Thursday, 19 January 2017

A couple of meals from this week

So, the ham hock lasted us until Thursday lunchtime.

The last few cubes went on top of the pea & vegetable soup I made for supper yesterday.

So that's 16 servings from one very cheap cut of meat.

We had it as a pot roast on Sunday, thinly sliced.  Monday lunchtime more thin slices in sandwiches, with a thick vegetable soup made by putting the pot roast vegetable through a blender.

Then I finely cubed the rest of the meat, used a handful in a risotto for Monday night & Tuesday lunchtime, a slightly larger share for Tuesday night & Wednesday lunch in house favourite - Pig Sty Pie, then finally the remaining cubes & crumbs were used to top a lovely vegetable loaded pea soup.

Tonight, it's a veggie special - Sweet Potato Chilli & rice.  Friday & Saturday, as we don't have to consider packed lunch, will be comfort food one night only numbers again.

Next week is pre-pay day clear the freezer week.  So cuts of meat that don't need to last more than two meals (again thinking of what can be turned into a portable lunch) will be used up, and I can start to refill with stock to see us through the next few weeks.

Purest Green Soup

A fresher take on pea soup

2 Onions, (or large shallots) finely chopped

2 Leeks, thinly sliced

4 sticks of Celery, roughly chopped

½ medium Cabbage (preferably Savoy) shredded

1 litre frozen Peas

Pepper & small amount of salt

If using stock cube, omit salt

Soften prepared onions, leeks & celery in stovetop casserole dish in rapeseed oil.  
Put lid on & leave to sweat.

Add shredded cabbage & stir in.  Put lid back & soften cabbage.

Season mixture, plus enough water to bring to just below of ingredients so far, and 
if preferred add stock cube. Leave to warm through, then stir again.

Add peas on top of mixture.  Replace lid.

Allow to cook through until peas have defrosted, then mix in with rest of vegetables.

Simmer on very low heat for 30 minutes or so.

Can be served as it is, or put a hand blender through for a smooth green soup.

Serve with croutons, slivers of crispy bacon/ham, or grated cheese

(4 – 6 servings)

Pig Sty Pie

Like Shepherd’s or Cottage Pie, but with ham or bacon.  A great way to use up small 
amounts of vegetables & cooked ham

The Base

Onions, finely chopped
Celery, chopped

Approximately equal amounts of the following:
Cooked Ham Hock or Gammon, cubed
Sweetcorn (frozen is fine)
Peas (frozen)
Cabbage, chopped
Carrots, finely diced

Chopped Tomatoes or Passata

The Mash

2/3 Potatoes
1/3 Parsnips or Celeriac

In a stovetop casserole, sweat off the onions & celery, in rapeseed oil if possible.

Add the ham & stir in. Cook until lightly browned at edges.

Add the cabbage & carrots & just enough water to cook them through.  Add the peas & sweetcorn, stir and keep cooking on a low heat.

Add the tomatoes or passata, stir through and cook on a low heat until the mixture is less watery.  Once cooked through, set to one side in dish.

Cook the parsnips (or celeriac) and potatoes & make the mash.  It needs to be a 
smooth mixture to cover the base, but not too loose so it does not sink down.

Cover the vegetable & ham mixture with the mash, rough up the top and cover with grated cheese.  Put in medium oven or under a grill to crisp & brown the top.

4 – 6 servings

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