Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beginning to Understand

Using pork mince. Obviouslycan be used to make 'burgers', but the same mixture can also be turned into meatballs. If you have a food processor, then whizzing (any) minced meat together with the other ingredients breaks it down to a smoother 'paste' that makes very good meatballs.
Depending upon the region, In Italy their spag.bol meat sauce is traditionally Made with minced beef, or a mixture of beef and pork mince, or just pork, and myself often use the beef/pork mixture as pork mince is often cheaper than beef.
Pork mince can also be used when making pork pie (my version has been mentioned recently) and also Haslet (the recipe for this given a few weeks back).
Broken into 'grains' the pork can be added to a Chinese stir-fry, and am pretty sure we could make a type of Cottage Pie using cooked minced pork/apple with a sage and onion stuffing crust. If they call the lamb version Shepherd's Pie, we could call the porkie one: 'Sty Pie'!

Have found a really tasty Oriental recipe that is made using minced pork. Don't be put off by the ingredients as some could be omitted, others used in the place of what is shown. Myself would use frozen (thawed) small prawns, chopped, instead of the dried shrimp, either some dried mushrooms I keep in the larder (there are several kinds) or probably more likely would use fresh open-cap mushroom, sliced.

When it comes to noodles/stock, I would be using the Tesco 10p pack of 'Value' noodles, adding the the chicken flavouring (sachet included) to the cooking liquid instead of using veggie stock. If you haven't sherry they just use water or omit altogether. Use only one soy sauce if that is all you have. If you haven't eithe, a dash of balsamic vinegar is almost as good as, and if you haven't that try a dash or two of Worcestershire.
The garnish is optional and if you feel the need to see 'a bit of green' a few frozen peas could be added towards the end.
Looking a the photo in the mag, feel that a few cashew nuts would be worth including, and as these are 'good for us', an ounce or two or nuts mean we could reduce the meat content by an ounce.
Generally I always say use the recipe for a savoury dish more as a guide, than copy it exactly. This leave far more room to use what we have, rather than feel it is necessary to buy what we don't have.

Minced Pork with Noodles: serves 2
5 oz (140g) rice noodles (or see above)
1 tblsp sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tblsp grated fresh ginger
3 dried Chinese mushrooms (soaked then chopped)
1 tblsp dried shrimps (soaked and chopped)
8 oz (225g) pork mince
1 tblsp rice wine or sherry
1 tblsp each dark and light soy sauce
2 fl oz (50ml) hot vegetable stock
1 tblsp sesame oil
sliced spring onion and coriander leaves
Cook the noodles as per packet instructions then drain (keeping the liquid if using the sachet to make stock), and set aside.
Heat a wok or deep frying pan, and put in the oil. When it begins to smoke, add the garlic, ginger, mushrooms and shrimps. Stir for a few seconds, then add the minced pork, making sure it is broken up into 'grains', and stir-fry until it goes brown, then add the sherry, the soy sauces and the stock (also thawed peas if using). When this begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for one minute, then add the sesame oil. Chop the spring onions diagonally, and sprinkle on top of the stirfry with the coriander leaves, then tip in the cooked noodles and mix everything well together, then serve immediately.

Basic pork meatballs just need pork mince, fresh herbs, breadcrumbs and an egg, but extra flavour does not come amiss, so here's a recipe for a Spanish version (omit the chorizo if you have none, but it does give the sauce a wonderful flavour):
Iberian Pork Balls:serves 4
1 oz (25g) butter
2 shallots, diced
1 heaped teaspoon paprika (smoked or sweet)
1 - 2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tblsp dry sherry
2 oz (50g) fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
10 oz (300g) pork mince
1 egg yolk
2 oz (50g) olive oil for frying
8 oz (225g) chorizo, roughly chopped
10 oz (300g) chopped tomatoes or passata
chopped fresh parsley
Melt the butter in a frying pan, then gently cook the shallots until softened. Stir in the paprika and garlic and cook for one minute, then stir in the sherry. Remove from heat and put into a bowl with the breadcrumbs, add seasoning to taste and leave to cool. When ready, add the pork mince and the egg yolk and mix together well before shaping into 18 small meatballs.
Put the olive oil into the frying pan and heat hot add the meatballs and fry for five minutes, rolling around so they become evenly browned, then remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the chorizo to the oil in the pan and cook until sizzling then pour in the tomatoes, bring to the boil and add the meatballs, then cover and cook for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread.