Egged on by my 101 in 1001 challenge and my competitive streak (I am trying to win the competition over at Sherri's little house) I have been sweating it up in the "test kitchen" all weekend trying new recipes out. And I don't mean recipes out of books, I mean recipes out of my head! Yep, just chop it and chuck it in the pan!
I have made enough meals to feed us for a month which are now all stacked up in their little tupperware dishes in my freezer, ready to be defrosted every night when I crawl in from work too tired to know my ass from my tomato.
Proper chicken stock (about 4 litres of the stuff for use in said recipes)
6 portions of chilli with my secret ingredient (ate one portion last night with nachos baked with fresh red chilli and cheese)
Beef casserole with red onions and wholegrain mustard (still in the Slo-cooker but it smells great already)
Some roast veg to serve up with butter and garlic tossed pasta... or in Yorkshire puddings.... or on toast with a drizzle of olive oil
Greek pork shoulder (Deeeeeelicious - ate them tonight and the one I'm entering into Sherris competition!)
A batch of my yummy cupcakes
Because it turned out so well (seriously - I took it out of the Slo-cooker at 11.30 last night, tasted it to make sure it was OK and nearly ate the whole lot there and then!) I am going to share my recipe with you and if you don't already have a Slo-cooker (Crocpot? in the US) then I absolutely recommend that you run out and buy one right now. I love mine! They are so quick and easy to use and I've never had a bad meal come out of it! Anyway, this is not an advert for a Slo-cooker, this is supposed to be a recipe!
This will serve 6 people or is great for freezing too.
6 big pork shoulder chops (a cheaper cut than normal pork cops but really tasty and no fat or bone)
1 big white onion
A couple of big cloves of garlic
1/4 pint of homemade chicken stock (works best but bought would be fine as well)
A handful of green olives
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Fry the garlic and onions in a drop of olive oil until slightly golden. Add the bay leaves, thyme and olives. Give it a quick stir and then chuck in your pork chops. Let them get slightly bronzed on each side before adding the stock. Bring to the boil and transfer to your Slo-cooker. Cook on low for about 8 hours.
If you haven't got a Slo-cooker, you could also use a pressure cooker... or if you haven't got one of them you could just cover the pan and cook that way (not for 8 hours though!!!) but the meat won't be as tender and the flavours won't mingle as well.
Once cooked, I served it with garlic sweet potato mash and a selection of vegetables.
To make the mash:
1 sweet potato (this will make enough mash for 2 people)
1-2 cloves of garlic
A dollop of butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
Boil the sweet potato until soft. Pour off the water. Fry the garlic in the butter in a saucepan, add the sweet potato and give the whole lot a good mashing. Salt and pepper to taste and your done!
Et voila! Bon appétit!
And for desert? One of these bad boys of course!