One Woman's Journey through Her Cookbooks
Autumn has arrived and the kids are back in school. The central heating was turned on last night for the first time in ages. I love cooking at this time of the year as I’m a real comfort eater – casseroles, pies, stews…yum!
Last night, I made a pork soup. Based on a recipe I have for a ham and bean soup, I cooked two pork hocks for two hours in water. Taking the skin off first, I browned them in olive oil but am I the only one who seems to fail at browning? Once I add water, the browning gets ‘washed off’ for want of a better phrase! It happens to pork chops, chicken, anything that I brown…except beef. What am I doing wrong?
Anyway, once the meat was cooked, it literally fell off the bone. I changed the water as the water the meat was cooked in wasn’t going to do anyone’s cholesterol any good! The look of seriously greasy stock was not appetizing and if left, I’d have ended up with, well, glue!
Into the pot went sliced leeks, diced carrots, white turnip, parsnips, potatoes, garlic, mixed herbs, chicken stock and salt and pepper. I added the pork to the mix and left it all to cook for about 20 minutes on a low simmer. To add even more substance, you could put in borlotti or cannellini beans, French beans, peas…just stop short of the kitchen sink! A meal in itself, serve with just crusty bread and butter to mop it all up with.