Tag Archives: meat

This little piggy

8 Sep

Went to the market too many times! Or for cholesterol at least. Today’s post is all about Eisbein. Yes, you read it. That piece of meat and meal that most are afraid of ordering at a restaurant if they see it on a menu,because they either think people will perceive them as gluttonous or because they  just can’t see themselves finishing such a big piece of meat. 
Well let me tell you, everyone wants a bit of crackling, fatty,juicy and falling off the bone Eisbein. I make it quite often. Why, you ask? Uhm, because it tastes fantastically incredible and also, how can something that is SO cheap taste SO good?! Double win! 

It is also a dish that really requires minimum effort. You can go about your tasks and things while it’s cooking. So, what’s the catch you ask?

Well, the cleaning of that one saucepan that you boiled it in… but not to worry, your man in your life wouldn’t mind doing it for you.. or, if you have children.. start them young.. teaching them the tricks of the trade! My lion of a man still thanks me gratefully each time for his Eisbein and he’s perfectly happy to do the dishes then 😃

People, it’s time to start climbing the stairwell to heaven!  Take that napkin and tuck it into your shirt’s collar, because you are going to eat till your chin and lips glisten! 

Ingredients 

1 X Eisbein / pork shank  person ( 2 for me and the lion) 

1 X cup of white wine vinegar

1 X teaspoon of whole peppercorns

1 X big pinch of rock salt for the water

4-5 bay leaves

1 X onion, roughly quartered, you can even keep the skin on 

700ml of boiling water from the kettle or enough to cover your pork shanks

2 X small pinches of rock salt 

As I’ve mentioned, it’s really easy and no fuss. Get the biggest saucepan or casserole dish you have – as long as it is deep enough for the shanks to be covered in water, then you’re good to go. I use my biggest Le Creuset  casserole baby that I have! 

Place the shanks in the saucepan, add all the ingredients and pour the boiling water over. Bring it to boil and then turn the heat down. Allow to simmer on a low heat for at least 3 hours.

After three hours,test the meat, almost like you would a cake. You’ll easily be able to tell if it’s cooked to the texture where it is nice and tender. I usually simmer mine for 4 1/2 hours, just because the shanks are so huge! If you think they’re ready, preheat your oven to 220 degrees. 

Carefully remove the shanks from the saucepan. This needs to be done with care,otherwise the piece of fat that is on top will slide and fall off and this is one of the most delicious parts of an Eisbein. 

Place on a lined baking tray. Gently pat the fat lightly with a thick paper towel, making sure the part with the fat is facing upward. 

Take a sharp knife and carefully score the fat. You don’t want to cut it through completely,only half way.

Sprinkle a pinch of the rock salt over each shank, focussing on the section where the fat is. All you do now is place it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until crispy! 

For the weary ones, you’ll hear loud “pop” sounds, almost like microwave popcorn. Don’t worry,this is simply the fat that is crisping up. 

Since Eisbein is so rich, I just want a refreshing,green salad, but then again, my Austrian friend Ulrike and her hubby will eat it the traditional way, with sauerkraut.Ending this off, I dedicate this recipe to my friend, the Scroobys, enjoy guys! 



Advertisements

Rich & hearty beef stew

28 Jan

chopped onion onion

On a very crisp and cold day, the only route to take is by following the aroma of a indulgent, warm & juicy stew!! Now come on, two things that I know everyone loves – stew and pie! You’ve had your treat for lamb pie, so I’m thinking today we’re moving on to a slightly healthier dish. Believe it or not, but this is a very lean dish due to the cut of the meat.

mushroom

The only catch is it cooks in the oven for about an hour, which will cause a little bit of repetition when it comes to the age old question of “when is the food ready?” This carnivore of mine is quite impatient when it comes to stews.

onion

As soon as he hears that word or even gets a slight whiff of those cooking juices, its game over!!! He wants it right away!!! Alas, there is a very good reason why the saying “good things take time” is used so often, so be prepared to get badgered by the family and friends in your home.

mushrooms and butterAs soon as they get the whiff of this stew, you’re going to wish you never told them you were making it!

