Broadening my horizons…

As someone who used to be a vegetarian (a recovering vegetarian as Aaron likes to put it), I find it hard to stomach a lot of meat, my body just isn’t used to it after spending most of my life without it. When I first started eating meat when I was 15 years old, I started with mince and deli meats and worked my way up to chicken. Since then I’ve pretty much stayed in that territory, eating the occasional piece of fish when my flatmates cooked it or ham & turkey at Christmas time. I had a nasty incident with homemade lamb souvlakis one time that has pretty much put me off lamb forever, lets just say my stomach didn’t like it and it will be a long time before I test it out again!

Another meat that I eat very rarely is pork. Bring on the bacon anytime, but the Land of Pork is not a place that I venture very often. However, when I saw this recipe in the October 2007 issue of Super Food Ideas I knew I had to make it, obviously it took me a few months to get up the stomach-courage to do so though! When I originally saw the recipe I loved the combination of flavours with honey & mustard and it had 2 of my favourite vegetables in it – pumpkin & leek. I was very tempted to chicken out and try it with… chicken! But I decided to just use pork stir fry strips instead of the leg steaks that the original recipe called for. I also added some asian greens because we had them at the time, they went really well.

My apologies for the greyness of the meat in the photos, I really hate the lighting in this place – I want a kitchen of my own dammit! Or maybe I could just steal Aarons? The lighting is really good for photos there.

Mustard Pork w/ Honey Pumpkin Mash Serves 4

Mustard pork w/ honey pumpkin mash

Preheat oven to 200C and spray a baking tray with olive oil spray. Cut 800g butternut pumpkin into 3cm cubes, place on tray and drizzle with 3tsp honey & 2Tbsp olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden.

Meanwhile, combine 3Tbsp wholegrain mustard & 500g pork stir fry strips (or 800g pork leg steaks) in a bowl and season with salt & pepper. Cook in a little olive oil a frying pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes (2 minutes a side for leg steaks). Add 1/4C light cream, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until sauce has thickened and meat is cooked through. Remove from heat.

Heat 30g butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 leek, trimmed, healved lengthways, cut into ribbons and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add 2 bunches asian greens and cook until just wilted.

When pumpkin has cooked, remove to a bowl and add 1/2C light cream. Roughly mash with a potato masher and season with salt & pepper. Serve pork on a bed of pumpkin mash and leek mixture.

You might notice a bit of a chicken theme going on over the next week or so. I found all those photos that went missing back a while back (most of them being chicken recipes, including this one which I just added the photo to) and I’ll probably be posting them while my exams are on because I don’t remember much about the dishes, so they will be quick posts to write!

3 thoughts on “Broadening my horizons…

  1. I am semi-vegetarian, but every now and then I need some meat – only eat chicken or fish. Your recipe will be the next thing I’ll have for dinner – thanks!

  2. (personally, I’m an aspiring vegan, going the opposite direction)

    Regarding the photo color, you might see whether your camera has a ‘custom white balance’ function. If so, and if you take your food photos in the same lighting conditions fairly consistently, then you should be able to photograph something white and tell the camera to remember that as white, and your pictures will come out OK from there on out (just remember to shift it to auto-white-balance for regular shots).

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