The butcher’s has always been my first port of call for the week-end shop. Anyway, I was in an almighty rush last Friday and as the freezer was full of every day meats, I decided to grab a joint of pork off the supermarket shelves. I wished afterwards that I had listened to and heeded many warnings about supermarket meat.
By no means am I a talented chef, nevertheless, I’m not a bad cook, I love food and take a great deal of care when preparing it. Having roasted that joint of pork it soon became clear that the carving knife was of no use whatsoever. The electric carver was then activated and the slices of meat looked and smelt appetising even so the steak knives were brought out just in case.
How thankful I was for the potatoes, greens carrots, parsnips stuffing, apple sauce and gravy, compensation for discarding the meat from my plate. Any cobbler worth his salt and in possession of a hammer nails and a last, would have readily accepted the slices now resting in the depths of my waste bin. He would have deemed it to be top quality shoe soling leather.
I hate waste of any kind so when I opened the fridge this morning and saw the covered mountain of pork slices still laying there I immediately felt guilty. Rather than consign any more to the bin I began to wonder if I could attempt a rescue.
Out came a large casserole dish and in it I micro-waved a chopped onion and some of the shallots I’d bought for later in the week, three minutes in some butter and they were ready to add all the other ingredients. So far I had peeled and sliced several button mushrooms but what else could I add after the meat? Garlic? Yes a couple of cloves of that might help. A solitary vegetable Oxo cube lay languishing in its box so that was crumbled in.
The clock struck ten so I decided to switch on the oven while I looked around for something else to liven up this `dish`. Perhaps some red wine but then I didn’t really want to open a bottle of good Merlot in case the whole lot turned out inedible and had to be discarded. I found a half decent, opened bottle of sherry so a dollop of that was poured in. Soy sauce? That might help with the flavour, oh and a large pinch of thyme and some chilli flakes plus some more liquid to cover it all. A sprinkle of salt and a good shake of pepper and that was it, banged into the now heated oven.
An hour later a pleasant aroma filled the kitchen. Having given the ingredients a bit of a stir it all looked a bit thin then I realised the meat having already been cooked wouldn’t have been coated with cornflour so I gave it some thickening and another swift stir and placed it back in the oven for another hour or more.
Surprisingly enough, served with some vegetables, it was rather good though it’s something I wouldn’t wish to repeat. Too much hassle!
In future, I will stick to my butcher and avoid any further culinary disasters. I will also rely entirely on recipes created by people who know what they are doing. Beef, pork and chicken stir fries will be perfectly acceptable but there will be no more `cochon au vin`, it’s too risky.
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