Rich & indulgent beef stew

Ingredients

1 onion, roughly chopped

4-5 big mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 x packs of lean beef chunks

1 x tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x  pack of 500g green beans cut to mid-size pieces

2 x tablespoons of tomato paste

2x teaspoons of ground coriander

1 x teaspoon of crushed garlic

1 x tablespoon of butter

1 x tablespoon of olive oil

2 x Oxo beef stock cubes ( if you’re in SA, only use one stock cube)

1/2 glass of dry white wine

1 x teaspoon of sugar

salt & pepper to taste

2 x tablespoons of all purpose flour

1 x sprig of fresh rosemary

chopped mushrooms

Add the olive oil to a casserole / Le Creuset dish ( or any type of heavy bottomed dish that can go from stovetop to oven) Start frying your onions and mushrooms. After about 5 minutes, add the coriander and cook for another few minutes until golden brown.

ground cumin

Scoop it out and place in a separate bowl. Take your beef and dab it with paper towel. Sprinkle the flour over the beef and mix it through.

beef chunks

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

beef chunks

Melt the butter in the casserole dish and brown the beef.

beef chunks

Re-add the onion and mushroom mix to the beef.

tomato paste

Mix through. Add the tomato paste & garlic and mix through.

tomato paste

Increase the heat, add the white wine, mix through and add the chopped tomatoes.

beef stock cubes

Crumble the beef cubes over and mix through.

beef stock cubes

Place the rosemary sprig on top.

green beans

Put the lid on and place it in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the green beans and mix through.

green beans

Place back in the oven without the lid and cook for the remaining 20 minutes.

beef stew

As soon as you remove it from the oven, add the sugar and mix through.

beef stew

Have a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

beef stew

Serve with steaming basmati or wild rice.

beef stew

Easter festival celebration

5 May

Image

It has been more than a year since I last posted on my blog, normal excuses are the ones that come to mind, busy lifestyle, rushed, not time to sit down and just enjoy the small things. Today, after a relaxed lunch with my beautiful friend Louise, I’ve been nudged to post a blog again. After all, she was the one that asked me what happened?! Life. Rushing to work, rushing from work to gym, rushing home from gym to cook a quick supper, have an hour and go to bed to do the same thing all over again. Well, today, I take some time to post one of our yearly celebrations we have in our home.

Living abroad, your friends become your family and each celebration is a special one. Each year, we all sit down together around a table groaning under too much food and wine, and all the diets and healthy lifestyles are out of the window for one day. I can’t treasure this time in Easter enough! So this post will be a long one, and I hope to post more often after this one.

Image

 

Beetroot, goats cheese & candied pecan salad

1 x pack of cooked beetroot

2 x packs of good quality goats cheese

150g pecans

1 x large pack of lambs lettuce

2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

50 ml extra virgin olive oil + extra 10 ml olive oil

2 teaspoons of freshly chopped thyme

60 ml white wine vinegar

pinch of salt

half teaspoon of crushed garlic

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

50 g icing sugar

Take 10 ml of olive oil and pour it over the fresh thyme. Crush roughly and sprinkle it over cut pieces of goats cheese. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Place the pecans in a colander. Boil some water and pour it over the pecans. Place the pecans a bowl and sieve the icing sugar over the pecans. Mix through thoroughly with your hands, until the pecans are coated with the icing sugar. Place the pecans on a non stick baking tray and roast it in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, taking time to turn them so they don’t burn.

When done, remove the pecans from the oven and allow to cool. Mix the mustard, olive oil, vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper and shake.

Place the lettuce in your salad bowl and arrange the beetroot, cut into pieces on the lettuce. Roughly break and sprinkle the goats cheese over the salad leaves. Toss the candied pecans over the salad. Now pour over the dressing and toss lightly. Ready to serve.

