Sunday, February 27, 2011

Simple and Easy Pulled Pork : Good Food , Cheap

Ive been meaning to get to this one for well over a month,  I must admit it slipped through the cracks lol .  A request from a friend reminded me that I never did actually finish this post , just got as far as uploading the photos.  Now , like making chili , or gumbo there are a million different ways to go about making a pot of pulled pork and I'm sure more than a few people have a very strong opinion on it :))  What I'm making here , is the simple and easy method.. just a few minutes prep and the slow cooker does the rest !!  

What you will need :  Makes approx 16 servings 

1 Large smoked pork shoulder -                $8.00 for 8lbs on sale 
--  Please note , when using a commercially smoked piece of pork DO NOT add any more salt.  I made that mistake once , and it was almost inedible.  
5 or 6 medium red or white onions             $3.00 for 10lbs = $ 0.60
2 large utility carrots                                    $ 3.00 for 10lbs = $ 0.25 
6 or 7 cloves of garlic                                   $ 3.00 for 3 heads = $ 0.50
3 hot dried chili ( You decide the heat here ... I should have used 6 !  )  
Chili Powder 
Black Pepper
Hot Sauce & Worcestershire Sauce 
1L of homemade Beef or chicken stock - prefer the beef  ( 4 cups ) - 
                                                   Total Cost $ Under $10.00  , or about 65 cents a serving 

Assemble your ingredients :)  Wash and peel the carrots 

I like to give the pork shoulder a good rinse first , to help remove any excess salt.  Then score the fat to the meat , using about 3/4 to 1" squares. 
IN a hot skillet, quickly give all the sides a little colour :)) 

Meanwhile , back at the slow cooker. I added the rough chopped carrots , beef stock , dried chili , Lea & Perrins, and some Bourbon Street Bad hot sauce for a southern kick :)   I set it to high for the first hour , then its slow and low the rest of the time!  Add a tablespoon or two of chili powder too 

Add the pork shoulder to the pot, lol and this is my BIG crock pot.  You my need to move things around a little :) 

IN the same pan I browned the pork in, give the onions and garlic a quick sizzle. Add them to the pot, and cover the lid.  Check back in a hour. 

IT should look something like this , and start to smell amazing . 

I ended up letting mine simmer for a good 8 hours,  you can get away with 4 or 6 .. but I like 8 .. makes it just fall  apart ! 

Remove the carrots , and get in there with a couple of serving forks.  Shred it well. 

Of course a sample is required to test the seasoning :)) 

Sampling the pulled pork ... plain so I can judge the flavours :))Mmmmm good!!  

Later I added some extras, a little red pepper, onion and mushrooms, on a toasted garlic ciabatta roll!!  

I also turned some into a loaded jacket potato :))

That's it ,  Its only about twenty minutes worth of work , and the rest is just waiting :))  Sampling is allowed so its all good :)) So what do you think of my latest Good Food , Cheap post ?  Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated :)  Happy Cooking !

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pork Sirloin Half. Good Food, Cheap !!

How would you like to be able to eat a nice piece of pork, for under 50 cents a serving ??
When it comes to buying meats, you just cant beat buying the whole loin , or even a portion of one , and doing the trimming yourself.  The savings are amazing , and you get to decide just how much fat is left on each piece.   I personally do not like thick fat , but do enjoy a thin strip of it on the outside of a roast or steak.  Okay, the first thing you have to do is find a sale,  every couple of months you will find these on sale for about $1.00 per pound.  Now I realize this is not the BEST pork I could be buying , I am looking for a good free range source I just haven't found one yet.  The good news is: it is local, tastes great , and the price is right when you are on a tight budget .

I usually buy two at a time.. fill the freezer up a little.  
I like to give the loin a good rinse, and start by laying it fat side down on a cutting board.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mushroom Beef and Ale Soup

Well, I for one am glad that I have finished the 10 recipes with 5 ingredients, as much fun as that was ... I do enjoy just a few more ingredients to a meal.   I have a couple of questions though... did you like the recipe format I used ? compared to my normal method of just showing you what went into the dish ?   Please leave a comment below , thanks.  
Soup , is always a great choice ... its good any season of the year , for lunch , dinner, even breakfast !!   I love a good soup,  my only problem with making them .. is that I tend to turn them into stews!!  So I was determined the other day to create one , that not only was healthy and tasted great , but that actually resembled a soup!!

Ingredients Required :  

1L of beef broth , or stock ( this is the last of my store bought , gone forever from my kitchen now) 
1lb of a variety of mushrooms   I had white , portabello, shitake and oyster 
2 cups of cooked ground beef 
2 onions 
3 cloves of garlic 
1/2 can of your favourite ale. ( This is a local craft brew , very good !! ) 
A couple of pats of butter 
Salt n Pepper to taste

Here is what you will need 

Simply slice everything up , bite sized for the mushrooms and a medium dice for the onion 
Add it right into the soup pot ,  butter in first then all the onions, mushrooms and garlic together . Season with your favourite herbs,  I went with basil , thyme and oregano/:) Med/High heat .  

