We have officially crossed the threshold from Summer to Autumn. I know this for sure now that the coffee shops are all selling pumpkin spiced everything. Pumpkin spice frappe, mocha, skinny latte, muffin, cabbage, burger roast beef a’cino! It’s not for me I’m afraid. I’m more of a deep and meaningful winter spice kind of girl. Not a sweet (not pumpkin) cinnamon flavoured kind of chick. For those of you who are, I’m totally nearly cool with that.
A Delicious Alternative
For those of you who are into a more meaningful relationship with your flavours, (I’m talking dinner and a nice red versus a quick coffee), I may have something for you. We all love to make delicious dinners but quite often, time limits us. Crockpots or slow cookers are a great way of saving time and making delicious, nutritious meals absolutely loaded with flavour. One of the recipes I love to use coming into the winter is Spiced Pork and Apples. The earthiness of the spices balances perfectly with the sweetness of the apples and best of all, the kids love it.
Spiced Pork Prep
Spice Mix for the Pork Steak: Mix a tablespoon each of coriander seed and cumin seed. Toast them and then grind them in a pestle and mortar. Roll the pork steak in the spice mix and brown it in a frying pan with a little butter. Once browned, add to the crock pot.
Melt a little butter in the frying pan. Chop an onion and two cloves of garlic and add them to the pan. Keep the heat low and brown the onion a little. Mix in a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard.
Finally, allow this apple mix to simmer in either 2 cups of cider or (my kids prefer when I use) apple juice. Finally, for convenience and a taste that my kids love, I add a beef stock cube. If you prefer to use fresh stock, you can just add some stock and roux. If you use fresh stock and roux, a dash of Lea and Perrins Worchester sauce really adds to the flavour. Season to your own taste. We are particularly low salt in our household so I’m not inclined to add it while cooking, especially if I use a stock cube.
Add this mix to the crock pot. If you need to, you can add a little more cider or water. This will depend on the depth of your crockpot and what kind of stock you use.
Now For The Eating
I almost always pair this dish with petit pois and mashed potato. I don’t know why, it just feels right…..and it tastes so good. It takes me 15 minutes to prep it in the afternoon and I leave it in the crockpot for about 4 hours on medium. Of course, if you don’t have a crockpot, you can always put this in your Le Creuset and pop it into the oven at 160 for 4 hours.
This dish also works really well with pork chops if you prefer those. For more ideas on the delicious food you can enjoy whilst living a healthy active lifestyle, contact me here for information on my #SUSTAIN programme. xx