Tag Archives: pork

Chinese Roast Pork with Stir Fry Vegetables

This is quite an undertaking planning-wise as the pork should ideally be left over night to marinate, so it would be good for an Easter celebration lunch. However, left for at least three hours should also give good results. You can also short-cut the mixing and roasting of the various spices by using a standard Chinese five spice blend but we’ve done the full home-made version here.
fanny and brenda's chinese pork stir fry at fannyandbrenda.com

Pre-heat oven to 200°C
750g belly pork
5tsp sea salt
4tsp Szechuan peppercorns
3 star anise
1” cinnamon stick
1tsp fennel seeds
12 cloves
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cooking oil/veg oil

fanny and brenda's chinese pork stir fry at fannyandbrenda.com

INGREDIENTS for the stir-fry

500g bag of beansprouts
a carrot – sliced into batons
a red or orange pepper – sliced into approx 1cm batons
a few florets of tender stem broccoli
a small handful of sugarsnap or mange tout peas
a small handful of baby corn
a few asparagus spears
a handful of oyster mushrooms
a red chilli – finely sliced
a large clove of garlic (or two!) – minced
soy sauce
hoi sin sauce
oyster sauce
sesame oil
groundnut or vegetable oil

Pak choi – if using

fanny and brenda's chinese pork stir fry at fannyandbrenda.com


The key is producing a tender and melting joint of meat with an intense and crunchy crackling – to this latter end, score the skin lightly (don’t go down to the flesh) with a Stanley knife unless you happen to have a particularly sharp carving knife. I keep a variety of weapons to hand as sometimes Brenda can be quite tense and occasionally needs fending off by force.

Next, boil the kettle and with the meat rind-side-up on a rack suspended over the sink, pour on the hot water. Leave to drain a moment and then pat dry.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan (you can use a wok but it’s probably over-large for this) over a medium heat and add the Szechuan peppercorns and the piece of cinnamon. Move these around regularly for one minute then add the star anise. Continue stirring to keep everything roasting evenly and after 30 seconds more, add the fennel seeds and cloves. Dry fry for another minute by which time all the ingredients should be turning one or two shades darker, the fennel and pepper may be beginning to crackle a little bit and just a haze of light smoke beginning to rise. Take off the heat immediately and continue moving around. The spices should be toasted and not burnt.

In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind these altogether along with the salt, then mix in the sugar.

Lightly oil the meat all over and then massage in the salt/spice mix – but particularly into the skin (rind). Leave in a cool, well ventilated area, lightly covered, at least a few hours but better overnight.

fanny and brenda's chinese pork stir fry at fannyandbrenda.com

When it comes to roasting, start at 200°C. While the oven is heating up, pour away any liquid which has accumulated around the pork (which is mainly excess moisture and salt) and put the pork on a wire rack placed over a roasting tray with a few cm boiling water poured in the bottom. The water level should not be touching the pork joint. Roast like this for 15 mins then turn down to 140°C for a further two hours. For the final 15-20 mins, raise the temperature again to 220°C to give a final fierce burst of heat to ensure that crunchy crackling! Take out and rest in a warm place for a 20 mins

Meanwhile, you can get to work on your stir fry which, apart from a little chopping and prep work, is made in minutes – here’s how
fanny and brenda's chinese pork stir fry at fannyandbrenda.com

METHOD for the stir-fry

The idea is to get your veg into pieces approximately the same size. Clearly, matching broccoli florets with batons of carrot is not going to be an exact science, but the lovely pictures we helpfully provide, should help. As a further hint, I just broke down the broccoli into fairly small individual florets, split the baby corn once lengthways, cut the mushrooms once or twice and split the carrots lengthways into either four or six and the peppers into slices approx half to 1cm width.. Sugarsnap peas I left whole.

If you also want to serve some pak choi, this can either be separated into its individual leaves, left whole or cut in halves or quarters lengthways. Just lightly steam just before starting the stir fry.

Get the wok nice and hot and follow with a couple of tablespoons (about 30ml) oil. When starting to smoke, throw in the minced garlic and stir fry for ten seconds or so – don’t burn it which will happen very quickly – then add in the veg and toss and coat quickly and continue to stir fry for about 1-2 mins.

Add the beansprouts and stir through, mingling and coating with the other veg for about 30 seconds and then add a few tbsp soy and the same of oyster and hoi sin sauces. Stir/toss a final time and switch off.

Just before serving, drizzle a few tsp of sesame oil, ditto on the steamed pak choi if using.

fanny and brenda's chinese pork stir fry at fannyandbrenda.com

Pork Stroganoff a la Baroness Von Boom Boom

There was some profane yelling through our letterbox at some hideously early hour this morning. I watched from the top of the stairs as a bleary eyed Fanny got her stick ready to cause the shouting imbecile some immense harm as she opened the door in case it was a nutter intent on a rampage. It turns out that it was a nutter, an old friend of Fanny’s called Bebe. There was this hilarity and in walked this ghastly loud woman. I always thought it would be difficult to find anything louder or more insolent than Fanny but believe me Baroness Bebe Von Boom Boom takes the biscuit.

