Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Spanish style Pork one-pot & a poncey ingredient alert

Last night was ‘meat night’. I was never intending to get to this point when I picked up Veg Everyday and the various other veggie tomes that I have been dipping into, but more often than not now, I am choosing not to cook with meat. It’s made a difference to our shopping bill, certainly, and I like to think we are healthier for it.

But we are not vegetarian – and I don’t think I could ever choose that label.  I’m not ready to give up a bacon sandwich with a cup of coffee while we’re camping, a delicious steak (and I like mine rare), roasts, BBQs. No, I couldn’t give up meat, but we’re certainly eating less of it.

On the whole, the Husband and the kids have adapted fairly well, but when it became apparent that there was meat on the menu last night, there was all round rejoicing. Even the fact that rice was involved didn’t deter Blue, who’s not fond of rice. The dish is based on a recipe of Paul Rankin’s that I found in an old Good Food mag (May 2006). I couldn’t find a link to the original recipe for you, so you’ll have to suffer my version. It was very quick and easy and got the thumbs up all round. It was billed in the magazine as a ‘speedy after work supper’. It was really quick to put together, and meant that I could do the chopping when I got in from picking the kids up from school – with assistance from Blue who chopped the olives for me, and then do the frying off and get the casserole in the oven before I went to pick Pink up from ballet. Then, in a jolly family scene, the Husband arrived home at the same time as we got back from ballet, the supper was ready, and we all sat down and ate tea together. Really. There was even pudding in the form of left over cake from Pink’s birthday party.

Family harmony and pudding to boot - I love it when a plan comes together.

Recipe Junkie’s Spanish Style Pork One-pot

Ingredients: 800g lean, boneless pork, diced or in strips, olive oil, 1 red onion chopped, 1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped, 1-2 tsp smoked paprika, 175 g long grain rice, 300ml veg stock or water, 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, pitted green olives*, halved   2 slices preserved lemon**, finely chopped for garnish (optional)
*I used the remains of a jar I had in the fridge. The original recipe said 280g jar of artichoke hearts in oil, drained and quartered, but mine aren’t keen on artichoke hearts (damn them!) and the olives needed using up
**poncy ingredient alert - my French friends bought me a selection of delicious goodies when they came to stay a few weeks ago, including a jar of ‘confit citroens’. The Husband and I once tried to make preserved lemons following a Jamie Oliver recipe. They were rubbish, but I knew that done properly they would taste lush – and they did...)

Method: Chop up all the ingredients that need chopping, then about 45 mins before you want to eat, turn on the oven (180c, 160c fan). Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven proof casserole (one which has a lid) and brown the pork pieces all over on a high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers and smoked paprika and cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the rice, stir in and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then pour in the stock, the can of chopped tomatoes and the olives, bring it all up to the boil, then put the lid on pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

I served it with a bag of watercress spinach and rocket salad, and it went down very well. The kids and I both liked the addition of the lemon, the Husband less so. You could also have garnished with chopped parsley – I would have done except my trusty trough full outside the kitchen window all bolted and the Husband pulled it all up and planted radishes instead – so watch out for radish recipes coming soon...


  1. Pork is my favourite meat so you had me at the first word of the title, and this does look fantastic.

  2. Mmmmm I love anything with smoked paprika in it! This sounds lovely.

    1. yeah - I often use it in things where the recipe says chilli powder and I don't want to freak the kids out, but add some depth to food (That sounds really naff but I hope you'll get what I mean). Wouldn't add it to curry though

    2. b.t.w. the smoked P was my addition - it wasn't in the original recipe (nor was any chilli) I think it definitiely needed something like that - or replacing some of the pork with chorizo

  3. Yay - I have some pork in the freezer to use up and now I know what to do with it. Only thing is what do I do with the mountain of apples I have....? Lx


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