When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!
Asian Style Braised Pork Belly with Aubergine Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Author: Sarah Fay
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
This is one of my favourite mid-week recipes, much loved by adults and children alike. The blend of the sweet, spicy and sour sauce is such a winner with the soft unctuous pork belly and juicy flavourful aubergine. What’s more, it’s pretty easy and fast prepare…
500g skinless pork belly, cut into 2cm chunks
1 large aubergine, cut into chunks
2 tbsp ground nut or vegetable oil
300ml chicken stock
2 tbsp of fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 birdseye chilli, chopped
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
1 bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks separated, stalks finely chopped
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp of dark brown or muscovado sugar
1 tbsp water
Juice of half a lime
Add 1 tbsp of oil to a large pan and heat over a medium flame. Brown off pork belly in two batches and set aside.
Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and cook the aubergine until lightly golden, stirring now and then to prevent sticking. Set aside with the pork.
Turn the heat right down and add the brown sugar and 1 tbsp of water to the pan, heat until it starts to bubble and caramelise.
Add the pork and aubergine to the pan of sugar and throw in the star anise and cinnamon stick. Stir to cover in the sugar syrup.
Keep the heat low and add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir and sweat for 5 to 7 minutes.
Now add the stock, fish sauce and coriander stalks to the pan. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat right down, put a lid on the pan and simmer for 1 hour.
After an hour, add the lime juice, stir and taste. Add more fish sauce to taste.
Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander – delicious!
Nice recipe photo below huh? Yes… if you know how to tart up a pic of a plastic bottle holding dark blackberry grog, do let me know! Anyway, get out into the fields; there are still blackberries to be had, much to my shock and surprise. I managed to pick just over ½ a kilo last Saturday whilst walking the dog, so wanted to put these prime juicy specimens to good use.
I started to think of the game season which is now almost fully upon us. Blackberries, spice and game make for very good plate partners. So, as a shortcut, I thought some spiced blackberry vodka would make a great drink to slurp alongside my game dishes, or even better, to add a burst of flavour to sauces.
Even after just a few days, this spiced vodka tastes delicious, with all the individual flavours coming through. I shall leave it to brew for a couple of months yet and then try adding to a sauce, or slow cooked dish of either venison or duck. Oh yes…
Spiced Blackberry Vodka Recipe
Recipe type: Drink
Author: Sarah Fay
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Beautiful sweet, plump blackberries with star anise, cinnamon and just an edge of lemon make for a winning combination in this home made liqueur. You don’t need to over spend on the vodka, a supermarkets own label will be fine.
75cl bottle of vodka
150g caster sugar
2 star anise
1 medium cinnamon stick
2 slices of lemon rind (about ¼ of a large lemon, rind removed with a veg peeler)
1 litre empty bottle – plastic or glass
Make sure your litre bottle is clean and sterile – either clean with boiling water or use a campden tablet
Give your blackberries a good wash in a colander and pick out any stalks etc
Use a large necked funnel to put into your bottle and pour in the blackberries, then the sugar, vodka, spices and lemon peel.
Screw the lid on the bottle, give it a good shake and place in the fridge.
Shake every day for the first week and then now and again for up to 3 months.
After a maximum of 3 months, sieve off the vodka from the ingredients and bottle. You can use the fruit for a fabulously fruity drunken blackberry fool, or a potent crumble.