And what a hellish Saturday it was. Having been with us all day regaling us with fairly uninteresting stories about running pheasant shoots and hunting deer she then decided to stay for dinner which really delighted me I don’t think.

delicious pork stroganoff recipe from fanny and brenda

She’d arrived with some scratchcards which she had never played before and when nothing matched on the matches game she started muttering about legal action against the lottery. Well you would wouldn’t you. Undeterred by not winning millions, she decided to drag Fanny up to the local supermarche where a fillet of pork and some mushrooms were purchased. She had decided we were all going to eat pork stroganoff, which gave me a night off and Fanny time to have a much needed shower.

delicious pork stroganoff recipe from fanny and brenda

Boom Boom started chopping up the ingredients while Fanny downed a beer and offered me one of her cheesy balls. Then a heated debate took place between Fanny and Bebe about how to cut up the Cavalo Nero.

delicious pork stroganoff recipe from fanny and brenda

I was drawn in to the argument against my will as Fanny declared that she liked her foliage firmly trimmed, and whose method was better? Fanny used a knife while Boom Boom reverted to fingers. I don’t like to call her coarse, but regrettably I have to.

delicious pork stroganoff recipe from fanny and brenda

However I have to say her dinner was rather delicious so here is her recipe.  Sadly she stayed the night before heading off the next day. Hopefully we won’t see Bebe von Boom Boom again for a very long time….

Now for the recipe


pork fillet 500g
sliced (chestnut or button) mushrooms 250g
1 finely sliced large onion
290ml good chicken stock
290ml medium cider
Half tsp ground black pepper
200ml (full fat) creme fraiche
2tbspns  dijon mustard
2 crushed cloves of garlic
Handful of chopped parsley
Salt to season

Lemon wedges to serve

delicious pork stroganoff recipe from fanny and brenda


Cut the pork into strips

Fry onions, garlic and mushrooms until soft

Remove from pan

Fry the pork until browned lightly on each side but still soft and pink in middle

Remove from pan  and set aside

Deglaze pan with cider

Add the stock and reduce by third

Strain through a sieve to remove any wanton black bits

Return the stock to the pan

Add dijon and pepper and stir, and boil and taste.

Then add creme fraiche but only to a simmer point (you don’t want to boil the creme fraiche)

Salt to season and taste

Add the pork, stir, add the mushrooms and onions, stir, and low simmer the mix for five minutes

Add 2/3 of the parsley and stir in

Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve with steamed rice, or boiled potatoes, and some steamed green cabbage, or broccoli. We used cavalo nero.

Sprinkle over rest of parsley as you serve and serve with a lemon wedge on the side.

delicious pork stroganoff recipe from fanny and brenda


Pork and Fennel Meatballs with Rice and Peppers


500g organic pork mince
2 large bulbs of fennel
3 cups of boiled rice
3 peppers
Tomato puree
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 eggs separated
1/2 pint of chicken stock

Herbs and Spices

Chilli Flakes
Fennel seeds
Black Pepper
4 Garlic cloves

For the meatballs

Enough was enough! Brenda had taken over the kitchen and apart from the hideous mess she creates when ‘cooking’ I had been plied with more brown slop than is good for a girl. So I shooed her out of the kitchen after she managed to permanently glue some jelly to the ceiling. I don’t want to call her incompetent but there are times when I realise that she never attended finishing school.

So having taken over the asylum I extracted some of the day’s shopping from the fridge.

In a mortar crush lightly a teaspoon of black peppercorns. I pretended I was crushing Brenda’s head and that made it all the more enjoyable. Then add a tablespoon of fennel seed and crush a the mix a little more.

crush the spices for this delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Trim, peel and finely dice (I used an alligator) the fresh fennel bulbs and the peppers(strictly speaking these are not for the meatballs but since you’ve got the alligator out anyway, you might as well get ahead of yourself so the peppers are ready-prepared for when you do the rice part of this dish….)

dice the peppers for a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Separate two eggs

Put the pork mince in a bowl with the yolks, add half the diced fennel, crushed black pepper/fennel seeds, plus squeeze in your four garlic cloves through the crusher direct into the mix and sprinkle on about a teaspoon of chilli flakes. Get your(clean!) hands in and combine

mix the ingredients for a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Create about 20 meatballs, each about 2″ wide (about the size of a medium tomato!) rolling them in the frothy white of egg (frothy, as your sous-chef has lightly whisked them for you…) and roll your balls through the breadcrumbs. Fry, turning and moving regularly, in a 1/2″ layer of vegetable/olive oil for about ten minutes until just turning golden which should take about 15 minutes.

fry the meatballs for a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven for about 15-20 mins on 180°C.

……Save the oil from the frying, filtering through a sieve to remove most of the loose bits – Brenda will be more expert on that than me as I ordered her to do it………

For the sauce (be ready to check the meatballs towards the end of this stage – if they’re done before your rice and sauce is finished, switch the oven off and open the oven door slightly so they keep warm but aren’t cooking further)

a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Take the rest of the diced fennel and soften in a few tablespoons of the sieved oil (in which the meatballs were fried) for about 10 mins in a saucepan

Then and add 1/2 pint of chicken stock and a squeeze of tomato puree, plus a can of chopped tomatoes

Simmer for about 20 minutes until everything is soft and combined

Liquidise the sauce in the pan using a hand held blender.

For the rice

Saute diced peppers in a few tablespoons of olive oil for about ten mins then stir in the cooked rice and continue to heat through for a further five – leave in the pan with the heat off till ready to serve.

a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Serve with a decent bottle of wine!

a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce