Slow-cooked Orange Spiced Pork

Hello and brrrrr…!

So, it seems that winter is here in all its glory. Freezing mornings and nights, with chilly yet sunny days and we just had a very, very cold weekend…
I sound a bit like the weather man, don’t I..?

Anyways, it’s that time of year when we crave warm comfort foods, usually in the shape of one-pot-meals or something baked and cheesy and carby… So if you’re trying to stay good and on the Banting or Paleo path, it’s really not that difficult! Ok fine, we all crave those carby things in winter, but you can still indulge in some serious comfort food, while sticking to your eating plan.

I’m totally in love with oranges at the moment, they’re in season and packed with vitamins. Yes, they contain sugar and so strictly speaking not quite an eat-as-much-as-you-can item on the Banting list, but just use them in moderation.
Oranges and spices can transform almost any food into a warm, rich winter staple…

Here is my recipe for slow-cooked orange spiced pork:

You will need:
+- 1kg Pork chops or stew cuts
1 orange {half of it thickly sliced! the other half juiced}
3 cloves
3 star anise
1 tsp honey
2 cups chicken stock
Salt
1 cinnamon quill
1 tbs soy sauce
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1 butternut, diced and cooked

{You will need a slow cooker / crock-pot for this recipe, although you could also make it in a large, heavy bottomed pot.}

The thing I love about using a slow cooker, is that you literally just place everything into the pot, switch it on and hours later you have a fab meal. The downside of using a slow cooker is that you don’t get that lovely browned meat flavour into the food, unless you brown the meat before putting it into the cooker. With this recipe, I don’t brown the meat first, I do it at the end by placing everything under the grill. This gives everything a slightly caramelised effect.

Enough babbling…

Start by placing the meat in the bottom of your slow cooker and just pack everything on top and around:
Place the cloves, star anise, cinnamon and ginger around the meat.
Season with salt. Combine the soy sauce, honey and orange juice and pour over the meat. Place the orange slices, as well as the half of squeezed orange on top and around everything.
Add the stock and let it cook on high for about 4 hours.
Once the meat is cooked {the meat will be cooked but the fat not rendered and still bleak-looking}, remove and dish it into an oven dish.
Drizzle some of the juices over the meat and place the orange slices on top, again. Add chunks of the cooked butternut and make sure everything has a drizzle of juices…
Roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, until everything is golden and some bits start to get charred.

Enjoy as is, with a glass of dry red of course! You can also add a few bits of mini lettuce or a micro salad, but let’s face it, who wants salad on a freezing night?!
I think it would also work with cauli-mash…

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Pork Stir Fry

I can’t remember the last time I made stir fry, it always seems like a lazy dish to make… Well it IS super easy, but for me, the key is to get the seasoning right, as with any dish really.
Stir fry is actually such a great weeknight dinner, it’s one of those hearty all-in-one-eat-it-in-front-of-the-TV-from-a-bowl dishes.

You will need:
Pork steaks, cut into strips
Cabbage
1 onion
2 or 3 carrots, ribboned
1 large broccoli
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Butter
Olive oil
Garlic

Start by sautéing the onions in a chunk of butter. When they’re soft, add the garlic and pork strips and brown them, season with salt & pepper. When they’re just about cooked, add the shredded cabbage and carrot ribbons. Add a dash of sesame oil and a splash of soy sauce {both to your taste, but remember the sesame oil has quite an overpowering taste, so go easy on that one – I’d say a tablespoon is good}.

Let everything cook, but don’t overcook – soggy stir fry is not a good thing!
When you’re almost ready to serve, add the broccoli florets and let it cook for another minute or so – again, do not let them go soft – just cooked and still crunchy.

Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy! X

{Little Seb just LOVED helping me cook and he enjoyed eating something that he’d cooked himself!}

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Prune & Apricot Salad

Oh gosh, I need to work a bit of meat into this week’s recipes – it’s been nothing but salads for a while…
But before I do, here’s a great recipe for a fun, fresh and super tasty salad with prunes and dried apricots.

You will need:
Baby salad leaves
Wild rocket
Red wine vinegar
Turkish apricots
Dried prunes
Pistachio nuts

Mix the salad leaves and rocket and add chopped dried fruits.
Dry roast the nuts, chop and sprinkle over the salad.
Drizzle with red wine vinegar.
So simple and delicious!

