Pork shoulder steaks cooked in milk with lemon, sage and fennel

I first cooked this at the Aldeburgh Cookery School on their Italian Classics course a few years ago and loved it. I lost the recipe and then came across a similar one in the Rick Stein’s Venice book for a loin joint so I adapted it to use with some pork shoulders steaks I found in the freezer in a lockdown clearout. The sauce is thick and creamy and delicately flavoured with lemon, fennel and sage – served with new potatoes and green vegetables, it’s simple to make and simply delicious.

pork steak in milk

  • 4 pork shoulder steaks at least 2cm thick. They need to be quite thick so they don’t dry out when they cook in the oven. 
  • 30g butter plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Zest of a lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 dessertspoon of fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 500ml milk
  • Salt and black pepper

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  • Season the pork with salt and pepper.
  • Scald the milk in a separate pan by bringing it to a simmer and then set aside.
  • In a large frying pan, melt the oil and butter and then brown the pork steaks on each side. Transfer them to a wide-based cast-iron casserole dish.
  • Lightly cook the garlic in the remaining butter with the fennel seeds, sage and lemon zest.
  • Pour in the milk and lemon juice, bring it up to the boil and then pour it over the pork.
  • Cover with the casserole lid and cook in the oven for an hour. After an hour, the pork should be cooked through and the sauce may be quite runny and slightly curdled.
  • Turn off the oven and pour off the liquid back into the frying pan and reduce over a high heat. Cover the pork so that it can rest whilst the sauce reduces. Check the sauce for seasoning and pour it back over the pork steaks.
  • Serve with new potatoes and dark green vegetables such as broccoli.

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Iberian tapas feast

Gazpacho

As I didn’t actually get the June holiday in Spain I had planned, on account of the lockdown, I’m planning to bring a little bit of Spain to my garden instead this year. Most of these recipes have been published already over the years (and I’ll add some more soon that I just haven’t had time to write yet), but it helps to have them in a collection so that you can either just put on a massive tapas feast, or select a couple as a starter and then go main course and dessert if you really want to push the boat out.  Whilst we’re still all trying to work out the etiquette of entertaining in the post-COVID world, tapas is quite a nice way to go because you can serve them in separate little dishes for e.g. each couple or household group.

For the tapas

Some or all of these ideas…

For the main event

Either of these easy make-ahead dishes makes for a delicious main course. If you haven’t seen your friends or family for a while, no need to waste time in the kitchen whilst they’re visiting!

For dessert

There are few nicer desserts than either of these on a warm summer’s day – also easy to make ahead of time.

 

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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Marvellous meatballs with ‘money in the bank’ tomato sauce

If you’ve got money in the bank tomato sauce already made in the freezer, this is a pretty quick prep and bake supper dish you can have ready to eat in about an hour. If you haven’t, just make the sauce before you begin making the meatballs and it should still be on the table in less than 90 minutes. Anyway, it’s worth the effort either way because it’s really delicious. Serve with pasta and a side salad or just green veg like sauteed courgettes if you’re going low-carb.

marvellous meatballs

Serves 4

  • money in the bank tomato sauce  – the 400g tin of tomatoes quantity. Use the base recipe and add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. 
  • 600g lean minced beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons of white breadcrumbs (I use Panko for speed)
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1 dessertspoon of dried oregano or chopped fresh thyme and oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 1 large banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 large ball of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
  • 30g Parmesan cheese

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Make the tomato sauce from the recipe in the link above or defrost what you’ve already made and add the red wine vinegar.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the minced beef, two tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, grated garlic, chopped shallot, salt and pepper, herbs and fennel seeds. Combine thoroughly using a fork or clean hands. Stir in the beaten egg and mix together again.
  • Using wet hands (it stops the mix sticking to them), fashion into 12 equal-sized meatballs and place them in the base of a baking dish.
  • Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs and give the dish a little wiggle so it settles evenly across the base. Tear the mozzarella up into chunks and tuck it in amongst the meatballs.
  • Scatter with the remaining breadcrumbs, pine nuts and grated Parmesan.
  • Cook in the oven on a baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes until bubbling, golden and slightly crunchy on top. Up the temperature to 220°C for another 10 minutes if it still looks like a crust hasn’t formed. Allow it to cool slightly before serving. If there’s too much oil on the surface, tip the baking dish slightly so that the surplus collects in one corner and gently scoop it away onto a saucer using a soup spoon.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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