Friday, February 28, 2014

Honey Mustard Pork - a lesson in leftovers

I had that moment the other day when I decided to make dinner, only to realise that I hadn't really thought about what I was going to make and had no desire to go to the shops, so I took a look in my fridge and cupboard to work out what I had to work with.  The result: honey mustard pork.

Honey mustard pork and Camenère wine
Honey mustard pork
Because of my schnitzel-making escapades I had a couple of pork escalopes left,  the other ingredients I used in this recipe are just things I tend to have lying around.  As this was an experiment I'm not going to recommend making it exactly like I did, I've tweaked and improved it slightly, but that's the great thing about cooking,  you can make you can improve the recipe each time you make it!

For two people you will need:
2 pork escalopes (or pork chops if you prefer)
25g butter
25g plain flour
400ml milk
3tsps whole grain mustard
2tsps honey (clear)
Your choice of green veg (broccoli/green beans/cabbage would all work)

If you have more than one hob then you can simultaneously cook the pasta, fry the pork and make the sauce, but as I only have one I had to do these steps separately  Nevertheless this recipe was still really quick to make.

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet (I used tagliatelle but I think farfalle or penne would be far better).  If you want to boil your vegetables then cook them with the pasta, if not you can steam them in a microwave later.
  2. Make the sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat then add the flour and stir vigorously to make a paste (roux).  Keeping the heat low add the milk little by little (start off with a tablespoon at a time) mixing/whisking constantly until all the liquid is combined each time before adding more.  It's really important that you do this stage slowly to make sure your sauce doesn't go lumpy.  Once you have added all the milk add the mustard and honey.  Keep stirring over a medium heat to allow the sauce to reduce.  I did this for about 5 minutes but you can do it for longer if you want a thicker sauce.  Just make sure you keep stirring regularly.
  3. Fry the pork.  I cut mine into strips and fried them for a few minutes but I would actually recommend leaving the escalopes/chops whole.  If you have a grill then that would also work.
  4. If you have a microwave you can steam your veg while frying the pork.  You can either buy packs of mixed veg which you microwave in the bag, or you can prepare your own veg and put it into a sandwich bag (I have microwave ones which seal with a sticky flap) then microwave for a few minutes (or according to the instructions on the packet.
  5. Serve by putting the pork, veg and pasta on a plate and pour over the sauce
I love rustling something up like this as it's a great way to use up leftovers and waste less.

The wine you can see in the background is a Chilean Carménère - the grape is originally from the Médoc region of Bordeaux and its name comes from the French word for crimson - carmin - which was used to describe the wine's colour.  It's not a grape that's really found in Europe any more but it is becoming increasingly popular in Chilean wines.  I enjoyed the wine which was very plumy in taste with a little bit of spice - definitely something to try if you haven't already.

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