Well the "darlings" are home and life is back to it's usual hectic pace - that means tennis until 7pm! I just couldn't face another late dinner, so I thought ahead and put a meal in the crock pot - then all I had to do was the finishing touches when I came in - smart thinking 99!!
For tonight's meal I have used a whole pork scotch fillet. If you are looking for a very reasonable meal you cannot go past this particular cut of meat.
sliced up pork scotch fillets
It generally sells for around $7.99 per kilo and the pieces are in the range of 1.5 - 2kg each. There are so many ways you can prepare a pork scotch fillet - you can bake it, BBQ it, or use it in a casserole style dish. You will see that I use it quite frequently.
Tonight's dish ......
Pork and Capsicum Hotpot
1/4 cup plain flour
1.5kg piece of pork scotch fillet - sliced into 2cm slices
3 chorizo sausages, cut into slices
2 red capsicums, cut into 3cm pieces
2 red onions, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp paprika*
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 x 400g diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
* The paprika can be either sweet hungarian or smoky - depending on your taste. It works well will with both. If you are serving children, hungarian is the better option as the smoky can be a little overbearing for kids.
Put the flour into a clean plastic bag, season with salt and pepper. Add the pork and shake well to coat the pork slices. Shake off the excess flour.
Heat a large frypan, and cook the chorizo slices until golden. There is no need to add any oil as they are quite fatty sausages and they can cook in their own fat. After they are golden, remove from the pan, and drain on paper towels. Remove the excess oil from the pan by wiping out with paper towels.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in the frypan and cook the pork slices until they are golden on each side (approximately 2-3 minutes). Remove from pan, and put aside until all pieces are cooked. You may need to add a small amount of oil after each batch. Make sure to reheat the pan between batches.
Wipe out the pan again, and heat a small amount of oil in the pan. Add the combined capsicum, garlic, and onion to the pan. Cook. stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the paprika and saffron, and cook for around a minute, or until aromatic. Stir in the tomato and stock.
Place the pork and chorizo into the crock pot. Pour the tomato mixture over.
Cook in the crock pot for 8 hours on low. I have made this recipe twice now and I have found both times that it tends to bubble over in the crock pot. I simply remove some of the cooking liquid during cooking, reserve it in case you need it later.
Serve with creamy polenta. You will find the recipe for polenta on the "Osso Bucco and Torta Caprese" blog. Garnish with oregano leaves.
You can prepare this the day before if you are short of time on cooking day. Simply put the mixture in a large bowl and cover it with cling wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. Allow it to sit out of the fridge for an hour or so before putting it into the crock pot. Put the crock pot on high for an hour to speed up the warming up of the dish - then put on low for the remainder of the time. Don't put the crock pot bowl in the fridge with the meat etc. It takes too long to heat the "crock" and you run the risk of bacterial infection by doing this.
You can also cook this meal in the oven - increase the tomatoes to 800g, and reduce the chicken stock to 1/2 cup. Put the mixture into a large casserole dish and bake at 180 degrees C for 1 1/2 hours, covered with foil.
Nothing beats walking into the house at 7:30 and smelling this beautiful dish bubbling away!!