Monday, 16 February 2015

Tuesday Cookery - roast + sides



It must be said that I don't consider myself a good cook rather I think I'm adequate with some good qualities. However, I am largely self-taught, drawing on a range of people I've known personally and celebrity chefs I've observed, to get where I'm at today. 
The other aspect of preparing food is cost and I tend to the frugal rather than extravagant which has led to today's offering.


Roasted vegetables

Quite often you hear people wanting to do something different with the vegetables and I even believe that boiling veg in water has become rather unfashionable. Some prefer sautéed veg whereas I like mine roasted. In the roasting tin above there are a few batons of carrots and parsnip along with a small onion. There are no limits to what you can do with the vegetables in this situation, although for roasting you need firmer varieties. To give some idea these vegetables were in the oven for half an hour on 175 degree C and were perfect.
If you are not feeling very adventurous then you cook in olive oil, or any other vegetable oil, with seasoning. I like to try different things and to the basics I added garlic and smoked paprika. Very tasty with a little kick.

Roast pork + trimmings

I had planned a very different meal for the weekend but my frugal gene was fully active while in the supermarket last week. I spotted quite a decent sized, boned leg of pork for £3.60 and to give some idea of how large it has already served three roast dinners and will go towards a curry and sandwiches as the week progresses. So very reasonable.
When I roasted the pork I did so on a bed of sliced onion rings and a similarly treated dessert apple with a drop of water. I have done this before and it produces the most delicious gravy, the savoury saltiness offset by the sweetness of the apple. 
To make the gravy, remove the roasted meat from the roasting tin and pour in whatever liquid you wish to deglaze the pan, dry white wine or cider would be perfect. Add a little gravy browning and flour and heat on the stove stirring frequently. The apple all but disappears but the flavour is unmistakeable. If you don't want to use alcohol just add hot water. You still produce a very flavoursome apple onion gravy.

What I have learned from my experimenting is that cook whatever you like, the worst that can happen is you have to throw the results away and pop out to the takeaway. 

Cook what you like and what comes out well and you will always enjoy the exercise.

God Bless