Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pork and pepper goulash

2kg pork shoulder off the bone, in one piece, skin off, fat left on
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 fresh red chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 generously heaped Tbsp mild smoked paprika, plus a little extra for serving
2tsp ground caraway seeds
a small bunch of fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked
5 peppers, use a mixture of colors
1X280g jar of grilled peppers, drained peeled and chopped
1x400g tin of good quality plum tomatoes
4tbsp red wine vinegar
400g basmati rice, or long grain rice, washed
1x142ml pot of soured cream
Zest of 1 lemon
A small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat to 180. Get yourself a deep, ovenproof stew pot with a lid and heat it on the hob. Score the fat on the pork in a criss cross pattern all the way through to the meat, then season generously with salt and pepper. Pour a good glug of olive oil into the pot and add the pork, fat side down. Cook for about 15 min on medium heat, to render out the fat, then remove the pork from the pot and put it to one side.
Add the onions, chili, paprika, caraway seeds, marjoram, or oregano, and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Turn the heat down and gently cook the onions for 10 min. Then add the sliced peppers, the grilled peppers, and the tomatoes. Put the pork back into the pot, give everything a little shake, then pour in enough water to just cover the meat. Add the vinegar. Bring to a boil, put the lid on and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
You’ll know when the meat is cooked as it will be tender and sticky , and it will break up easily when pulled apart with two forks. If it’s not quite there yet, put it back in a while longer.
When the meat is nearly ready, cook the rice in salted, boiling water for 10 min until it’s just undercooked, then drain in a colander reserving some of the cooking water and pouring it back into the pan. Place the colander over the pan on a low heat and put a lid on. Leave to steam dry and cook through for 10 min. This will make the rice lovely and fluffy.
Stir the soured cream, lemon zest and most of the parsley together in a little bowl. When the meat is done, season to taste, break up the meat and serve with the rice and the flavored soured cream, and sprinkled with the parsley.

I have made various different dishes that involved pork and peppers in the past, but this was by far the best. It came from Jamie at Home.

I think that what really does it, is the combination of the paprika, the regular peppers, the chilli peppers, and then the grilled peppers. All the different strengths of peppers are highlighted, and it gives an amazingly well rounded pepper experience.

Also, any time you read that you’ll know when the pork is done because it breaks up easily with a fork, you know you are making something good.

I skipped the rice and served this with some egg noodles. I’m not sure why, but it worked really well.

It’s one of those dishes that takes a long time to cook, but all of the work is up front, then you just go about your business while it sits in the oven. Great for a weekend feast! Try this!

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