Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pork & Apple Hot Pot

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m sitting on my sofa, watching The Golden Girls, and thinking about how I don’t want to write a blog post. I struggle to find any space for creativity at the end of a long day. At the end of a work day I just want to throw my to do list out the window. Work out? No thank you. Make dinner? Do I have to? Write a bunch of words that no one will read? Surely it can wait until tomorrow. But then I don’t want to do it tomorrow either.

I’m just so crap at staying motivated. Tell me your secrets, friends. How do you keep up with your life? And before you suggest it, no I can’t afford a maid. 

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Pork & Apple Hot Pot is decidedly not a quick and easy week night dish. I mean, it’s easy, but it’s anything but quick. It’s a slow cooking autumn fantasy. Apples, onions, and bacon cook down to a soft flavorful mush that makes your pork unbelievably tender. I’m normally not a pork chop person, but man, this is tasty.

A bit of good news for you. This whole thing can be cooked in one pot. Just make sure you have something that can transfer from the stove top to the oven. A bit more good news. This will make your house smell heavenly.

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

The weekend will be here soon, friends. We can make it. And once we get there, let’s eat Pork & Apple Hot Pot.

Pork & Apple Hot Pot
Serves 6
Pork & Apple Hot Pot is a one pot all day dish that's perfect for autumn.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 3 onions, peeled, halved, and sliced into half moons
  3. 250 grams bacon (of the streaky variety)
  4. 50 grams flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  7. 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 6 boneless pork loin chops
  10. 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  11. 750 ml apple juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (170C). Heat the oil in an oven proof pot and cook the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Remove the onions to a separate bowl.
  2. Scissor your bacon in small pieces into the hot pt and cook until the pieces start to crisp up. Remove the bacon to the same bowl as the onions and mix them together.
  3. Put the flour, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, and pepper into a zip top bag and give it a bit of a shake to combine. Add the pork chops two or three at a time and shake it all about to coat the pork in the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour, and sear the pork in the hot pot for a couple of minutes per side and remove to a plate. Repeat until all the pork is seared.
  4. Tip the remaining flour into the pot and give it a whisk until it soaks up the oil. Slowly add in the apple juice, whisking it with the flour after each addition to get rid of any lumps.
  5. Add half of the onion bacon mixture back to the pot, then three of your pork chops, followed by half the apples. Repeat the layers again.
  6. Pop the lid on the pan and put the whole thing in the oven to do its magic for three hours. Your pork will be tender and the apples and onions will be soft.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Pumpkin Pancakes | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Mini Pork Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mini Pork Pies

Mini Pork Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Writing a blog post when I’m exhausted out of my mind is always a bad idea. Words? What are those? Do I know how to make sentences? Am I even human? What’s happening? One thing I know for sure is that time never stops and while hard work won’t get you everything it will get you a whole lot further than laziness.

When I was a kid, we always left cookies and milk out for Santa on Christmas Eve. If we were especially on the ball, they were monstrously decorated sugar cookies that my brother and I loaded up with way too much candy. I was never ever good at art. I always just naively assumed that everyone left cookies and milk for Santa. Not so.

Mini Pork Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Apparently, in England, they leave pork pies out for Father Christmas to snack on. He can apparently also get cookies if he’s lucky, and in at least one house in Lancashire, he could stop off for a shot of rum. It’s a stressful night, I guess. A bit of booze may be exactly what he needs. 

I also learned that you can buy pork pies from a vending machine in England, which kind of freaked me out. Room temperature meat? Turns out those machines are refrigerated. Not to worry. Still, I think we can do a bit better.

Making your own pork pies is actually quite simple, especially if you’re lazy, like me, and you use store-bought pie crust. Just mix together some finely chopped onion and ground pork, along with a few seasonings. Nestle it down into some pie crust, give it a lid, paint on some egg wash, and pop it in the oven.

These are a great little snack for a party. Easy to eat with your hands and finish in two to three bites. No need for a knife and fork, so you can keep holding your drink in the other hand. I imagine that’s how the English would do it.

Mini Pork Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you can’t get your favorite treats from back home, there’s a pretty good chance you can make them yourself. Mini pork pies are an awesome place to start.

