fabulous butcher we have here in town. 25kg of porky goodness is now ensconced in my freezer. Well, 23kg now.

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For tonight I was feeling like some slow roasted comfort food. It’s getting cold here now and nothing is more perfect than a roast, complete with Yorkshire puddings.

  • 2kg bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1L stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch dutch carrots
  • 5-6 dutch cream potatoes
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 115g spelt flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • Light olive oil

To prepare the pork, I first crank the oven as high as it goes to preheat while I get the cracking happening!

Boil the kettle, put the pork on a wire rack in the sink skin up and pour the boiling water gently over. The skin will tighten to reveal all of the lovely slashes in the skin and the fat layer underneath. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then pat dry with paper towel.

Rub some olive oil into the skin, then grind over lots of salt and pepper. You can also dry fry some fennel seeds, grind them up and sprinkle them over, too. Fennel loves pork.

Pour the stock into a roasting pan and sit the pork in the middle. Pop it into the smoking hot oven for 20 minutes on the middle rack. After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 160ºC and leave it alone for 4 hours.

With an hour and a half to go, prep the carrots and potatoes to your liking. Tonight I did hasselback potatoes because they are yum. Move the pork to the bottom rack and put the carrots and potatoes on a shallow oven tray on the top rack.

With half an hour to go, remove the pork from the oven and place in a warm place to rest. Don’t cover it though, or the crackling will go soggy! Pour off the pan juices and let sit for 5 minutes.

To make the Yorkshire puddings, whizz together the flour, milk, eggs and a generous pinch of salt. Crank the oven as high as it will go again. Pour at least a tbsp oil into each hole of a texas muffin pan and put on the highest rack.

Give the oil 5 minutes to get really hot, take the veg out of the oven and quickly pour the pudding batter into the tray. Don’t open the oven for at least 20 minutes or you’ll have flat puds!

While the puds are cooking, spoon the fat off the pan juices, whisk in a tablespoon of cornflour and simmer gently to thicken. taste and season if needed.

With five minutes to go, heat your peas and corn in the microwave and take the puds out of the oven. Arrange everything on your dining table, admire briefly, then tuck in!

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Feeling run down? Curry!

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I’m feeling a bit ordinary today. One of the joys of our germ incubators kids is their illness sharing. Thanks Wee Dude!

So, what to do when I have a raw throat and feel crap? Eat hot spicy curry of course!

My Dad’s friend, Nok, taught me this green curry. It uses commercial curry paste and I don’t care. If it’s good enough for a Thai chef to use at home, it’s good enough for me!

The linked recipe is pretty much identical to Nok’s. Actually the website is a pretty fantastic website, too. Easy Thai that works for home cooks.

So, enjoy this Thai green curry. Give the website a browse as well. And I hope that your wee treasures aren’t quite as good at sharing as mine!

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*I used chicken and eggplant in my curry, cause it’s what I had in the fridge and I wasn’t leaving the house! You can add whatever you like, really.

How to eat pizza when you can’t eat pizza

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One of the challenges I face when cooking is catering to the food allergies and intolerances in our household. Between us, we have to be very careful with wheat, dairy, soy and nuts.

I love pizza. Wee Dude loves pizza. We can’t go to the shops and get a regular pizza. So we make our own pizza, using cauliflower!

Sounds weird, tastes amazingly delicious. And you’re sneaking in vegetables at the same time, win! This mixture feeds two.

  • Half a head of cauliflower
  • 3 small or 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Put a sheet of baking paper onto a large, shallow oven tray.

Cut the cauliflower up and place in a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles small rice grains (“riced”). Transfer the riced cauliflower to a covered bowl and microwave for 8 minutes.

Tip the cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and squeeze to get as much moisture out as possible (try to get at least a cup out). The more dry you can get the cauliflower, the crispier the base will be.

Mix the squeezed cauliflower with the eggs and seasonings. Divide mix in two and spread into thin circles, bake for 20 minutes on the top rack.

Remove tray from oven and top bases with pizza sauce and your choice of toppings. Return to oven for a further 10 minutes.

If you don’t have to avoid dairy, you can replace one of the eggs with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella in the cauliflower mixture. You can also take the base out of the oven after 10 minutes, top with a filling of your choice and fold the base over like a burrito. Bake for a further 10 minutes for a delicious cauliflower crust hot pocket!

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