Wednesday, 19 September 2012

COOKING FOR ONE: Pork with prunes/Kasha and Slavic Slaw Copyright SvD.

One medium-sized pork chop – cheaper cuts like shoulder work just as well
One large shallot

One clove of garlic

One small handful pitted prunes

Splash cognac or armagnac

¼ cup crème fraîche

Half a cup Roasted buckwheat – kasha

One egg

One cup water

One small red onion

¼ cup sauekraut

½ cup grated carrot

Store cupboard ingredients*: Olive oil, salt and pepper (*you probably have these already).


Cut the pork into bite-sized cubes. Discard the fat if you have to.

Peel and finely chop the shallot and garlic.

Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the shallot and fry until brown – around four minutes. Add the garlic and the pork.. Stir the pan occasionally to prevent sticking. The pork should begin to brown after two minutes. Once the pork is lightly browned, add the cognac/armagnac. Make sure that all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan have been dislodged and wait for the alcohol to evaporate completely. Add the crème fraîche and enough water to barely cover the meat. Add the prunes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well, bring to the boil then reduce the heat down to low. Cover the pan and leave the mixture to simmer for at least twenty minutes.

While the pork is simmering, break the egg into a small bowl and lightly beat it. Place the kasha in a pan and add the egg. Combine well. Place the pan over medium heat and keep stirring the kasha until it is fragrant – around three minutes. Add one cup of water to the pan and a pinch of salt. Allow the mixture to boil then cover the pan and simmer on the lowest possible heat for five minutes.

Finally, prepare the slaw. Peel and halve the onion. Slice into half moons as finely as you can. Separate the slices and place in a ceramic bowl. Squeeze the sauerkraut (to remove excess liquid) and add to the bowl. Lastly, peel and grate the carrot – around one medium carrot – and add to the bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and toss all the ingredients together.

Serve the pork stew with the kasha and finish the meal with the slaw.

Tip: you can replace the crème fraîche with double cream if you fancy a richer version of the dish.

Plain, boiled potatoes go well with the dish. But do try the kasha – it cooks quickly – faster than potatoes -  and it is very nutritious.

When cooking kasha, always add double the quantity in water – so ½ cup kasha, + one cup water, one cup kasha + two cups water etc.

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