with caramelised onions & grapefruit
This post, like the lead-in photo, is slightly odd. It’s a side dish I included within one of my more recent posts that I wanted to develop further. And I’m glad I did. Even though it’s a sour kind of dish, where a liking of grapefruit is necessary – I happen to love most fruit so it’s not a problem for me. And it does go especially well with the slightly crunchy and peppery radishes that have been pan-fried, which helps to soften their sometimes harsh flavour. What didn’t soften the blow, even after brining meat for the first time ever, was the pork loin steak that’s so prominent in the photos. That’s it! I’ve giving up on ever cooking those again. Seriously, even with a basic brine of one tablespoon each of table salt and dark muscovado sugar and 700ml (1.47 lqd) of water, brined for an hour, well rinsed and fried in a perfectly hot pan for five minutes each side and I still needed a steak knife and a new set of teeth!
Think I’ll stick to boneless pork shoulder steaks that cook so perfectly the meat’s literally melt-in-the-mouth tender. That aside, this side of radishes have me somewhat stumped in that I don’t know what to serve them with (baked white fleshed sweet potatoes, that the local store are no longer selling?). I guess I don’t do sour very often. And earlier today I tried going sweet by making pineapple salsa for the first time – lots of firsts today. The salsa is a winner. Wow, can’t wait to buy in all of the necessary ingredients and have that over the weekend with roasted lemon chicken, maybe. As yesterday I couldn’t buy a single green pepper nor fresh coriander – hmm…okay, I lie. There was coriander available that I wouldn’t have called fresh enough to buy as it was definitely on the other side of the fence and too close to a compost heap for my liking.
Serves 2 – 3
- olive oil
- 300g (10.58 oz) x onions, halved, peeled, trimmed, each half cut through toward the root end but not quite, turned and sliced crossways into thin slices
- 2 x dried bay leaves
- 1 x fresh sprig thyme, rinsed
- 220g (7.76 oz) x radishes weight after prep, washed, topped and tailed
- 1 x 300g or 175g drained weight (10.58 or 6.17 oz drained) can pinto beans, well rinsed
- 2 x garlic cloves, root end cut off, peeled and cut into small dice
- ¹/4 x teaspoon grapefruit zest
- about 4 x grinds each of freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
- up to 8 x tablespoons grapefruit, start off with less and add more to personal taste
- 12 or more x pitted dark morello cherries out of a jar, check each cherry to make sure the pip has been removed!
- sour cream, to serve – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Put a heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6) and when hot pour in enough oil to coat its base. Add the onions along with the bay leaves and thyme and stir through, plonk on a lid and allow to settle for about 15 minutes, stirring through if necessary. Take off lid, reduce heat to No 2 and continue to cook until the onions start to turn golden. Move them to the sides of pan and start adding the radishes, cut sides down.
- Add the well rinsed pinto beans to a large saucepan and put on heat No 3. When they catch a little and start to turn golden add the crushed garlic and stir through. Take off heat as the pan should be hot enough to cook out the rawness of the garlic.
- When the radishes are cooked one side turn them over one by one and make sure enough time is allowed for them to cook so that a fork can pierce them. At that time add the pinto beans and stir through. Season lightly at this stage as well. Start adding tablespoonfuls of the grapefruit juice, through a sieve if necessary, and allow time for all flavours to infuse before tasting and adding any more. When the level of grapefruit has been decided add the morello cherries and stir through. Serve hot.
All photographs within Feed the piglet:
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