{I made this with grilled pork chops, using my signature rub. The dried fruit in the salad works really well with pork.}

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Enjoy! X

Rub-a-dub-dub {grilled} pork

How I do like a bit of pork… Yep – steak is always great, but give me a nice bit of roasted or grilled pork any day – YUM.
Ok, so with quite a busy weekend behind us, I’m now catching up a bit from last week and posting this delicious rubbed and grilled pork recipe.
{Our very dear friends have finally tied the knot on Saturday, after SEVEN years, in a tranquil country garden setting. Our kids stayed at home with another dear friend of mine – a first for them to be without us for the night – and all went well! Ah – bliss – a good weekend indeed!}

Right, here’s the recipe:

You will need the following for the rub:

Coriander seeds
Yellow mustard seeds
Fresh garlic
Brown sugar
Olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt
Pepper

Dry roast the coriander & mustard seeds in a pan until nice and toasted.
Place everything in a mortar & pestle and get your young child to grind everything into a nice paste.

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Use thick pork steaks with a bit of fat running through it and rub generously with the rub. Let them ‘marinate’ for at least an hour before grilling, just to give all the flavours a chance to mingle and absorb into the meat.

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Braai or grill the steaks on a hot grill, turning every 5 minutes or so until they are cooked, but still juicy, and a nice golden brown colour.
Delicious served with gem squash {with a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of salt}. X

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Chicken & Apricot Terrine

This terrine cost me my blender! Oh how I do need a food processor… {that and my ice cream maker!}
Luckily I managed to blitz up the goodies just in time, just as the smoke started to bellow from my trusty blender.
This recipe is from Sarie Kos – my favourite Afrikaans food magazine and I’ve been eyeing it for a while now. It seemed more tricky to make than it actually was.

You will need:
4 bay leaves {per pan}
3 sprigs of thyme {per pan}
Streaky bacon {enough to line 2x loaf pans plus extra to go on top – about 500g}
1 egg
500g pork mince
1 onion, finely chopped
1 handful parsley
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
250g chicken livers
Salt & black pepper
200g Turkish apricots, roughly chopped
400g Kassler chops, chopped
2 chicken breasts, skin removed and chopped

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2x loaf pans with cling wrap and place the bay leaves and thyme at the bottom of each pan, on top of the cling wrap. Next, place the strips of bacon into the pan with the edges hanging over the pan.
In a FOOD PROCESSOR {do not ruin your blender!}, blend the onion, mince, egg, chicken livers, parsley and garlic to a smooth consistency. Season with salt & pepper.
Mix this with the chops, chicken and apricots and scoop into the pans. Cover with more bacon.
Cover the pans with foil, place in a Bain Marie {oven tray filled with water} and bake for 90minutes. Let it cool in the oven and then refrigerate overnight.
Once all set and chilled, slice thick slices and enjoy with a fresh herb salad and some mustard.
{I got two terrines from this recipe and it lasted such a long time! The more it ‘matured’ in the fridge, the better it tasted. It kept for about a week and a half before we finished it and it was absolutely fine. Will definitely make this one again and try out different variations.}
Enjoy!

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Chili Pork bowl

Tonight I was thrown a curveball… My husband came home from work and asked if we could have some chili pork comfort food. He also wanted rice. {Sure, what’s the big deal, right? Except that I don’t keep any rice at home!} I was planning on making fennel rubbed pork chops with a prune & rocket salad – oh well, will make that one another time!

After a bit of brain-wracking, I came up with this:

Chili pork bowl with a sweet potato rosti and a carrot, rocket & baby spinach salad

For the chili pork:

700g of pork neck, deboned and cubed

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 red chili

olive oil

2 tsp of soy sauce

pinch of salt

3 tbs sweet chili sauce

2 tbs hot chili sauce {use a chunky sauce with bits of chili}

Saute ginger, chili & garlic in olive oil and add pork meat. Fry until the pork is almost cooked through. Add soy, sweet chili and other chili sauce. Cook through.

For the sweet potato rosti:

3 sweet potatoes, peeled & grated

salt & white pepper to taste

butter

olive oil

Squeeze all the water out of the sweet potatoes and add salt & pepper. Heat a dollop of butter and a glug of olive oil in a non-stick pan and place dollops of sweet potato into the pan. Press down with a spatula and fry on either side until golden and cooked.

For the salad:

Rocket leaves

Baby spinach

Ribboned carrot

1/2 a tsp of sesame oil

1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

juice of 1/2 a minneola

1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp honey

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and drizzle over the spinach, rocket and carrot.

Serve the pork with a sweet potato rosti and salad. I must say, the sweet potato rosti works brilliantly with the spicy pork. Enjoy with a glass of fruity white wine.

{Hubby was well-satisfied and he said it hit the spot!}

Enjoy! X

Chili Pork bowl