Tonight was one of those nights where you stand in front of the fridge & look inside to try & find some inspiration or dinner ideas… Well, I wasn’t feeling very motivated to make a big fancy meal BUT I always want to make something delicious for my family.
These Pork Cakes are both delicious & easy to make!
I served these easy little dollops of deliciousness with some hand cut potato chips & homemade sweet chili sauce.
Dinner is served!!
Yield: 12 – 16
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Pork Sausages – good quality, meat removed from the casing| 8
Onion – finely chopped|1/2
Celery Stalks – Finely chopped|2 stalks
Golden Delicious Apple – peeled, cored & grated|1 large
Fresh Thyme|1 tsp
Fresh Sage – finely chopped|1 Tbls
Brown Bread – made into crumbs|1 slice
Ground Nutmeg|1 decent pinch
Cayenne Pepper|1 decent pinch
Salt & Pepper|to taste
Vegetable Oil|to shallow fry
Add all ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl
Using a wooden spoon, mix until well combined & the mixture become tacky.
Pour enough oil to shallow fry into a large frying pan, over a medium heat use a tablespoon to spoon doppos of the pork mixture into the pan.
Fry for 5 minutes on each side & are golden brown. Only flip once to prevent unnecessary excess oil absorption.
I love pork! Especially a really good braised pork belly…
I feel like pork can be a bit bland somesomes or have a very “farmy” after taste to it if there has been no real flavour profiles incorporated into the cooking process. So i decided to share my utmost favourite braising liquid when I cook pork at home.
Yield: for 1 large pork belly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours braising time + 1 hour reducing time
Red Onions – roughly chopped| 2 (440g)
Carrots – roughly chopped|2
Celery Stalks & Leaves – roughly chopped|4 stalks
Garlic – halved|1 house
Ginger Root – roughly chopped|100g
Cloves – whole|6
Star Anise – whole|4
Fresh Thyme|3 sprigs
Black Peppercorns – whole|10
Fresh Orange Juice|500ml
Dry White Wine|500ml
Tinned Pineapple – roughly chopped| 300g (I like to add the juice from the tin as well)
Pre-heat oven to 160°C.
Combine all ingredients into your chosen suitable oven proof tray or dish.
Place pork partially submerged in the liquid.
Braise for 3 hours, check the liquid half way through the cooking duration to ensure there is still enough liquid to braise & to prevent any burning. Add extra hot water if necessary.
Remove the pork from the liquid, place liquid and remaining contents to a pot to reduce until half.
Braising liquid can be used in soups, gravies, sauces – the list is endless.
This lasagna has to be the best I’ve ever made, my daughter is not the easiest eater & this went down oh so well! Two helpings later…
I find that when making this dish, it is the easiest way to get the little one’s to eat veggies without even knowing it. Sounds perfect to me!
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 – 40 minutes
Lasagna Sheets| 9
For the Mince
Lean Beef Mince|500g
Fruit Chutney – of your preferred choice|1 Tbls
White Onion – finely chopped|1 (medium sized)
Fresh Garlic – finely chopped|2 cloves
Carrot – peeled & finely grated|1 (medium sized)
Celery Stalks – finely chopped|2
Courgette – finely grated|1 (medium sized) OR use 100g of grated mushrooms
Fresh Thyme|1 tsp
Tinned Tomatoes – peeled & chopped|1 small tin
Tomato Paste|1 Tbls
Olive Oil|for frying
Salt & Pepper|to taste
For the White Sauce
Full Cream Milk – slightly warmed| 1L
Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
For the mince – heat a little olive oil in a large heavy based frying pan.
Over a medium heat, sauté onions, garlic, celery, carrot, courgette (or mushroom if preferred) & thyme. This needs to cook for about 10 – 20 minutes (you want all the veggies to cook until nice & soft)
Season with salt & pepper at this stage, always season from the base up – this builds your flavour profile of each & every dish you make.
Add mince, using a wooden spoon, break the mince meat apart so that you don’t get large “meat ball” like lumps.
Allow to cook off until all natural juices from the mince has cooked away & mixture starts to fry & brown slightly.
Spoon chutney into your well seasoned mince mixture, stir until well combined – taste & season again if necessary. You want well balanced flavours of sweet & salty – remember that the sweetness will counter balance the tartness of the tomatoes.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, as well as the tomato taste – add a little hot water or beef stock if necessary, you don’t want a dry lasagna!
Allow your meaty goodness to simmer on a low heat on the back plate while you make the white sauce. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
For the white sauce – in a medium sized sauce pan, heat the butter until just melted.
Remove from the heat & add the flour all at once, while whisking continuously. This will form a roux.
Return the roux back to the heat, cook the flour for about 5 minutes – season with a little salt, remembering your flavour profile.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat & gradually add the warm milk, do not stop whisking.
Return well combined, sauce mixture to the heat, whisk slowly until it thickens up nicely. To check if it is thick enough, dip a wooden spoon onto your sauce – if it coats the back of the spoon generously, its done. Taste for seasoning.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve to ensure you are left with a silky smooth white sauce.
The Layering – ladle enough sauce into your chosen, greased oven proof dish to coat the bottom.
Add a layer of lasagna sheets.
Top with a layer of perfectly cooked, wholesome mince meat, then sauce again.
Continue to repeat these steps until both sauce & mince are used up.
Top with grated mature cheddar cheese & bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 – 40 minutes.
NB: Always start and end with sauce, that way the pasta will have enough liquid to cook through & become al denté rather than dry & crisp.
I ran out of fruit chutney without realising it, BUT I did recently put together a cheese & cold meat platter for lunch the other day so I had figs preserved in syrup handy in the fridge.
I substituted the chutney for some fig syrup, it was surprisingly just as delicious! (if not more)