Once the Mushrooms and onions have softened just a bit , add the beef in .  Give it all a good stir. 
Once the beef is in the pot for about a minute , pour in the liter of stock, and half the can of ale ...  stir , reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes to blend all the flavours.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Less Words, More Food 9

Playing a little catch up again with my posts, I have lots photographed .. its writing the recipes that gets me.   As some of you know I don't follow recipes when cooking , I simply grab a handful of goodies and start making dinner.   Okay , enough talking this is a LWMF post !

Making a batch of chicken stock for the freezer, ended up with 7L worth, all for basically nothing. 

A couple of different 12 grain whole wheat bread loaves.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A taste of summer, in the middle of winter:)

Ive been trying to get outside all week to have a BBQ, but the weather just did not cooperate.   The reason I wanted to have a BBQ is a fellow food blogger Laurie ( ) was having a little fun Summer Party to help break up the winter blues.    I wasn't able to cook something specifically for this , but i went back through a few of last summers dinners , and came up with a few you might like :))

Oh how I miss my farmers markets and fresh veggies :) 

A couple of 1/2 pound home burgers is my usual summer dinner .  

Chili Chicken, peppers and onion skewers 

Less Words, More Food 8

I cant believe its been almost a week since Ive posted.   Sorry about that , Ill try and make it up with 2 posts in 2 days for you all :)   So please enjoy LWMF #8 !!

Cajun Shrimp n Bacon Stir Fry

Thick cut pork sirloin with roasted veggies and mushroom sauce ,

A recent first for me sardines on toast

Chili and Honey Rubbed Roasted Pork Sirloin 

Finished plate ,  tried to a little fancy with a 3 cheese n mushroom sauce ,  despite the looks, it tasted great!   

The latest batch of Crispy Chili Cheese Bites.

And there you have a few of the dishes Ive made in the last week.  I do hope you have enjoyed this Less Words, More Food post .  Any comments or suggestions are much appreciated.
Happy Cooking :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sardines on Toast the final 10 with 5 recipe !!

Ten recipes with five ingredients.... sounds pretty easy doesn't it ??  Well , it was easy enough , I mean how hard can five ingredients be to prep and use ?? lol.  For me it was actually stopping at five ingredients that was the hardest part , not that I use twenty in my meals , but eight or ten for a full meal is about normal. I managed to make my way through the ten , though , pushing myself with a  couple of full meals, even a vegetarian one, a couple of new appetizers , even the pantry staple beef stock made an appearance.  Click here for the previous nine posts :)
So for my final one , I wanted to try something completely different  ( well for me at least ) I was thinking of making a dessert ( I can not even remember the last one I made ??? ) then somewhere out of left field I got the idea  to try something completely new ...  maybe not to you , but for me who has never eaten a sardine before... this was something new !!

Ingredients required ( Enough for 4 good sized pieces, or lunch for two ) 

1 tin of sardines.
1 bell pepper ( I used 1/2 a yellow & 1/2 a red, from rainbow pack )
1 hunk of crusty bread ( enough for 4 thick slices )
2 Tablespoons of Caesar dressing
Hot Sauce to Taste ( I used a great southern one Bourbon Street Bad )
Freshly cracked black pepper to suit .
( Salt is shown , but was not required )

Alternative to hot sauce ingredient - Green Onions

Assemble your ingredients .

Dice or slice up the peppers, and find a can opener.   Meanwhile , slice your bread and get it into the toaster oven.  

So thats what all the fuss was about, I've got to say , I was pretty happy that I wasn't stunk out of the kitchen .  These did have a slightly fishy smell , but nothing like what I was expecting.  

I tried just a couple the for the first one, just in case I didn't like it... but there was nothing to worry about .

This picture is slightly out of order, I as forgot to take a picture of them before mixing on the first batch .   But it really is a easy as taking the back of a fork , and smushing away .

Add in the Caesar dressing and diced peppers. Simply scoop some out and lightly press it onto the toast. 

Spread it onto your toast , giving it a slight push to help it stick.   A few dashes of your favourite hot sauce , and your set.  Looks great !! I wonder what its going to taste like ?? 

Tasted like a second piece !!  I was pleasantly surprised, I figured the bones or the smell would bother me, but nope! They tasted great , and I plan on buying more soon !!   Its a bit hard to describe the taste and textures,  but for me .. it was somewhere between salmon and tuna.  I have to admit , I scarfed it down so fast , I didn't even think about it until after the fact . 

