Saturday, 7 November 2009

Cider-battered Sweet and Sour Pork

In the aftermath of the cider yoghurt cake, I now have about 1.5 litres of unwanted cider sitting in my kitchen, along with other odds and ends that I have used in previous installments of this blog. We also happen to have too many Basics eggs in our kitchen, that we have to rid ourselves of by the 25th of November. It occurred to me however that we have most of the ingredients to actually make sweet and sour pork. What was missing was the pork itself.

You might hence be happy to know that £2 would buy you about half a kilogramme of pork, 445g to be precise, the kind ideal for making bite-sized deep-fried pork cutlets. The closest that Sainsbury's has to a regular product would be the pork shoulder steaks, but you would have to cut those up yourself. The diced pork shoulder however should suffice for most purposes. It did not get tough too easily, and tasted pretty alright. At only £2 it's only slightly more expensive per unit weight compared to the Basics lamb breast - itself the cheapest red meat - but is a lot less fatty.

Since here in the UK roast pork is usually served with apple sauce, and we get beer-battered fish and chips, I thought it might be interesting to come up with a cider batter for the pork in homage to my current state of residence. I would then combine this with a sweet and sour sauce made from what's left of my pasta sauce, honey, vinegar and mixed vegetables.

Start by heating oil in a saucepan at medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine self-raising flour with an egg.

Season with pepper, and then add the cider. Care should be taken not to add too much cider to the mix, you still want to have a relatively thick batter that has the consistency of double cream.

Once batter has been thoroughly whisked, open up the packet of pork, and dust the pork pieces with flour. You might have to further cut up some of them to facilitate more thorough cooking.

Dip each piece in batter, and begin frying.

Put cooked pieces on a paper-lined plate to drain of excess oil.

The sauce is a relatively simple affair of combining some honey, vinegar and tomato pasta sauce. Frozen mixed vegetables are added in the absence of the more traditional fresh sliced pineapple, peppers, onions and tomatoes.

After saving the deep-frying oil for future cooking, scrape the pan clean of any leftover bits. Deglaze the pan by adding the vinegar and heating.

Meanwhile, add the honey to the pasta sauce, and add that into the pan.

At this point add the mixed vegetables. It might be tempting to use some of the excess batter to thicken the sauce. Don't be fooled, you will end up with the result below:

The cider was weak to begin with, so it never really shone through the resulting dinner. The sauce was more or less palatable. Overall, dinner was rather enjoyable, and at the very least, I've gained some useful experience with deep-frying that would probably serve me well when making tempura.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Diced pork shoulder£2.00445gN/AN/A; No other alternative

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...