This dinner we made whole chicken in the Schlemmertopf.
We started off with a nice mix of spices:
black pepper and
Together with that we cut a leek into three pieces and chopped a red chili, which we spread out on top of the chicken.
I have found that it makes for a better dish seasoning wise to decide on the amount of spices before one puts them in the pan or stew, etc. Putting them straight into the food I tend to be a bit restrictive, whereas if I place them on a plate or in the mortar and then pour them into the food I tend to be closer to the sweet spot. The past few times I have done this way I have ended up with close to perfect amount of the spices I selected. There is still a long way to go for me to get the whole composition between the tastes right, but in terms of using the spices to bring out the flavours of the food this seems to be working for me at least.
After pre-soaking the Schlemmertopf, mortaring the spices in need of that and chopping the chili it all was placed in the pot and put into the oven at 140 °C.
As sides we made white cabbage wedges that we roasted in the oven after taking out the chicken, that we left to rest in the Schlemmertopf.
Finally we served the chicken and the cabbage wedges with a few leaves of lettuce and some freshly grated carrots and red beets.
With our new portion-sized cast iron ramekins we have had the possibility to explore some new ways of presenting as well as cooking our food. Nothing too surprising or ground-breaking (yet) but well some additional inspiration.
The last week we bought some pork loin which we thought would be nice to make pulled pork with. We have done it before, but every time one revisits a dish some new factor is added. One gets a different feel for which spices should be included. The ratio meat to sauce changes somewhat or one alters the oven temperature and time slightly. So, it is always interesting to see how the new dish turns out.
This time we used tomato sauce and garlic as the base together with the loin of pork. The spices were black pepper, cummin, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. The whole thing was mixed into the Schlemmertopf and cooked in the oven for almost four hours. Unfortunately on a slightly low temperature for the meat to really fall apart, but the taste could not have been better!
As a side for the pulled pork we made sticks of carrots and parsnips that we roasted in the oven along-side with sweet mini peppers that we stuffed with matured feta cheese.
Since we figured that the carrots and parsnips needed to be in the oven longer than the peppers and on a higher temperature than the pulled pork we took out the Schlemmertopf with the pulled pork and let it rest whilst the vegetables we roasted on the higher temperature. With 15 minutes left before serving we put the peppers in as well. The peppers were placed in our new portion-sized ramekins which as a really nice way of serving them in the end, since they kept the heat nicely when serving.
Whilst waiting for the vegetables to finish in the oven we pulled the pork apart. And then we put it all together and enjoyed a really nice dinner with a glass of red wine to go with the food. The spicing of the pulled pork turned out really, really well. The cinnamon and ginger together with almost too much cayenne pepper made a perfect combination.
Recently there was campaign on this pretty leek in our store, so we bought a few of them. And of course, one of them had to be used with our favorite meat, the oxtail, in a stew! A simple one with only allspice and bay leaves as seasoning together with the leek and a red onion.
The stew was served with kale, radishes and a mash of turnip and swede. Vegetables of the season!
We have the wonderful possibility of buying wild venison meat every now and then. This time Magnus’ parents bought a whole deer and were kind enough to share some of it. Fortunately we have just got our Wonderbag and what better way to follow up the bone broth cooking than making a venison chuck steak?
Just as with regular slow cooking the Wonderbag needs some planning to work out. This time we started with the stew just after lunch and had dinner about six hours later. On the shorter side of letting the meat get tender, but it turned out really nice in the end
First we fried the meat and the onion in the sauce pan with some butter. When the onions were caramelized we added the rest of the ingredients including the bone broth, bay leaves, juniper berries, garlic and some black pepper. Once the ingredients were all added we let it boil for about 30 minutes. Before removing it from the stove we added some white wine vinegar to add some acidity.
Next we sealed the wonderbag and went off enjoying our afternoon.
To go with the stew we made a celeriac and carrot purée. Chop the veggies into reasonably small pieces and let cook in a sauce pan with some bone broth for 40-50 minutes until they turn soft.
