6 April 2009

Moroccan-spiced pork with bean mash

This is the second in the Ye Olde Recipe Collection series, again Lundulph's choice.

The recipe can be found here.

I had originally intended to make it for our fancy Sunday dinner, but what with baking, computer games and various end of the week activities, it got too late by the time I was ready to start cooking and so we postponed to tonight.

I'd prepared the spice mixture on Saturday. The recipe calls for "Ras el hanout" - a spice mixture that can be done at home and since I already had all the ingredients I made my own blend:

1 tsp each of
ground coriander
ground cardamom seeds
ground allspice - had to grind these myself
grated nutmeg - too big to fit into the grinder
ground dried chillies - extremely hot crushed chillies bought at our local farm shop, put through the coffee grinder
ground cloves

I put everything in a jar, closed the lid and shook well.

I used two whole pork fillets adding up to just over 1 kg. There was very little need to trim too, I just rinsed them and patted dry before rubbing in salt and all of the above spice mixture.

For the browning, I did that on quite high temperature and also allowed the fat go smokey hot. Now putting the fillets with all the strong spices resulted in the whole kitchen going smoggy and set off the fire alarm, so I had to open the door out into the garden and stand with a tea towel and flap around for a bit to calm it down. This browned the fillets a bit too much on one side, I was careful with the rest of them.

Inhaling the spice mixture was dangerous before it went in the pan, but it was equally bad afterwards. Not sure how that can be worked around.

When they were ready, I turned them to have the brownest side up and put in the oven and baked for 30 minutes. I stuck my meat thermometer in the thickest part and let it reach 75 degrees.

I also didn't bother with getting cannellini beans, I had some black eye beans that I used instead and skipped the celery stalk altogether. I've said it before and I'll say it again - celery, just say no! I replaced it by doubling the amount of onions.

When the bean and onion mixture was ready, I had a bit of a predicament in that I don't have a potato masher, so I tried my best with the wooden spoon. It was tiresome and I stopped fairly quickly. But who needs a potato masher when you have a potato press? Though the beans and onions wouldn't have gone through that, not without some brute force.

As greens, I steamed asparagus again. A couple of the stalks had started to go off and ended up yellowish, but overall, I did it again - successfully steaming them to the point where they are done, but at the same time are still bright green.

Overall, I'm very proud of the result.


And assuming the spice mixture is ready, this is a very quick meal, perfect for a work day evening, yet nicely festive at the same time.

Definitely a keeper this one.


Anonymous said...

Really good idea to be working your way through old recipe cards, I have stacks of those old Waitrose ones too that I don't often use. I don't like what they're doing with recipes now, so many of them use jars or pre-prepared ingredients but the older cards are good.

I really like the sound of this, will see if I have it in my collection!

Caramella Mou said...

Hi Ginger,

This was a very tasty and good one, I hope you have it, if not, I very much recommend you give it a go. Delish!