Mini Pork Pies
Yields 12
Pie crust surrounds a pocket of savory ground pork, perfect for a party.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  2. 1 pound ground pork
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  4. 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  5. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  6. 2 sheet refrigerated pie crust or your favorite recipe
  7. 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Pop your half onion into a food processor and give it a spin until you have small bits. Add the ground pork to the processor and pulse 4-5 times. Add the seasonings to the meat and pulse a few more times to combine. Refrigerate if you're not going to use it right away.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 and lightly spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Roll out your pie dough on a lightly floured surface. You'll want to be careful with your dough because you'll just barely have enough. Start by thinning out the dough just a bit.
  4. Cut 12 11-centimeter circles from your pie dough and 12 8-centimeter circles. You'll have to re-roll the scraps several times, but you can just make it.
  5. Use your large circles to create the base of your pie by pressing it gently into the cups of your muffin pan. Fill each pie with about two tablespoons of the meat mixture. Place a small circle on top of each pie and gently pinch the top and bottom together.
  6. Brush the top of each pie lightly with the beaten egg, and use a sharp knife to cut an X shaped vent into the top of each pie.
  7. Bake your pies for about 40 minutes or until your pie crust is golden brown. Allow the pies to cool for several minutes in the pan, then gently lift them out to cool completely. Pies can be eaten warm or cold, preferably with a drink in hand.
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Adapted from BBC Good Food
http://awesomeon20.com/
Pork and Onion Hand Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pork and Onion Hand Pies

Pork and Onion Hand Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Do you ever feel like a mad scientist in the kitchen? I normally a recipe follower, so I don’t wing it very often. Of course, even with a recipe, the first time you make it is still an experiment. How will all the different variables perform in your kitchen? Sometimes it turns out amazing, sometimes not so much. This experiment, though, was a huge success.

Pork and Onion Hand Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It was my husband’s birthday recently, and he wanted some of his favorite English foods for his party. One of the things he requested was mini-pork pies. I followed the recipe, basically, and the pork pies came out good, but I had a ton of filling leftover. I cooked it up and stored it in my fridge until I could think of what else to do with it. That’s when the idea for these hand pies came to me.

I made my life in a hot kitchen a little bit easier by using store bought pie crust and piled some pork and onion, jarred gravy, and shredded sharp cheddar onto rounds of dough. Each pie got a lid, got brushed with an egg wash, then got popped into the oven. I was nervous the first time I tried them. Some of my experiments have been less than awesome, including another one I tried this week with the rest of the leftover pork. But this one was heavenly. Soft flaky crust surrounding savory pork and onion, a punch of flavor and richness from the cheese and gravy. Man, I’m a genius.

Pork and Onion Hand Pies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Experimenting in the kitchen can be exciting. And when it works, it not only satisfies your hunger, it also satisfies your creativity. Go mad. Make something awesome.

Pork and Onion Hand Pies
Yields 8
Flaky pie crust surrounds pork, onion, cheese and gravy for a quick dinner or transportable snack
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1/4 onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 pound ground pork
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  5. 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  6. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  7. 2 sheets refrigerated pie dough, or your favorite recipe
  8. 8 tablespoons gravy (use your favorite)
  9. 8 tablespoon shredded sharp cheddar
  10. 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil, then add the onion and cook for about five minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the pork, nutmeg, mustard powder, and Worcestershire sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through. You can do all of this a few days ahead of time and store the cooked meat in a sealed container in the fridge. Use leftovers from another recipe if you have them.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375
  3. Roll out your pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut 16 circles, about four inches in diameter. I was able to get 8 circles out of each sheet by re-rolling the scraps a couple of times.
  4. Place eight circles onto a parchment lined baking sheet or two. Add a big spoonful of pork and onion to each circle. Add a pinch of cheese and a large spoonful of gravy onto each pile of meat.
  5. Use your finger to trace some water around the edge of each dough circle, then place a second circle on top and press the dough together around the edges with a fork.
  6. Brush beaten egg over the top of each pie, then use a sharp knife to cut a couple of vents into the top of each one.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes for a sturdy, but softer dough, or 20 minutes for a more crispy pie.
  8. Allow the pies to cool for at least 10 minutes. The insides will be very hot. These are also great at room temperature. Feed your friends and family and revel in your genius.
http://awesomeon20.com/
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