To finish the purée we mixed it with our blender to turn it into an even and smooth purée.
Uncovering the stew from the Wonderbag and then putting it all together for a wonderful and simple meal, enjoyed with a glass of red wine.
We will definitely get back to you with more recipes using the Wonderbag. So far, we are really impressed with the results it yields, but we have yet to try cooking something over the day on a regular week day. Hopefully we will let you know how that works out soon.
Time again for pork belly. It is something that we have really missed the past weeks. And on top of that an other veggie favourite, in addition to the celery root, namely brussel sprouts!
This pork belly we did not had the butcher make slices in the skin for some reason, so we had to take care of that ourselves. It is way more difficult than the butcher makes it look with his special knife, but not terribly difficult with a regular knife given that it is sharp…
After slicing the top of the pork belly we seasoned with cayenne pepper, ginger powder and some black pepper. It all went into the oven at 175 °C for almost three hours.
To the pork belly we had oven roasted carrots and celery root and brussel sprouts of course. The trick here was to manage the cooking time for the different pieces such that they could be finished at the same time without any part being cold because it had to be kept out of the oven.
We did this through three steps:
Letting the pork belly cook as long as possible.
Putting the vegetables (excl. brussel sprouts) in the oven about 50 minutes before dinner time and increasing the temperature of the oven to about 210 °C. We also put a thin sheet of aluminium foil on top of the pork belly to avoid it getting burnt.
20-25 minutes before serving we put in the brussel sprouts at the same temperature.
That ended in a well timed dinner.
We would really like to have an other oven, like we had at the place we stayed in in Dublin, but at the same time it is key to have at least one large oven. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to use our Schlemmertopf which would really be a shame. But two ovens are definitely on our wishlist.
We do manage quite well with one oven as well and frankly it is kind of a sport to cook several things simultaneously. However, it is difficult when two pieces of food should be prepared at different temperatures.
Anyhow, we really enjoyed the season’s first brussel sprouts as well as the well prepared pork belly.
Minced meat is something that we have not had too much of lately, but it is really a wonderful way of eating meat. So many possibilities. Meat loaf for example.
The other day we made a really simple meat loaf. 800 grams of beet minced meat mixed with two chopped onions and one clove of garlic and seasoned with some black pepper.
The ingredients were mixed and the mixture was formed into a meat loaf and placed on a bed of cabbage.
On top of the meat loaf we placed some sliced onion and seasoned again with some more black pepper and a branch of fresh rosemary.
To go with the meat loaf and cabbage we made a batch of hokkaido pumpkin. We only have one oven, but when cooking things on low temperatures for longer than an hour it is usually not a problem mixing things that we would otherwise have cooked at completely different temperatures.
The pumpkin we seasoned with pepper and rosemary.
The meat loaf we placed in the middle of the oven, whereas the pumpkin got to sit at the bottom. Not ideal, but we have to get another grid before we can do any better.
Both the meat loaf and the pumpkin were left in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes at 140 °C, which rendered the meat loaf just slightly too dry. That might possibly have been from having it rest on top of the cabbage rather than the other way around. Some room for improvement in any case…
It was very tasty in any way and it served to remind us of all the nice and tasty things one can do with minced meat. Don’t forget to add some butter or some other fat of your choosing when serving.
It’s been a lot of slow cooking lately and here is another one. Chuck steak with ginger, garlic, onion and pepper in red wine and coconut milk. Since we had leftovers in the fridge we actually did not wait for the steak to get ready for dinner, but we had it for lunch today instead.
First we put the chuck steak in the Schlemmertopf and seasoned with garlic, onion, ginger and pepper. Before putting it in the oven at 140 °C we poured two deciliters of coconut milk and about as much red wine on top of the steak.
After three hours in the oven we took it out. It could easily have been left for another few hours, but even though we plan ahead we don’t have unlimited time…
For the lunch today we complemented the steak with steaming some carrots and white beets. Together with the steak and vegetables we had a small green salad.