For the pulled pork
- 2kg/4lb 8oz boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into large chunks
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, olive oil or lard
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 oranges, juice only
- 1 lime, juice only
- 100ml/3½fl oz full-sugar coca cola
- 250ml/9fl oz chicken stock or water
For the rub
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil or butter
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
Mix all of the rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub half of this mixture over the pork, reserve the rest in a jar to use another time.
For the pulled pork, heat the oil in a large casserole and add the onion. Cook until lightly caramelised, add the garlic and stir, then add the pork and cook until browned on all sides. Add all of the remaining pulled pork ingredients and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat. Cover and simmer for 2–3 hours, turning the meat regularly, until the pork is tender and falling apart.
Strain the meat, reserving the cooking liquor, and transfer the pork to a plate. Pour the cooking liquor back into the casserole and cook until reduced down by half or until syrupy. Shred the meat with two forks.
To fry, heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet. Add the pork and sprinkle over the sugar. Fry, stirring regularly, until the meat has plenty of crisp, brown, caramelised bits. Pour over a little of the cooking liquor to keep it moist, but only a small amount as it should not have a sauce. Serve immediately.
A quick one-pan hash using cooked ham, eggs and tinned potatoes. Any cooked potatoes can be substituted for the tinned ones, if you have any leftover boiled potatoes they are ideal.
Drain the tinned potatoes and pat dry using with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. Tip onto a board and cut into small chunks.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the potato pieces for around 6–8 minutes, or until they are beginning to brown in places, stirring regularly. Add the onion and peppers and gently fry until softened. Add a little extra oil if needed.
Add the ham and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, stirring.
Make four wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each. Cover the pan with a lid, or large piece of kitchen foil, and cook for around 5–7 minutes, over a low-medium heat or until the egg white is set but the yolk remains runny. Remove the lid and check the eggs every now and then. (Alternatively, for 3–4 minutes then finish under a hot grill for 5 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.)
Sprinkle with a little black pepper and serve.
Venison Dartmouth pie
A rich and comforting venison pie that’s warming wintry food at its finest. Make the filling and pastry ahead and you can knock this pie out in 45 minutes. Ideal in the run up to Christmas or for the days in between Christmas and New Year.
For the pastry
- 250g/9oz self-raising flour
- 150g/5½oz shredded suet
- ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch English mustard powder
- pinch salt
For the filling
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp allspice berries
- 1 blade mace
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1kg/2lb 4oz diced venison
- 1 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with a little salt
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil or beef dripping
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 500ml/18fl oz beef or chicken stock
- 150g/5½oz dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 150g/5½oz dried prunes, roughly chopped
- 100g/3½oz raisins
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
- 1 carrot or parsnip (optional)
- salt and black pepper
- Warm red cabbage salad
To make the pastry, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add about 125ml/4fl oz very cold water and mix until you have a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 20 minutes before using.
To make the filling, grind the peppercorns, allspice berries, mace, cinnamon and coriander seeds in a spice grinder to a powder.
Toss the venison in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil or dripping in a casserole and brown the meat on all sides. Do this in batches if needed. Sprinkle over the spices then add the onions and return all the meat to the pan. Cook, stirring regularly, for another 10 minutes. Add the stock, stir well to scrape up any browned bits from the pan and bring to a simmer.
Add the apricots, prunes, raisins and orange zest and juice. Simmer the venison on a very low heat or transfer to a pre-heated low oven (150C/130C Fan/Gas 2) and cook for 1½–2 hours, or until the meat is tender. When tender, season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Transfer the mixture to a deep pie dish, placing a pie funnel in the centre of the dish. If you don’t have a pie funnel, I sometimes use a peeled carrot or parsnip.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 15 minutes before using. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 5mm and cut a strip to fit around the edge of the pie dish. Brush the edge of the dish with the beaten egg and place the strip around the edge.
Brush the pastry strip with egg and drape the remaining pastry over the pie, making a hole for the funnel. Trim the excess pastry and crimp around the sides to seal. Brush all over with egg and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 for another 20 minutes. Serve with a warm red cabbage salad or vegetables of your choice.
Mixed Greens With Ham Hocks
These easy mixed greens are cooked with ham hocks, a little vinegar, and seasonings. Use collard greens and turnip greens in this recipe. A big pot of greens is known as a mess o’ greens on the Southern table. Cooked greens are a staple in the South, where one study found they were a favorite food among older adults.