Ill leave you with this one, I tried. Without the hot sauce, and with a little diced green onion on top.  This was  very light and tasty snack !!   

I hope you have enjoyed reading the 10 with 5 challenge posts. I know I have really enjoyed participating !!  Its been a lot of fun , and a great challenge to stop at at 5 ingredients.   Please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought ?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Less Words, More Food 7

Hi everyone , and welcome to February :) Its been a cold one here with temperatures dropping to -40C with the wind on some days :)  Lots of good warm comforting food has been required :)  Here are a few of the dishes I have made so far this month.

An Amazing Mushroom Beef & Ale Soup 

Caesar Salad with Cheese on Toast , simple but GOOD! 6 year old cheddar helps :) 

Making Beef Stock, a recent blog post click here to find it:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Simple & Easy Beef Stock #10w5 - 9

I have been making my own stock for several years now , with varied successes...   the last few batches though have been great , and Ive stopped buying store bought .   I just make a big batch and freeze it into different sized bags or containers.   That way If i only need a cup , I just take out one cups worth. I have not tried making one with only 5 ingredients before .. ( its usually closer to ten with herbs )  which ones  do I choose , which ones should i leave out ??  The herbs I decided could be added later , which really brought me down to 6 ingredients... still to many :( It was a toss up between carrots, celery and garlic...   Garlic is my all time fav , so that stayed ...  It was a tough choice, in the end I let a coin choose for me , and carrots it was.

Ingredients Required : Makes 5 litres

5lbs of beef bones - Frozen is fine
3 large carrots
6 or 7 medium onions
1 head of garlic
10 litres of water

For something so simple to make I sure took a LOT of photos during this process,  I have condensed a few of the shots.  The order is Top Left , Top Right, Bottom Left , Bottom Right.

NO need to defrost the bones , if they are frozen,  just put them on a baking tray for 10 minutes in the 350F oven ,  the separate and add 3 halved onions, and a half a head of garlic, drizzle with sunflower oil , and give it a few pinches of sea salt.  Into the oven for about 45 minutes, it should look something like the bottom left picture.  Get your biggest pot out, I have a 20Quart one i use for stocks and canning.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Crispy Chili Cheese Bites #10w5 - 8

I came across a simple recipe for a baked crab Rangoon ...  which I tried, with a few twists of course, and liked !!  It wasn't so much the dish, it was good , that I liked but the idea !  So simple, yet so versatile.   It didn't take very long for me to start thinking up several new ways to use a baked wonton wrapper for appetizers.  Having just made a huge stock pile of chili last week,  an idea started forming.  I just needed to keep it to 5 ingredients for the 10 with 5 challenge who's deadline is fast approaching !!  Oh being very low cost , this appetizer qualifies for my latest series Good Food , Cheap .

Ingredients required : Makes 12

12 Wonton wrappers ( $ 0.10  )  $1.50 per 100pc pkg.
1/3 red bell pepper  ( $0.25 )  $2.00 for 3
1 green onion  ( $ 0.10 ) $ 0.69 per bunch
1 cup of chili ( $0.50 ) Cost me about $28 to make 14 Quarts
1 knob of good cheese - I used 6 year old cheddar.  ( $2.00 )

Total Cost $ 3.00  per dozen 

As for how many to serve,  I would think 6 as an appetizer would be plenty,  I had 12 for a light meal, and 18 as my dinner.  I do tend to eat large portions though.

Okay , on we go :

Assemble to the ingredients.  Small muffin pans are required.  

I sliced up about a 2cm wedge of cheese ( and made 24 with it )  small dice on the red pepper, and green onion. Give the muffin pan  a quick spray or wipe lightly with oil. I happen to have some garlic infused olive oil in a mister. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Less Words, More Food 6

:)) After this post , I will finally be caught up ! Well, at least on the same month anyways.   Here are some of my dishes from January..  Keeping with the title , Less Words, More Food!!  Here you are :) Enjoy.

Always a fav, Bacon, Egg and Chips - Was also a blog post for the 10 with 5 challenge. 

:) And another recent blog post ,  Pulled pork n beans jacket potato!  

Just got to love frittatas :)   This one is Hamburger, Mushroom , Green Peppers and cheese 

Homemade Tostadas :) With spicy beef , peppers and cheese !  

A slightly more colourful frittata :)) MMmmm  

Cottage Pie :)) Yummy comfort food ! 

Smoked pork shoulder , in beef stock with carrots , onions, garlic and chili powder.  Soon to become pulled pork.  

Some of the bacon hummus , with a  nice granny smith apple

An interesting attempt to spruce up beans on toast ,   with some cheese, onions, garlic and red pepper on homemade garlic loaf. Was good, but i think this is one of those , less is more kinda foods.

So there you have it . :)  I hope you have enjoyed this post :)
Happy Cooking !!