Pork’n’Peppers:

Pork’n’Peppers:

Prep:           10 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins.

Course:        Main

Serves:        As many as…..

Rating:         2:  Easy

Inexpensive – and it looks impressive too.

Find:

  • Pork – one chunk (see Tesco Value pork) per person, as cheap as you like.
  • Peppers – as many whatever colour old wrinkly ones as you have.
  • Mushrooms – ditto.
  • Rice – see start of this section or Tricks’n’Tips.
  • Variations – see Variations (unsurprisingly).
  • Oven (roasting) tin
  • Frying pan (preferably with a lid)
  • Ceramic oven/serving dishes

Method:

  • If you have a glut of soft, wrinkly red, yellow or orange peppers (even including green, at a push) – or can get hold of a few at a very cheap price (final hours of the local market can be most productive) and some cheap pork in the freezer from the local supermarket’s reduced cabinet, you have the basics. One piece of pork per person will be required (You know the size of pork that is normally regarded as one serving…….. a chunk, a pork chop-sized bit…….. no, I do not mean one great big joint per person!). 
  • Put the pork in the tin, pour just a little olive oil on top and a good splash of water in the tin, then put the pork into the oven at about 190°C for around 45 minutes to roast in its open tin.
  • Chop a couple of medium or one good sized onion (or you could use an old & wrinkled leek instead….I have) & sauté (slowly fry without browning, keeping it moving in the pan) on a low heat in a largish, oiled open frying pan (one with a lid is good, but you can’t stir it whilst the lid is on….).
  • Randomly chop up your old, wrinkled peppers to throw in after about ten minutes, when the onions have just started to colour (you can, if you wish, remove the skin, but certainly remember to discard the seeds).
  • Slice as many mushrooms as you have (again, wrinkled ones are fine for this) and throw them in as well.
  • Put half a cup of water, or so, into the pan & pop on the lid, bring to the boil then turn the heat to the lowest setting possible and leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Check occasionally to make sure that they are just steaming and not burning.
  • Do not use your smoke alarm as a timer.
  • Prepare your rice – see Delia’s perfect rice. Saint Delia has the best rice recipe in the world.  Time your rice to finish just as the pork finishes.
  • When the pork is done, put the pepper mixture and the remaining liquid into a warmed dish and place the pork pieces on top. Serve the rice in another warmed dish with a chunk of parsley on top or sprinkle with dried parsley (it’ll hydrate with the water vapour coming off).

Hey presto  Pork’n’Peppers.

Variations:  

You could really push the boat out and put a Campbell’s/Bachelors cream of mushroom soup into the pepper mixture; alternatively throw in a cheap can of chopped tomatoes and a little tomato purée just to ring the changes.

Got any soft cheese or Stilton that might be a little past its best (and probably quite smelly) left over?  If you have, just pare off the rind and discard it, retaining as much of the body of the cheese as possible and chop it up.  Stir that into the meat mixture so that it melts and disperses and it will just flavour of the meat that little bit for it to become a touch more robust.  It doesn’t matter which base you use (canned tomatoes or Campbell’s condensed soup) as it blends in beautifully with both.

Yellow Bell Pepper (Capsicum) Relish

Yellow Bell Pepper (Capsicum) Relish

This is a similar recipe to the red one, but as it’s yellow, there is a good amount of attention needed to retain the colour and not let it dull down to a dull camel-poo colour.

Prep:           20 mins

Cooking:      About an hour

Course:        Relish accompaniment.

Serves:

Rating:         2:  dead easy.

