Tag Archives: Pork

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – #Pork! Perfect!

How to make perfect Pork crackling every time 🙂

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Pork! Perfect!

Welcome once again to Carol’s Cookery column and this week it’s one of our family’s favourite meats after Beef (now) I have found a butcher… I do hope that you enjoyed the Beef recipes last week.

Perfect pork crackling eludes many, and there is many a time when I am screaming at the screen when those cookery contestants don’t get their crackling crispy…

How to get perfect Pork crackling every time.

Nothing is better than perfectly crisp Pork Crackling.

How to achieve it, well, it’s easy!

When you buy your Pork, look for pork which has a layer of fat underneath the skin (this) produces the best crackling.

It has to be thinly scored, for this, I actually use a Stanley Knife and woe betides anyone who uses it for D.I.Y.

The piece of Pork I have pictured is a piece of Belly Pork approx 2 kilos and…

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Christmas Recipes…Home Cured Ham

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I have cured my own ham/ bacon for a long time now…

Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to anything processed and ham/ bacon is no exception to that rule. The ham you purchase from the shops is just slimy, and not nice at all….The bacon of doubtful origins at best especially where I live now…In the Uk you could get some lovely home cured kinds of bacon and hams not so here or if there is I have not found them….I have also been experimenting with various different ways which may be more healthy…

Bacon contains nitrates which some have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put the celery in the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring although for some may still cause headaches if your aversion is to chemicals then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.Belly pork rubbed with garlic and lemon thyme

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using brining bags as it is much easier to turn the pork belly over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in oven @ 100 C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

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It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Before you say yes I cut it thinly and no not everyone in the household likes it like that but the beauty of making your own is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

If you start experimenting now you can have some lovely home-cured bacon for Christmas or as a lovely present for someone you love …

Christmas Ham Recipe.

A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.

Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.

Ingredients for Rub:

  • 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre)

Ingredients for Brine:

  • 5 litres water
  • 900 gm salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

  1. Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.
  2. Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.
  3. Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

  1. Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.
  2. Store the ham cold.
  3. Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.
  4. Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.

IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Tip: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing.

Ham home cured

When ham cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, a star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

Cooked ham with cloves in skin

I have also once it has finished cooking scored the fat and studded with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Loin Ham sliced

My third way which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg and scored the fat….when I got to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat wacked it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…awesome!

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas recipes please let me know in comments and also what are your favourite maybe you cook something I haven’t tried or heard of…Please let me know…

I have also now published a small gift guide to kitchen utensils over on Orienthailiving please pop over and have a look it would be lovely to see you there x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made the conscious decision that for the amount used and the dilution per litre of liquid that as the body can cope and disperse with the nitrate I would use that rather than get botulism which the body generally doesn’t cope with

Healthy Eating…Potassium

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Potassium is vital to our good health and we need to eat enough potassium each day to maintain a healthy body.  Potassium can be found in every one of our bodies cells and plays a major part in our continued good health. Although let us be clear it is not potassium alone which keeps us healthy.

But to feel our best we should eat enough potassium-rich foods every day to help prevent certain chronic conditions. Regularly not eating enough potassium-rich foods could jeopardise our long-term health in many ways.

Recommended daily amounts:

Adults over the age of 19, adolescents between 14 and 18 years old and pregnant women should consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day while limiting themselves to 1,500 mg of sodium.says the Food and Nutrition Board. Nursing women over the age of 14 need more: 5,100 milligrams daily.

Please note however and I always stress this …moderation… but too much can be just as damaging to your health.

The body needs a delicate balance of potassium to help the heart and other muscles work properly. But too much potassium in your blood can lead to dangerous, and possibly deadly, changes in heart rhythm.

Home cooking does determine our intake of potassium but boiling depletes potassium. For example, a boiled potato has almost half the potassium of a baked potato. To preserve potassium, eat fruits and vegetables raw,  roasted or lightly steamed.