Image

Roasted sweet potato with lemon, red onion & sweet paprika

5 x sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

3 x lemons, cut into wedges

4 x red onions, roughly chopped into wedges

2 x teaspoons of smoked, sweet ( or normal) paprika

50 ml olive oil

pinch of salt and pepper

1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard

2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, roughly chopped

8 garlic cloves

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.  Mix all oil and spices together. Toss the lemon, sweet potato & red onion in the oil & spice mixture. Place on a non stick baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Serve hot or cold.Image

Traditional roasted crispy potatoes

1. 5 kg potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 teaspoon of salt

60 g salted butter

2 pinches of fresh thyme leaves

Place the potatoes and salt in a saucepan of water, cover and heat. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. When the water starts to boil with the potatoes, boil for 2 minutes only. Drain in colander. Remove the water from the saucepan and place the butter & thyme in the saucepan. Heat and allow the butter to melt.  Place the potatoes back into the saucepan and mix through until it is covered and has absorbed the butter. Place in a non- stick tray and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until crispy and golden.

Image

Rack of lamb with fresh minted yoghurt marinade

2 x racks of lamb

2 pinches of salt

2 x pinches of black pepper

1 x tablespoon of olive oil

2 x teaspoons of mixed herbs

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

1/2 teaspoon of lemon

For the minted yoghurt

1 & half cup of double Greek yoghurt

1 handful of finely chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt

pinch of black pepper

Make sure your racks of lamb are at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the ingredients together for the lamb. rub it all over the racks of lamb. Cook the oven for 15 minutes if you like it red. If you prefer it well done, cook it for 20 – 25 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, allow to rest. While it is resting, mix together all the ingredients for the minted yoghurt. When the lamb is rested, spoon over the minted yogurt and serve.

Image

Image

Image

Cider marinated & roasted pork shoulder in sweet, smoky & sticky barbecue sauce

1 x large pork shoulder joint

2 pinches of salt & black pepper

1x red chilli, finely chopped and seeds removed

2 teaspoons crushed garlic

50 ml red wine vinegar

1x teaspoon paprika

250 ml tomato sauce

250ml barbeque sauce

2 tablespoons of Worcester sauce

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and pour over the pork shoulder. Cover with foil. Cook for 3 hours, spooning the sauce ( marinade) over the pork every hour. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Reserve the sauce to pour over the pork when serving.

Image

I also prepared and cooked a red wine marinated leg of lamb (I  was not sure if there would be enough food) and you will find this recipe in my recipe index. Don’t forget to make a bowl of rice too!

Image

What a lovely and special day we had with all our friends and family. I’m lucky enough to have my sister in law living close by.

Image

In the end we are blessed with a wonderful group of friends.

Image

There was an absence in my heart from our dear friends Danni & Emily, but we will see them when visiting Canada later this year, cant wait!

Image

Image

 

 

Peachy pork

13 Jul

Yup, you know it! Everything is peachy! Even my pork ;-p Well, maybe not the weather. If I had to get a mental picture while eating  a peach, I would imagine lying on green, floaty grass with the sun shining on my face, and.. well, this is London and even if it is summer, there is no sun. Lucky for me, I had a lovely day and enjoyed working again and helping out a few people. It just shows you what the right atmosphere can do to improve your mood! 🙂 Happy thoughts!

It might also be that I had a construction worker screaming after me this morning, in a VERY heavy irish accent that I “Looked more beautiful than anything he had seen that morning”! Usually I would greet this with a stare that could kill, but this morning I actually started laughing! Sometimes London puts on its tutu dress and dances like a lovely ballerina!

Yesterday I bought some peaches, a whole punnet, for only £1! Add to that, a pack of pork steaks for £1.43 and it already creates happy rays of sunshine in my life!! So, sitting at work today in my happy mood, I fantasized about lovely, juicy ripe peaches, a delicacy to me 🙂 Needless to say, after biting into one when I got home, there was nothing delicate or sweet about these evil buggers! Looks can be deceiving! Then I thought, if I added a little love and sweet words of encouragement, they will turn into a lovely, colourful and sweet surprise of  luscious infusions 🙂

To top this, was a picture in my mind of the one and only licking his plate clean….. as happy as a pig in mud! Which, I am very proud to say, he did! Who needs a puppy when you have your own true love cleaning his plate like that ;-p By now, after all this mumble jumble, I still have not mentioned what I cooked! So here we go: Peachy pork steak with carrot & cabbage fritters… and like our family like to call it.. “flied lice” ! ;-p  Fried rice for those of you that get a terrible mental picture right now ;-p

