Slow braised pork shoulder with cider and parsnips

Pork cider and parsnip casserole My freezers are now full with lots of pre-cooked (or ready to cook) meals that I have made in the last few weeks preparing for the arrival of my first baby, including this recipe. I love cider but even before I was pregnant, I couldn’t drink alcohol as it always gave me a migraine no matter what I drank – even one glass. The drink that I miss most is cider, so I’m always interested in new recipes that include cider as an ingredient. This is a great dish for winter, it takes a little time but the oven does most of the work for you. Depending on the size of your pork and vegetable pieces, it could take a bit longer to cook than the recipe states. The original recipe results in a very thin sauce, even after I reduced the amount of liquid in it. So if you want a thicker sauce add more flour at the beginning or a bit less liquid. However I didn’t mind as it was soaked up in my mashed potatoes. Potatoes were one of the few things I could eat during the first four months of my pregnancy. You’d think I’d have had enough of potatoes after that but they are still one of my favourite things to eat. Click here for the recipe

The Hairy Bikers – Pork belly with apple and sage

This Hairy Bikers recipe has got to be my favourite dinner party recipe. It tastes amazing, has wow factor and most importantly, is very easy to make with the oven doing most of the work for you. Which I think is important when you are entertaining. The point is to spend time with your family and/or friends, not to spend the whole time in the kitchen.

Even though we normally have a ‘cold’ Christmas lunch (due to the Perth summer heat at Christmas), I couldn’t resist making this for our family lunch this year. The pork just melts in your mouth, with the wonderful contrast of super crackly crackling. And the apple cider sauce is just beautiful with it.

Pork belly

Click here for the recipe

Pork meatballs in coconut broth

Although I watch a lot of TV cooking shows, I’ve never really liked watching any of Gordon Ramsay’s shows. Too much drama and profanities, and not enough food for me. Personally, I just don’t enjoy watching something where every second or third word is a four letter word (okay, that is probably an exaggeration, I’ve never sat down and counted – I haven’t watched long enough to do that). That’s just me. And so as a result, I’ve never purchased any of his cookbooks or tried any of his recipes.

Recently, however, I have seen him in his role as judge on Masterchef US where for the most part it seemed food, rather than the ‘f-word’, was more the focus. So I thought maybe it was time to give Gordon a chance. After all, he’s held onto three Michelin stars for a while, so he must know what he is talking about. I came across his latest book (which accompanies his most recent TV show and is aimed at teaching people how to become better home cooks) for 30% off and after having a quick look, a recipe for meatballs in a fragrant coconut broth with flavours I don’t use a lot caught my attention. There were a few other recipes that also caught my interest which I will try another time. Seeing as it was on sale, and telling myself that even though I have shelves full of cookbooks, I have a blog now so it’s okay to buy another one, I bought it. Link to book here –  Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking: Everything You Need to Know to Make Fabulous Food
I know. I have a problem… And I’m running out of space on my bookcase!

Pork meatballs in a fragrant coconut broth

click here for more including the recipe