Food rather than supplements is always a better option for increasing your intake of nutrients as foods contain fibre as well. Let food be thy medicine is my mantra. I just have this thing about supplements of any sort and maybe it is me but I prefer to eat food rather than take a powder or tablet.

I know what is in my food… That’s me, folks …

Here is a little list for you of foods high in potassium:

  • Winter squash, cubed, 1 cup, cooked: 896 mg
  • Sweet potato, medium, baked with skin on 694 mg
  • Potato, medium, baked with skin: 610 mg
  • White beans, canned, drained, half cup: 595 mg
  • Yoghurt, fat-free, 1 cup: 579 mg
  • Halibut, 3 ounces, cooked: 490 mg
  • 100% orange juice, 8 ounces: 496 mg
  • Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked: 457 mg
  • Cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup: 431 mg
  • Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg
  • Pork tenderloin, 3 ounces, cooked: 382 mg
  • Lentils, half cup, cooked: 366 mg
  • Milk, 1% low-fat, 8 ounces: 366 mg
  • Salmon, Sustainable fishing, 3 ounces, cooked: 326 mg
  • Pistachios, shelled, 1 ounce, dry roasted: 295 mg
  • Raisins, quarter cup: 250 mg
  • Chicken breast, 3 ounces, cooked: 218 mg
  • Tuna, light, canned, drained, 3 ounces: 201 mg
  • Coconut water, 100 gm: 250 mg

I always get my daily fix of coconut water from a little man up the road when I come back from my daily walk it is a most welcome drink as he always has a chilled one for me… I love it and it does you good…just be careful if you buy coconut water in a bottle or can that it doesn’t have added sugar and the like because it then takes it from that healthy coconut water to something that is not so healthy. Just beware and read the labels I never trust claims on the front of the bottle and it should have an ingredient list of one…Coconut water ..pure and simple…

Fresh Coconut

There is nothing like a healthy drink of Coconut juice fresh from the fruit.

If you take prescribed medication, please before you embark on any change of eating plan always ask your doctor or pharmacist about how all of the medications you take affect the potassium levels in your body, and if you need more, or less, of the mineral.

 

If you enjoy these Healthy eating posts please let me know in comments and reblog or share so everyone can see how easy it is to eat healthily it is just being aware… And I love fudge.. or burfee…

Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot as of all the medicines laughter is the best….

 

 

 

Spicy red curry, Pork,Rice and coconut balls.

These spicy rice balls are a lovely way to use up any leftover cooked rice and are quite delicious. They are one of the first things I was taught to cook by my daughter in law more years ago than I care to remember. Whenever we have a party or anything they are one of the first things to be eaten, adults and kids alike they love them.

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 We had these last night and we did have a couple left over….. guess what I have just had with some ginger and chilli, lime juice squeezed over it and wrapped in a white cabbage leaf… all the Thai flavours and textures..so yummy!

 

Ingredients:

500 gms cold cooked rice.

250 gms minced pork.

150 gm coconut flesh. I have a funny little gadget that I bought long ago and I scrape the flesh out of a fresh coconut…

1-3 tbsp red curry paste.

2-3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp sugar.

2 eggs beaten.

Method:

Mix all ingredients together it will be slightly sticky. With wet hands shape into medium sized balls about 3-4 cm.

Heat oil until hot but not smoking as the outside will cook before the inside and cook rice balls 15-20 minutes until brown and cooked through.

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These balls are best eaten with a piece of white cabbage, some diced ginger and chilli put ball or part of it on cabbage and wrap around, squeeze some lime juice over it and eat, it is a crunchy fusion of Thai flavours, so yummy.

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If you are a vegetarian then omit the pork and you still have tasty rice balls….In fact, a lot of the balls you buy on the markets do not have Pork. If you don’t use pork then adjust your cooking time.

If you are not sure of the level of spice then form a small ball having used the lower level of paste and fish sauce, fry a tester.Then if you need to ..Add more chilli paste.

Enjoy!