Find:

  • 1 kilo yellow bell peppers
  • 350g white onions
  • 3 big cloves garlic
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon

METHOD:

  • Halve the peppers, cut round the stalk stem and take out the seed head, then slap it onto the chopping board to knock out the remaining seeds, and then cut each half into quarters.
  • Use a food processor and blitz ‘em. If you don’t have a food processor, then stand there and chop them into the smallest pieces that you can.  Put them into a colander, sitting on a bowl to sit for a while.  Let the excess moisture drain into the bottom of the bowl.
  • Peel and quarter the onions together with the garlic and then process them in the same way, into small chippings. Put those in the colander with the peppers.  Leave them to sit for half an hour if possible (the more moisture drains away, the less runny your finished relish will be).
  • Pop the drained peppers, onions, garlic and vinegar into the saucepan and put it onto the heat. Cut the lemon into quarters and pop that into the saucepan as well.
  • Keep stirring because you do not want it to catch, overheat and spoil the colour. When it comes to the boil, turn it down to minimum, pop a lid half on and let it sit there happily bubbling away to itself for 30 mins.
  • When the 30 mins is up, remove each bit of lemon, scraping the flesh into the saucepan and discarding just the peel; the pips will cook down. (I made 4kg batch as my first trial of this recipe, so I had to count out 16 bits of lemon peel – and the 16th was not easy to locate!)
  • Weigh out the sugar and add it to the saucepan.
  • Put the sugar into the mixture and stir very well to let the sugar dissolve.
  • Bring it back to the boil and put it on the smallest ring at the lowest setting. Put the lid half on and let it do its stuff.  About every 10 mins give it a good stir and see how it’s doing.  Most of the liquid needs to evaporate.  The colour will darken with the time it is on the cooker, so go for the combination you want.  Colour, dryness of the mixture and taste.
  • Remove it from the heat and spoon it into sterilised jars (see Tricks’n’Tips) whilst it is still hot. Fill to within 2mm of the rim of the jar.  Put a preserving disc of greaseproof paper in the neck of the jar before screwing on the lid.  It’ll keep for months, unopened.
  • Once opened, this relish will be ok in the fridge for a month or so, but it isn’t something that will hang about for long simply because it tastes so nice!

Red Bell Pepper (Capsicum) Relish

Red Bell Pepper (Capsicum) Relish:

Makes about two medium-sized jars of finished relish.

Prep:           20 mins

Cooking:      About an hour

Course:        relish – used for pepping up cold meats, etc.

Serves:

Rating:         2:  Easy.

Find:

  • 1 kg red bell peppers (or any other type of red capsicum pepper)
  • 330g onions
  • 3 big cloves garlic
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • Ground chilli flakes to taste.  I don’t like too much!

 

METHOD:

  • Halve the peppers, cut round the stalk stem and take out the seed head, then slap it onto the chopping board to knock out the remaining seeds, and then cut each half into quarters.
  • Use a food processor and blitz ‘em. If you don’t have a food processor, then stand there and chop them into the smallest pieces that you can.
  • Put the resulting chopped mess into a colander, sitting on a bowl to let the excess moisture drain off.
  • Peel and quarter the onions together with the garlic and then process them in the same way, into small chippings. Put those in the colander with the peppers.  Leave them to sit for half an hour if possible (the more moisture drains away, the less runny your finished relish will be).
  • Pop the drained peppers, onions, garlic and vinegar into the saucepan and put it onto the heat.
  • Cut the lemon into quarters and pop that into the saucepan as well. Keep stirring because you do not want it to catch, overheat and spoil the colour.
  • When it comes to the boil, turn it down to minimum, pop a lid half on and let it sit there happily bubbling away to itself for 30 mins.
  • When the 30 mins is up, remove each bit of lemon, scraping the flesh into the saucepan and discarding just the peel (the pips will cook down).
  • Weigh out the sugar and add it to the saucepan.
  • Bring it back to the boil and put it on the smallest ring at the lowest setting. Put the lid half on and let it do its stuff.  About every 10 mins give it a good stir and see how it’s doing.  Most of the liquid needs to evaporate.  The colour will darken with the time it is on the cooker, so go for the combination you want.  Colour, dryness of the mixture and taste.
  • Remove it from the heat and spoon it into sterilised jars (see Tricks’n’Tips) whilst it is still hot. Fill to within 2mm of the rim of the jar.  Put a preserving disc of greaseproof paper in the neck of the jar before screwing on the lid.  It’ll keep for months in a coolish cupboard, unopened.
  • Once opened, this relish will be ok in the fridge for a month or so, but it isn’t something that will hang about for long simply because it tastes so nice!