Pork and Sprout Bake

In all my years of living, I have always hated Brussels Sprouts.

I hated the smell, the taste and the texture…

Except, it turns out, when baked in cream and smothered in cheese!

As mentioned in my previous Blog post, I’ve recently join the keto community. I thought I would suffer greatly because hello who can live on zero carbs?? Me, evidently.

What I didn’t anticipate my main issue being, is finding exciting new ways to eat the same vegetables or starting to love ones I normally scoff at.

Enter Brussels Sprouts.

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Ingredients used:

  • 600g Pork Belly Slices, diced into cubes (can also use Chicken Breast)
  • 1 medium Onion, sliced
  • 450g Brussels Sprouts
  • 300ml Single Cream
  • 50g grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Seasonings
    • 2 tbsp of Coconut Oil
    • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
    • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
    • 2 seasoning cubes (maggi/knorr)
    • 2 tsp Crushed Chillies

Prep time – 20 mins

Method:

  1. To prepare the Brussels Sprouts, cut off the stems of each sprout and discard any coarse outer leaves. Then cut each sprout into half.
  2. Rinse in a bowl with warm water.
  3. Add half of the seasonings to the bowl and mix well, ensuring all the sprouts are covered.
  4. To prepare the meat, rinse in a bowl of warm water and a splash of vinegar.
  5. Add the remaining seasonings and ensure all the meat is covered.
  6. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

 

Cooking time – 30 mins

  1. Put the coconut oil in a pan on medium heat until it is hot enough and ready to fry.
  2. Add the seasoned meat to the pan and stir periodically until halfway cooked, then add the onion and keep stirring until the meat is golden brown on each side.
  3. Add the Brussels Sprouts to the pan and stir into the mix. Cover with a lid and leave to steam on low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
  5. Take the mixture off the cooker and pour into a casserole dish.
  6. Pour the cream into the dish, covering all the sprouts.
  7. Add the grated cheese.
  8. Put in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
  9. Enjoy!

Extra tip: Serve with freshly chopped parsley for an extra delicious kick!

Popcorn Pork

Meat. Snacks.

Say it with me: MEAT. SNACKS.

As mentioned in a previous post, meat snacks are my absolute faves.

So I was not in the slightest bit surprised when after defrosting a pack of pork belly, I knew I wanted them sliced and diced and devoured as little tiny pork bites.

And what better way to enjoy them than covered in breadcrumbs and deep fried?

None. There isn’t one at all.

P.S: preparing popcorn pork (come on alliteration!) is a very laborious task, but I promise the end result makes it all worth it.

P.P.S: To save yourself some of the hassle, you can use pork that has already been diced. I don’t because pork belly is my favourite cut so that is what I prefer to use.

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Ingredients used:

  • 600g Pork Belly Slices, diced into cubes
  • 2 medium Eggs
  • Golden Breadcrumbs, any supermarket brand will do
  • Sweet Chilli Sauce, for dipping
  • Seasonings
    • 1 tbsp of Sesame Oil
    • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
    • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
    • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
    • 1 seasoning cube (maggi/knorr)
    • 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
    • 1 tsp Crushed Chillies
    • Enough oil to shallow fry the pork

Prep time – 30 mins

Method:

  1. Rinse the meat in a bowl of warm water and a splash of vinegar.
  2. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, seasoning cube, Chinese 5 spice and crushed chillies to the bowl and ensure all the meat is covered.
  3. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, crack the eggs, add a pinch of salt and whisk together.
  5. Pour the breadcrumbs in a saucer or flat plate and set up an assembly line (from left to right) of seasoned meat, whisked eggs, breadcrumbs and empty plate.
  6. Using tongs or your hands, cover each piece of meat with egg and roll in the breadcrumbs to allow a smooth coating. Place each piece of coated meat on the empty plate ready for frying.

Cooking time – 15 mins

  1. Put the oil on the cooker on medium-high heat until the oil is hot enough and ready to fry.
  2. Lower the cooker to low-medium heat.
  3. Add the coated meat to the pan and let cook on one side for 7 mins or until golden brown and flip each piece onto the opposite side and let cook for a further 7 mins or until golden brown.
  4. Once cooked, drain any excess oil by putting the meat in a bowl lined with kitchen roll.
  5. Serve with Sweet Chilli Sauce as a dip.
  6. Enjoy!

Extra tip: As shown in the image above, I chopped up some spring onions and sprinkled sesame seeds to add some pizzazz!

Roasted Honey and Black Pepper Pork

Pork is probably my favourite meat.

I find it so versatile and it easily and readily absorbs the flavours of your desired cuisine.

My go to with pork is usually some sort of Asian flavour but one day I had a hankering for pork belly that I knew wouldn’t be satisfied with the Asian flavour.

So I went into my kitchen and let the spirit lead me.

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Ingredients used:

  • Pork belly (a pack bought from the supermarket)
  • Seasonings
    • Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
    • Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
    • 1/2 cloves of garlic (chopped into fine pieces)
    • Chopped ginger (not much is needed)
    • 1 Stock cube (maggi/knorr)
    • Crushed chilli flakes
    • Honey – 5 tbsp
    • Crushed black pepper

Prep time – 20 mins

Method:

  1. Cut the pork belly into bitesize chunks and put in a mixing bowl
  2. This step is optional but I always wash all my meat in warm water with a splash of vinegar
  3. Put the sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and stock cube into the bowl with the pork belly and mix together until all the pork is covered. For an extra kick, you can add half a scotch bonnet.
  4. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

Cooking time – 25 minutes plus 5 minutes

Cooking:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees (gas mark 4)
  2. Place the pork belly on a foil-lined oven tray and leave to cook for 15 minutes, then turn the pork belly and leave to cook for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Take the pork out of the oven and coat with the honey and crushed black pepper.
  4. Increase the heat of the oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 5) and cook the pork for a further 3-5 minutes.
  5. Serve with steamed black kale and broccoli for a delicious and nutritious dinner.

Extra tip: if you’re feeling super hungry, this meal can also be paired with steamed rice.