I’ve been watching the the “Two Greedy Italians” on BBC 2 for the last few weeks. It’s one of those weird programmes that shouldn’t be good. It just is. I love Italian food, always have. If I was stranded on a desert island with a chef, they’d be Italian and I’d be fat.
These two old geezers though as they travel around their homeland have displayed a simplicity and a passion that’s got me properly fired up. The recipe that really got me salivating was their Pork, Ginger and Honey hot pot stew thing… I’ve never liked “English stews” (ready for the flames on that one), but this just looked amazing…
I made it with the kids, nice and easy, although I couldn’t find for love nor money a pork fillet the size that they did! I’ll post the recipe as we did it; with less pork.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 100g Pancetta
- 2 Carrots
- 4 Small Parsnips
- 4 Shallots
- 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 4 tbsps Honey
- 2 x 300g Pork Fillets
- 300 ml of stock
- Fresh ginger
- Salt & Pepper
Before starting it’s worth getting prepared. Chop your carrots and parsnips into nice fat chunks. Slice the shallots into nice thick slices, if they’re too fine they’ll disintegrate. Your ginger needs to be sliced coarsely, about 6 or 7 slices, each one the size of a thumbnail and a few millimeters thick. Lastly crush your garlic, nothing fancy. I peeled mine, you don’t have to if you’re feeling all rustic.
Get a nice large deep frying pan (with a lid) and drop in a few table spoons of oil. You want it to be about a millimetre or two deep across the whole pan. Get this hot, put the lid on to make sure it’s really hot and then chuck in the Pancetta. Careful, it will spit.
Once golden, put the Pancetta in a bowl and leave somewhere convenient (Note: not in reach of the dog. Doh!) Now add in your pork and sear for a few minutes. It should be really hot, sealing in the flavour of the pancetta. While this is happening stick the kettle on for your stock. I used vegetable stock. It worked well.
Ok, now add in the garlic, ginger and honey. Keep this cooking until caramelised, it shouldn’t really be longer than a few minutes. It look so amazing at this stage. Now you can add in the rest of the ingredients. Leave this cooking for 30 mins with the lid on. Then take out the vegetables and set aside. If they’re not tender leave them in for a bit longer, although they should be. I used a pair of tongs, which made it bit like playing Operation but in reverse…
Now this is the bit where we changed the timings. As we had to 300g pork fillets instead of one mammoth 800g piece we had to adjust the cooking time. So while originally the cooking time is an hour, we went for 20 minutes. Perfect. Take the meat out and let it cool for a few minutes, then slice into nice chunky pieces.
Finally add everything back into the pan to just heat through. You are not cooking anything here, just making sure that it’s hot.
Literally hold on to everymouthful. This is so tasty, easy, cheap, healthy…