Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos


Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos (3)

I’m revisiting an old favourite tonight; beautiful, smoky tacos are just the treat we need on a hump day in a miserable, cold week in February.

I first published this recipe as my Sumptious Smoky Tacos, but firstly, I fancied them again tonight, and secondly, I thought it was about time the recipe got a little makeover.

These tacos have always been extremely popular, and when you taste them, you’ll see why. They have deep, smoky flavours associated with slow cooking but are ready in less than half an hour – what’s not to love?

You can serve the tacos with any mix of sides you like – pile them up! But I served mine with avocado and lettuce (for a bit of health) and soured cream and cheese (because I like them!).

If anyone has the knack of eating tacos with your hands, please let me know! I feel a bit ridiculous eating them with a knife and fork!

This will make enough for 8 tacos and takes 30 minutes max to make.

Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos (1)

Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion

500g lean pork mince

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsps smoked paprika

380g tin black beans

500g passata

Small bunch chopped coriander

To serve:

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1 iceburg lettuce, chopped

50g cheddar cheese, grated

50ml soured cream

8 taco shells

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the chopped red onion. Sizzle for 2 minutes, then add the pork. Cook until browned, then stir in the cumin, ground coriander and smoked paprika.

2. Stir in the passata and drained black beans, put a lid on your pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in your chopped coriander and season to taste.

4. To serve, arrange the avocado, lettuce, cheese, soured cream and pork on the table with the taco shells and let everyone help themselves!

Smoky Pork and Black Bean Tacos (2)

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Sticky Ribs with Cauliflower Mash


Sticky Ribs with Cauliflower Mash (3)

This weekend has been heavenly. After a quiet Friday night in (we actually nipped out for a little while – to Morrisons. We know how to live) I visited my sisters yesterday to try on wedding/bridesmaids dresses. My big sister is getting married in July, in Kos where I honeymooned last year, and it was so exciting to try on the dresses and realise that it’s actually only 5 months (and 1 day) away! The dresses were all stunning and we can’t wait to wear them on the day.

After this, we nipped to their local – a brewery which serves its own delicious beer. Then it was back to Chester for a cosy evening next to the fire.

The plan today was for me to do a little gardening – I was given lots of gear for growing my own veg for my birthday, and I had hoped to get started with a little seed nursery. This didn’t happen, because the weather is disgusting and I couldn’t bear to be outside for more than a few minutes. I planted a bay tree though – this is progress at least.

So, rather than garden, we went out and bought ribs. What better comfort food on a cold, rainy Sunday than sticky, sweet, spicy ribs? So, I have spent today doing what I love – making a delicious, slow-cooked meal for our Sunday dinner.

Ribs are best when you take your time – you musn’t rush them. Give them plenty of time to marinate, cook them nice and slowly. You want them to be tender and full of flavour, and this won’t happen if you don’t give them the time they need.

I wanted the ribs with mashed potato – packed full of butter and cream. Hubby is on a health kick and vetoed this. After lots of umming and ahing, we decided on this – a compromise. I’d never made cauliflower mash before and didn’t know how it would turn out, but of course it will work – it is a well established fact now that cauliflower is a decent substitute for any carb (even pasta). It is the trending vegetable of the year.

Try this for your next Sunday dinner; it was a fantastic end to a calm, restful weekend.

This will serve 4-5 hungry people and will take up to 6 hours (including marinating time)

Sticky Ribs with Cauliflower Mash (2)

Sticky Ribs with Cauliflower Mash

Ribs:

1 – 1.5kg pork rack of ribs

4 tbsps oyster sauce

6 tbsps runny honey

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

4 star anise

3 cloves garlic

2 bay leaves

2 tsp Chinese five spice

1 onion

Mash:

2 heads cauliflower

100ml milk

20g grated parmesan

1. To make your marinade, mix together the oyster sauce, runny honey and soy sauce. Add the star anise, chilli flakes and chopped garlic. Roughly chop your onion and spread evenly over a lare baking dish. Lay the ribs on top of this and drizzle over half of your marinade, sprinkle over half of the five spice, then turn over and repeat. Lay the bay leaves on top. Leave in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Put your ribs in the oven for 90 minutes, flipping the ribs every 10 minutes. After the 90 minutes, turn the heat up to 200 degrees and cook for a further 15 minutes (flip half way through). Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t blacken too much. Remove from the oven.

