Spezzatino

I’ve been a bit lax at updating this this week – it’s been busy few days so I’m now just catching up and blogging this, which I cooked last Wednesday. Alberto and I were both working late (although, of course, he was working considerably later than I was!) so I leafed through my cook books and found this. I quite fancied a bit of pork so this jumped out at me as it looked interesting and tasty. Sadly, I have to report that it wasn’t actually very tasty – not terrible or unpleasant by any means, just not very exciting. I cooked it in the morning before I went to work, following the recipe, however, as it didn’t look like it had turned out to be that interesting, I looked on the internet and found some other versions of the recipe and, as a result, added a few bits.

This version comes from the book Just One Pot by Lindsey Bareham. Her version of the recipe involved cooking pork fillet in 300ml of white wine for 15 minutes or so, which was ok but most of the wine was absorbed and the meat wasn’t very tender at the end of it. Looking on the internet most other versions of this recipe that I found included at least one tin of chopped tomatoes. (Also, every other version of the recipe I found uses beef and not pork, but there you go!) The recipe also involves chickpeas – I forgot to buy any, thinking that I already had some in the cupboard. Turns out that I didn’t, however I did have a tin of butter beans and they went very well with the recipe so I used them instead! And I stuck in some tinned tomatoes too, and a bit of extra wine. I’ll annotate the changes to the recipe as they occur.

Serves 4 (I scaled it down for 2)

500g of small new potatoes
400g of pork fillet, diced
1 large red onion
3 tablespoons of olive oil
300ml of white wine
1 can of chickpeas (or a tin of butter beans if you forget to buy chickpeas!)
1 red chilli
1 large garlic clove
A handful of coriander leaves
150g of spinach
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 unwaxed lemon
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato purée

Scrub the potatoes and boil in salted water until tender. Drain.

Trim any fat from the pork and cut into bite-sized chunks. Peel and halve the onion and slice into chunky slices.

Trim, de-seed and finely slice the chilli, peel and finely chop the garlic. Use a potato peeler to remove some thin strips of lemon peel from the lemon.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and stir in the onion. Cook over a medium heat until soften and starting to turn golden.

Add the chilli, garlic and lemon zest and cook, stirring often, for about 2-3 minutes more.

Increase the heat slightly and brown the meat. (in batches if necessary.)

Once the meat is browned, add the wine and cook at a steady simmer or 10-15 minutes until the meat is cooked through. (Personally I found that this wasn’t long enough to leave the meat nicely tender – as this was in the morning before I went to work and I finished off the cooking in the evening, I gave it more like 30 minutes – 15 in the morning and a further 15 in the evening. When I finished cooking it in the evening I added about 150ml more of wine, 2 tablespoons of tomato purée and a tin of chopped tomatoes.)

Drain and rinse the chickpeas (or butter beans) and add to the pan. Heat through, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and squeeze of lemon juice. Coarsely chop the coriander and stir it into the stew together with the spinach.

Add the boiled, drained potatoes, stir and serve as soon as the spinach has wilted.

I served this with roasted butternut squash wedges. As I say, it was ok but not massively flavoursome. I think I’ll need to tweak it a bit if I’m going to make it again.

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About neilche

Hi. My name's Neil. I live in Brighton with my flatmate Alberto and I work as a Librarian at a local college. I like cooking, eating and socialising with friends. Which is what prompted me to start this blog. I cycle everywhere around town - it helps to work off the calories!
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