Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pork shank with turnip,carrot,potato mash (Fläsklägg med Rotmos)

Dinner for 4 for under ten dollars
Pure food. So simple.So nice
You will all be happy to know that today my new Fuji camera arrives, and hopefully my pictures will be 100% better, and you will want to dive in and start cooking. Fläsklägg in Swedish is translated to pork shank in English. It's the cut between the elbow and the knee of a big juicy piggy. This particular piece of meat needs a little bit of TLC with a long slow cooking process over medium heat and so the meat falls from the bone when you tug at it with a fork.
This meal is by far one of my favorite meals in all categories. The crackling and the sweet lovely chunks of rose colored meat. The added smoothness of the slightly spicy creamy root vegetable mash.This meal is really a hot tub of goodness, that is both easy on the wallet, and easy to prepare. Next time your at the nearest butcher or meat counter ask for some pork shanks and give this a go. Really....magical.

How to Swedish style Pork shanks and root veggie mash:

  • 1 kg rinsed pork shank
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 6 whole all spice peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
It's a beautiful thing.....
For the mash:
  • 1 turnip ( ca 400g)
  • 3 carrots (ca 400g)
  • stock from the pork shank
  • 8-10 (ca 800g) good mashing potatoes
salt and white pepper and butter to taste

Just this easy
Add the now rinsed and clean pork shank to a large pot of cold water.Let it cook up on an medium heat until it comes to a slight boil.Peal and chop your onion and carrot and add it to the pot. Also add in your peppercorns and your bay leaf. Turn down the heat to low and and place a lid on top.Let simmer for about 1½- 2 hours or until the meat is ready to fall off the bone. 

When the meat is about ready. Remove it gently from your stock, and discard your cooked vegetables from the stock. Let your pork rest while you prepare your mash.
Root Vegetables. Equals goodness.
Fläsklägg med rotmos.... Comfort food Swedish style
Peal and chop your turnip, carrot and potatoes into roughly the same size pieces to ensure evenly cooking. Add the turnips and carrots  to a large pot and add almost all the stock to the vegetables. Add a little more salt and pepper here if you need too.Cook for around 30  minutes. Add the chopped potatoes and cook for around 15 minutes or until soft. Strain your stock into a large bowl and set aside. Mash your root vegetables with a potato masher and add in a little stock as needed. Add your butter and salt and white pepper to taste. It is just fine to leave in some lumps here.Mash until it is fluffy and seasoned to your taste. Add extra stock if  it seems to dry. 

I like to turn the oven up to 200C -400F and lay my pork leg under the grill to make a nice crackling with the skin. Around 20 minutes, but watch it so it does not burn. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite French mustard and traditionally Swedes eat this with a big glass of milk. Either way it's a lovely dinner and I hope you give it a try. I hope you will not be disappointed.  


Friday, November 4, 2011

For the love of Falafel

It is a little late this post. Excuse my absence, but it has been really busy around here lately.Two deaths, one funereal, three colds, and a house full of guests preoccupying my time.At times like these I want scrumptious food something that makes my soul cozy and relaxed. I thought falafel would be just the ticket to give me inner peace.
I am an avid lover of anything middle eastern, and nothing screams middle eastern than a good falafel. I scoured the web looking for a great recipe, and Dedemed Mediterranean Cooking recipes did it for me. Easy to follow, and she hosts how to video's and a list of all her own homemade spices and home cooked recipes for any level of cook.

pre-soaked garbanzo beans, and fava white beans

  • 2 cups dried garbanzo beans
  • 1½ cups dried fava beans
  • 1 cup cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large yellow onion 
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3-4 tbsp. dried bread crumbs (or more to help bind)
  • 1 tsp baking soda added before frying
  • ½ tsp baking powder added before frying
  • Vegetable oil for frying ( I used peanut oil) in a 2-3 inch deep frying pan


Blitzed beans in mix master until they look like this
Soak the dried garbanzo and fava beans overnight. Garbanzo beans are also commonly called chickpeas. Use bowls that are large enough to accommodate the swelling beans and cover with enough cool water to allow all the beans enough room to soften. If you notice over the day or before you go to bed that the water level is not sufficient add more water to cover.(If living in Sweden, I used Stora Vita bönor from RISENTA in the health food section of your local grocery store.)
all the herbs,onion and garlic mixed -smells wonderful
fried until golden
yummy, wrapped in Liba bread or pita
After the beans have soaked overnight. In your mix master, add the drained beans and chop and blend the beans in a food processor until the beans are the consistency of a well chopped mix. (See photo above).Put in a large bowl and set aside. Without cleaning your food processing bowl, add your onion, garlic,fresh coriander, and fresh parsley and blend the same way as you did the beans.Add to the mixed beans and set aside. Meanwhile,add your breadcrumbs and all your dried herbs, the cumin,dried coriander,salt, black pepper cayenne pepper if using and mix well.
Taste to see if you would like to add more salt or pepper. Add your baking powder and your baking soda, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes to let it set. Meanwhile turn on your stove to medium-low heat, watch it carefully. Add your oil about 1-2 inches and let it heat up. Take a little pre- made falafel ball or pattie and do a tester. If it starts to fall apart in the oil, then you need to add a little more bread crumbs( about 2 tbsp or some flour to help bind.( This is caused by the amount of moister in the beans.) Re test a ball or pattie, and when they are holding together better; you can continue to add your falafel balls to the oil and continually turn them until they are nice and golden.Transfer to a plate with a couple of pieces of paper towel to help them drain.

Serve warm with your favorite sauce, pita bread, pickled root vegetables, or sliced fresh tomatoes, onions, cucumber and enjoy.