3. To make your mash, boil a large pan of water. Cut the heads of cauliflower into florets and add to the pan. Cook over a high heat for 10 minutes until soft, then drain. Put the milk and parmesan in the pan with the cauliflower and put on a very low heat. Mash with either a masher or a hand blender. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat.

4. To serve, put the rack of ribs on a large board. Pour over any excess sauce from the bottom of the baking tray, and leave for a couple of minutes for it to be sucked up. Chop up into individual ribs and serve a couple each with a dollop of mash. Dig in – use your fingers!

Sticky Ribs with Cauliflower Mash (1)

Honey Mustard Glazed Pork Chop with Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Sweetcorn


I saw a recipe online recently – I don’t remember where – which featured pork chop served with mac ‘n’ cheese on the side. Whenever I make macaroni cheese, I serve it as a main dish by itself (throwing a few veggies in there too to make it a bit healthier – see here). I think this is because the way I usually make it, it takes quite a long time and so I don’t want to over complicate matters.

I’ve changed the recipe this time, and I’ve used cream rather than making a bechamel which, although not particularly good for you, is quick, easy and delicious and is surely fine every now and then as a treat.

The pork chops are coated in a delicious sweet and spicy marinade which cuts through the mac ‘n’ cheese and, taking inspiration from the USA as this dish does, I decided to serve it with sweetcorn. I would have gone for full corn on the cobs, but couldn’t find any in my supermarket – so, a tin had to do and it did the job well! Frozen sweetcorn would be fine too.

This is the final of my first series of Cheap Eats – I hope you’ve been enjoying them and welcome any feedback you have!

This will serve 2 very greedy people and will take 45 minutes to make.

IMG_1078

Honey Mustard Glazed Pork Chop with Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Sweetcorn

For the pork:

2 pork chops

2 tbsps runny honey

2 tsps dijon mustard

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

For the mac ‘n’ cheese:

250g macaroni

200g mature cheddar

150ml double cream

1 onion

1 small handful breadcrumbs

To serve:

300g tin of sweetcorn, cooked according to instructions

1. For the pork, mix together the honey, mustard, vinegar and oil in a bowl and drizzle over the pork chops on a plate, making sure they’re well coated. Put them in the fridge while you cook the mac ‘n’ cheese.

2. For the mac ‘n’ cheese, cook the macaroni in a pan of boiling water for 7-8 minutes. Grate the cheese and chop the onion.

3. Drain the macaroni and stir in most of the cheese, cream and onion. Season with salt and pepper, then tip into an oven proof dish. Top with the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs. Either pop under a hot grill or bake in the oven at 200 degrees until golden and bubbling.

4. For the chops, put a griddle pan on a high heat. When hot, place the pork chops in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, then tip in any remaining marinade from the plate. Let it boil up, then remove from the heat.

5. To serve, pop the chops on plates and drizzle over the glaze from the griddle pan. Pile mac ‘n’ cheese and sweetcorn on the side. Delicious!

Pork Schnitzel with Runner Beans and Fried Egg


Schnitzel is lovely when you fancy something a little bit different, and is so quick to make it’s easy to knock up on a week night.

Everyone knows pork and egg go well together, think gammon and egg, and there’s no change here. Cook your eggs well and you’ll get lovely yolk sauce to go with your schnitzel.

I’ve served this with runner beans, because they’re everywhere at the moment and very cheap, and also because you need something green to freshen this dish.

This will take 30 minutes max and will serve 2.

Pork Schnitzel with Runner Beans and Fried Egg

2 pork loin steaks

25g plain flour

4 eggs

60g panko breadcrumbs

6 tbsps olive oil

180g runner beans

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Place 3 bowls in a row. In the first, put the flour. In the second, beat two of the eggs. In the third, put the breadcrumbs.

3. Place the pork steaks between two sheets of cling film and bash them with a rolling pin until they are approx 1cm thick.

4. Cover each pork steak first with the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs.

5. Heat half of the olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Put the schnitzels in and cook for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a baking tray and put in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until coked through.

6. Meanwhile, steam the runner beans over a pan of water until al dente.

7. When the schnitzels are almost cooked, fry the eggs in the remaining oil and you’re done! Top each plate with a good twist of black pepper before you serve. Enjoy.