French Lentil and Sausage

A recipe from a genuine French person.  Don’t go near this if you don’t like salt.  Let’s just get that out in the open now.  If you do, check out this salty bacon and proceed…

Carrots, lentils, stock, garlic, thyme, sage, garlic, onion and sausages.

Brown the onion, bacon and sausage and then add the rest, with stock to cover.

Chuck it in, cook for 20 minutes.

Hello easy weeknight dinner that leaves enough for a great lunch.

Return of the Notorious P.I.G. feat. Black Beans and Rice

With a minor amount of the leftovers from the entire shoulder of pork posted earlier this week (see https://mealsimade.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/cuban-sunday-pork-shoulder/) we cooked up a stew.

The rice and the Black Beans all went in.

The beans were made by stewing down black beans with spices, stock and cajun seasonings.  They have a similar-ish quality to refried beans, but more solid, spicy and flavoursome.

Then the pork meat, in all its juicy glory.

Easy.

With some lime, parsley, soured cream and paprika on top this makes a killer meal – hot and spicy beans, meat that is falling apart, finished with freshness and zest.

And when you start making meal after meal out of the leftovers, you realise that quarter of a pig wasn’t so expensive after all…

Filthy Rice.

I can’t explain what this is, because I have no idea how to make it.

I think I know that it has slow-cooked spicy beef, cajun seasonings, dried herbs, something called cornbread dressing and rice in it, alongside celery, pepper and onion.

We also put in some more garlic, red beans and mushrooms and served with parsley and lime.

I know for a fact that it tastes incredible.  I’ve been on a whistle stop tour of cajun food recently, and I’m kind of in love with it.  It’s unlike any food I have ever eaten.
It tastes spicy and mild, earthy and fresh, rich and clean, all at the same time.

This, at 10.30pm, after working late, on a Wednesday, couldn’t feel more restorative.

 

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem Pot. Jerusalem Artichoke. Chicken. Bacon. Stock. Thyme dumpling.

This is bleedin’ comforting to eat.  I made it first for my friend Michael a while ago.  He doesn’t mince his words, and he used to be fat, so he’s a harsh critic.  He loved it, so that’s good enough for me.

The jerusalem artichokes melt to give the stew a great velvety texture, and a lovely subtle sweet hum of earth.

For me, good stock (I use bouillon) is the key, as is some white wine for depth of flavour.

I find that my mother’s mix of suet and flour makes the most perfectly textured dumplings that go golden and crispy on top.  When you cut these ones open, it feels like someone is bellowing clouds of thyme up your nose.

And yes, you’ll be noticing that I bladdy love soda bread.

Fry off some bacon and mushroom and sweat down carrot and onion with garlic.

Add a glass of white wine and cook until this has evaporated.

Add the diced chicken thighs and then pour in a lot of good stock.

Add the artichokes and put it in the oven.

Cover and cook for between 1.5 and 2 hours (depending on how much time you have) at about 160.

Mix (in the ratio of 1:3) suet and flour with a little water, salt, pepper and thyme to make dumplings.

Put these in about 45 minutes from the end.

About 30 mins from the end, I add puy lentils and cabbage/kale and remove the lid.

Sausage Stew. Tomato. Chili. Sausage. Sage. Garlic.

When I can’t afford to buy the more expensive items at The Ginger Pig I resort to this – the cheapest (and quickest) of my one-pots.

 

This is no compromise though.  It’s hearty and honest, and it was the beginning of my current one-pot penchant.

 

The sausage does, of course, maketh the stew.  I splash out a bit more on good ones.  I like to mix it up with different types in the same pot.  Sausage-roulette.

 

The chili warms your cockles, the tomato revives you, the sausage sustains you and the different beans make you feel you like you are healthy after all.

 

Left-overs work well as a pasta sauce.

 

 

Sweat onions and carrot with garlic.

Add a glass of red wine and cook this off.

Add the diced sausages, and chopped tomatoes (and maybe real), chili, sage, and a little stock.

Cover and cook for an hour ish at 200.

Towards the end I add in borlotti beans, and broad beans

Again, I also finish with a bit more sage and fresh chili.

 

Cochinita Pork. Orange. Chili. Pork. Tomato. Bay.

I was eating a Burrito called “cochinita” on my lunch at work.  They said that they steeped the slow cooked pork in orange juice.  It had made it soft and beautiful and punchy.

I thought it’d be cool if I could incorporate that idea into a stew.  So that’s what I did.

Warming, aromatic and zingy, this is one pot is a stew with a slightly unusual twist.  It’s good for dinner parties, as people say “ooh, orange and pig. cool”.

I use a cheap bit of pork, like shoulder, that benefits from cooking slow.  It goes all pulled pork style, a la mexican restaurants or the Graceland of unctuous pig, Bodean’s.

This one is dedicated to “El Burrito” on Charlotte Place – you may not be as fancy as “Benito’s Hat”, but I think you’re better.

Marinate the diced pork in the juice and zest of the oranges and some sage.

Sweat onions and carrot with garlic.

Add a glass of white wine (or a little dry sherry would be very good) and cook this off.

Add the pork and orange, and chopped tomatoes (and maybe real), chili, bay, and a little stock.

Cover and cook for 3 hours or so if you can at about 160.

Towards the end I add in chick peas, and spinach or curly kale.

I also finish with a bit more sage and fresh chili.