Al Dente: Hungarian Pork

Brown rice is an asshole.

Seriously, it’s more of an asshole than that Squash. Speaking of which, is that done yet?


Nope

So today, Hungarian Pork was on the menu. It’s another one from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals and as we had some pork left over from the pork we ate last week I thought this would be a good way of using it up. Victor! Round up the usual suspects!


So we’ve got:
-Olive oil
-Garlic
-Two bell peppers
-A carrot
-An apple
-A red onion
-A lemon
-Some yoghurt
-Some passata
-Two pork fillets
-Balsamic vinegar
-Some rocket
-A ziploc bag. Yes.

And the RICE. Look at it, sitting there, plotting…

Anyway, first off you dice up the peppers and onion and apple. You add all of them to a single bowl and chop some garlic. Or, if you’re bored of chopping garlic into slightly smaller pieces, occasionally seasoned with finger, you get a microplane grater (One of those handheld ones) and you grate the garlic through that. It shreds it nicely, and you stir that in, along with a dose of paprika and then brutally assault it with a food processor.

Which we don’t have yet.

Damn.

What we do have is one of these:

A word about Marguerite’s kitchen fu. She is very much a disciple of Alton Brown, Food Network legend. Brown’s an amazing guy, a cook who comes to food via film making, science and puppetry. His breakdown of why certain types of rice are more nutritious than others, using polystyrene packing chips is genuinely amazing. He’s also passionate about multi-tasking with every item. A kitchen tool needs to do as many different things as possible and unitaskers as he calls them are to be avoided.

That’s a unitasker. And it’s awesome. The Apple Gadget does…well…this:

Which is a fantastic way of slicing apples, pears etc (See! Not a unitasker!). So, using that to dice the apple, I dropped it in with the big veggie mix and took an immersion blender to it. The noise was a little like I was brutally murdering a remote controlled aeroplane, and the results were uneven but it worked enough. So, savagely beaten vegetables done, I went in search of bay leaves.The love of my life is a woman who doesn’t just own single spices, she owns multiple TYPES of them. As expected, she had a good assortment of bay leaves and I dropped three into the mix, put some olive oil on the gigantic iron pan and dropped them in there to cook down.

Next up, I boiled the kettle, and put two cups of water and a cup of the many grained betrayer in a saucepan to boil. I covered it, jacked the heat up, and assumed it would all be fine. Little did I know…

Incidentally is the squash done yet?


Nope

So, I let the rice sit for fifteen minutes whilst the sauce slowly cooked down and next it was time to do the pork.

Heh.

ANYWAY, Mr Oliver recommends chopping it into medallions but I didn’t have the right piece of pig, so I took these two fillets:

And chopped the fat off the end, then quartered them, rubbed them in olive oil, celtic salt and pepper and put them on the griddle.

Say is the rice done, yet? Or indeed, the squash?

Nope


And a side order of nope.

Not to worry, I thought, and put the finishing touches to the veggies, sauce and general deliciousness. By this stage it had cooked down, smelt like paprika and apples, which is great, and looked pretty good too. So, I added two tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and the passata to the sauce to let it cook down some more.

Next up was the rocket, or in this case, salad, because if it’s a green leafy salad vegetable it’s default level of healthy is sufficiently high that I will happily substitute it. Even more conveniently it was already in a bag! So, I put some lemon juice and a little salt in the bag, shook it and then emptied the contents out into the sauce. Which, by this stage was looking pretty damn good.


And then checked the rice.

Which wasn’t.

This presented a problem, as the rice is an important part of this meal. I also worked out, after talking to Marguerite, what I’d done wrong. I’d used brown rice, which takes twice the amount of time basmati takes to cook so still tasted like slightly damp, vaguely chewy rocks by the time everything else was pretty much ready. In the immortal words of Rodney James Dio, something had to be done.

Enter my microwaveable savior.

Tilda Mexican ric

e, proving that cooking for yourself is the best possible option but every now and then processed shop stuff just RULES. Two minutes in the microwave and it was good to go. Then I just threw the sauce on top of that, divided the pork up and took the ‘How much does it look like the book?’ shot. Go, Victor!

A fair bit more than last time, huh? That pleases me. Now for the new section.

Things I learned
-To make sure I know what sort of rice I’m using and to make corrections to my timing if I’m hain to swap the rice out.
-That ziploc bags are a really good way of instantly dressing salad.
-To look at getting filter apps for Victor, as the photos could do with improving.
-That rice is an asshole. But only on occasion.

All in all I was really pleased with this, especially the sauce, which tasted great. Next time, I’m pushing the boat out and making chicken Dim Sum with coconut buns. Baking AND meat! Anything can happen in the next half hour!

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