Blimey, seems like just yesterday I was writing my last blog… but seems I’ve left it too my partner-in-crime for far too long.
So, just a quickie for you that packs a full flavour punch without a great deal of chef’ing to do.
Firstly, the ‘posh rice’. Well, truth be told, not rice at all, but grass, apparently. But it is the stuff that is boxed up and sold at silly prices as ‘wild rice’. Lovely, but at something like a fiver for a box… no thanks! Until I found a local supermarket selling of half a dozen boxes (still in date) for a quid each! BOOM! I’ll have some of that all day, every day!
Not much to be said about the cooking of it except to say I followed the instructions on the back of the packet… and yes, it really does take that long, and yes, do add that wedge of butter at the end, calories be damned… you WILL NOT regret it!
As for the pork, it seems that the world… or at least the world dictated to us by the bucket-heads who run corporations, can only eat lean pork loin chops. They are everywhere, and they are the least intersting piece of pig on a pig – I bet even the pig knows that. Unless you brine them (we’ve done that here), they are tasteless, dry and massively underwhelming.
For this dish, I used pork shoulder steaks. These are cheaper and infinitely better to cook with. They are slightly fattier, but that is part of what makes the both tastier and better to cook with. If you’re worried about the size of your belly, serve less… or drink less… or skip on some chocolate… or, well, just lie with the fact that your meal will be nicer when cooked with better ingredients – and that’s why we’re doing this thing here.
So, brown off the pork steaks in a deep skillet/frying pan that hopefully has a lid. (If you haven’t got one… get one (only joking) – but brown them and finish the dish in a large saucepan will do fine).
Once the meat is browned, add a litre of vegetable stock (a cube is fine) and simmer with the lid on before you start prepping the extras. For me, this was just what was knocking around the kitchen at the time… a couple of carrots and a large onion, all coarsely chopped and chucked in the pan and stirred around.
At this point I also amped up the flavour profile. I added a dried mixed herb blend (Greek, I do believe, but any will do), a bit of sweet paprika, a small handful of caraway seeds, some black pepper and some dried garlic powder. I didn’t add salt because the stock cube should have that covered.
Simmer for half an hour and then stir everything, turning the chops at the same time.
All in all, the cooking process for this dish is about an hour, with not a lot of maintenance, so it times well with the wild rice.
Ten minutes before the end, take the lid off. It will probably still be very ‘wet’, so turn up the heat and get it going to a rolling boil to reduce the liquid. After five minutes or so it should be getting a bit stickier and at this point add a small pot (about 250ml) of sour cream and stir through thoroughly. Once it simmers, turn the heat off and serve with the wild rice.
As you will see from the picture, this dish is never going to win any beauty contests, but what it lacks in elegance, it makes up for in flavour… seriously! Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!
But, as a nod to the fact that it does look a bit like the dog’s dinner… here’s a picture of a big dog too.
apologies to photographer – will publish credits if we can find you