Peachy pork

3 – 4 pork steaks

2 peaches, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of sunflower oil

1 clove of garlic, grated

1/2 teaspoon of ginger, grated

4 tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of finely chopped, fresh rosemary

1 spring onion, finely chopped

Fritters

1 carrot, grated – medium size “grater”

1 cup of cabbage, grated – medium size “grater”

1 tablespoon of flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon sweetner/caster sugar

Pork

Place your butter, ginger, garlic, oil, rosemary and spring onions in a pan. Fry for 5 minutes. Place your pork steaks in the pan and allow them to brown on the one side. Add your peaches. Shake them around in the pan. After the steaks have gone golden, turn them.

Add your vinegar and honey and mix around so that the steaks and peaches get coated in this sweet sauce.

Taste and season with a little bit of salt.  All the while, while your steaks are getting their lovely colour, mix all the ingredients together for the fritters. Heat oil in a pan, enough to be more than a slight layer, but not as much as when you would fry chips. Make sure the oil is hot enough. Take a tablespoon and use this to place small oval shapes in the oil until they become brown and crispy and turn them over. Place on some paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

Serve up with your pork steaks, egg fried rice and the lovely sticky sauce! Heaven!

Dishwasher disasters and bank holidays

2 May

Ok, I am not making this seem as if it was the dishwasher’s fault for fewer posts, or the fact that we have been braaiing like someone that has never seen flames before, but there have been a few problems. Firstly, we were braaiing at least 3 times a week 🙂 Secondly, after making hot cross buns and screaming at our new oven, I turned around, fell over the OPEN dishwasher, right into a very sharp, brand new braai fork.

Adding that I redecorated the carpet in a beautiful crimson splash ( which I might add is now in fashion again ;-p) and that this ended up in quite a painful experience = no heavy lifting and less cooking. So, the hubby has been replacing the role of the lion cub, moving into the role of the female lion – the hunter, which would mean he was doing most of the cooking = Braaiing & toasted bagels and muffins!

This was quite an experience, he is a master at all three of them 🙂 However, I happen to have two very tasty, simple dishes that I did make, and after tossing the pain killers a bit I am now in a state to write something that makes sense ;-p

So, the two dishes are, fried spicy pork steak with steamed broccoli & garlic butter, accompanied by roasted sweet potato wedges. Then we also have simple, tasty stirfry, with the brilliant Udon Noodles, honey and very tender steak and veggies 🙂 So here we go with the first one :

1 Pork steak ( it was already in it’s own marinade..yes, lazy!!)

2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks and boiled for 5 – 10 minutes

Veggie spice or a mixture of cumin and coriander seeds, coriander, garlic flakes

Olive oil

1 head of broccoli

2 tablespoons of garlic butter

So, this is easy, simple and tasty. Boil some water and start steaming your broccoli. Arrange your sweet potato on a baking tray with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over your spices. Place in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes at 180 degrees celcius. Add some butter to your pan and start frying your pork steak. Your broccoli should now be ready. Mix in your garlic butter and flavour with salt and pepper. Remove your sweet potatoes from the oven, serve up on a plate and enjoy!

So, now for the second one:

Beef Veggie stirfry with Udon Noodles

2 minute steaks, cut into bitesize pieces

1 leek chopped

1 courgette, grated

handful of mangetout

5 sundried tomatoes

1 pack of Udon noodles

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 teaspoon of grated ginger

3 tablespoons of soya sauce

5 tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon of vinegar

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper chopped

handful of broccoli, steamed

Firstly, add olive oil to a frying pan. Add your leeks and cook until soft, but still firm. Season with salt. Start steaming your broccoli. Now add your peppers, mangetout and sundried tomatoes. Fry for about 5 – 7 minutes.

Now, mix together your garlic, ginger, soya sauce, honey, vinegar and brown sugar. Mix it through properly. Now add your beef to the stirfry. When the meat is almost done, add the sauce. Mix through. Now also add your Udon noodles and broccoli and mix through. The Udon noodles should be done in about 5 – 7 minutes. Cover with a lid and remove from the heat. This should flavour the noodles through. Sprinkle with some fresh coriander and enjoy 🙂