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Best recipes for leftovers: Simple pork, tomato and sweet pepper risotto

pork risotto.jpgGliding past the meat counter in the supermarket at the weekend, I noticed a happy man laughing as he tossed a bag of meat into his trolley. I don’t usually stop at the meat counter but the laughter indicated a great bargain. I hit the air brakes of my trolley and spied a half price rack of pork. I have never tasted this before. Smiling broadly I left the counter.

Danny roasted the rack on Sunday and we ate half. Delicious, delicate tender meat. The chops on the rack look quite small but three chops are plenty for the two of us. The other half sat in the fridge waiting to star in a weekday supper dish.

I don’t use a traditional recipe for risotto. The onions and rice cry out for experimentation. If I am going to add cooked meat, it is popped in for five minutes after the risotto is finished. This heats the meat through without destroying its texture or flavour. The sun dried tomatoes gave the risotto a wonderful deep note that made the summer vegetables taste even fresher and a perfect foil for the dense meat of the pork.

Risotto is easy to make. It tastes great cold or you could try Richard Leader’s wonderful arancini recipe that we discovered last week. I prefer Arborio rice over risotto rice. I reckon it’s worth sourcing a decent quality Arborio rice (we buy our from an Italian delicatessen in Cambridge).

Simple pork, tomato and sweet pepper risotto recipe (for four)

Ingredients:

  • 300gms Arborio (or risotto) rice
  • 1 large onion (chopped half centimetre cubes)
  • 500ml-900ml of hot stock (I used 3 tsp of Marigold stock powder to 900ml of water)
  • 2-3 tbls of olive oil
  • 1 fat clove of garlic (crushed and chopped fine)
  • 2 sun dried tomato pieces 3-4 cm long, chopped fine
  • Herbs to taste (we used two large pinches of our strong, dried Italian herbs)
  • 1 green Marmara pepper (sliced fine)
  • Half a red bell pepper (sliced very fine)
  • 8-10 sweet cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • Cubed meat from 3 cold chops from a rack (these are smaller than an ordinary pork chop). Our half rack produced two handfuls of meat.
  • Large slosh of dry white wine
  • Chopped fresh herbs to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon of parmesan to garnish

Method:

  1. Over a low heat add the chopped onions to the olive oil and cook until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the rice and another tablespoonful of oil if the mixture seems a bit dry. Toss the rice in the onion and oil mix until all the grains are coated.
  3. Add the garlic. Add 250ml of stock and stir to absorb. Add the sun dried tomatoes and herbs.
  4. Keep on adding the stock and stirring, letting the rice absorb the moisture.
  5. After ten minutes add the peppers and tomatoes. Stir well and every now and then check the moisture and top up with stock as necessary. When the rice has softened but still has a bite (20 mins approx) remove from the heat.
  6. Add the wine (optional) and the pork and stir the meat well into the risotto. Put the lid on and leave for five minutes. Scatter with a dessertspoon of fresh herbs (parsley ideally) and parmesan.

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2 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello G Thomas

    We try to only post recipes that work really well for us. Quite often we experiment, cooking and tweaking a dish several times before posting the recipe.

    We love this dish and are delighted that you enjoyed it too!

  2. G. Thomas

    Wow! This recipe turned out great!

    I am always at a loss for what to do with leftover roast pork. This is a wonderful way to prepare an excellent meal.

    The risotto gave this dish a little creaminess and the taste of the peppers combined nicely with the meat.

    Four stars!

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