slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats

To be honest, I know the slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats look crap, but do you know what? I don’t care! We saw them on Pinterest (I know, it’s a miracle I saw anything between all the JuicePlus ads and knock-off Etsy bumph, but hey) and thought we’d give them a go. Lesson learned? Don’t try and copy anything from Pinterest. It never works for us. What looks cute, unusual and fluffy on Pinterest usually ends up looking like the end result of a family car backing over a cat. 🙁

It’s the same with this blog, to be fair. We do try and make our food look presentable but you have to remember, we spend a lot of time fannying about with the dishes this way and that way to try and get them to look half decent. That’s because we want to promote our food. You, on the other hand, shouldn’t fuss about – get down to the business of turning your hard work into poo, instead. It’s what you want.

Anyway, I wanted to give a quick guide to how we blog. This isn’t a funny post but it’s something that we get asked a lot about. I’ve seen a lot of people over the last couple of years start up food blogs and most of them stop after a while, and there’s a bloody good reason – it takes a lot of time! If you want to share your recipes then go for it. You can host on WordPress for free and it’s an excellent platform for your own blog – very easy to use! We take all of our photos with our iPad and touch them up slightly in Photoshop (normally to balance the colours – we have a very, very red kitchen). It’s worth taking the time to write properly but don’t stress too much about telling a story – there’s far, far too many blogs out there (possibly including my own) that, for example, when writing about a chilli will tell you about the time they went to the market to buy chillis, and how amazing chillis are, and how much they love chillis…if you’ve got a story, tell it, but if you’re just filling out the word count, don’t!

We do spend a lot of our time doing this – finding recipes to adapt to make them Slimming World friendly, writing out the posts, taking the pictures, researching the syn count, publicising the posts – each post takes about two hours to do, I reckon. If you’re committed, it’s a fun, worthwhile hobby, but jeez, when I think about all them hours…

If you’re looking to make money from a blog, unless you really, REALLY build up the readership, you’ll struggle. There’s plenty of ways to do it, but you’ll not make much to begin with unless you have a blog full of adverts and trick people into going there. That’s not good. Readership takes a while to build – we get on average about 25,000 views a day but for the first year we were hitting 500 and being glad of it. I remember how excited I was when we got up to 50 subscribers – now we’re not a kick of the arse off 10,000! That’s just insane to me.

If I could give only one bit of advice – do it with love. Now I know that’s going to make everyone’s teeth turn black from all the sugar but honestly, Paul loves cooking and I love writing so a food blog is the perfect outlet for that. If you’re the same, give it a go! If you don’t fancy writing full-time, don’t forget you can guest write for our blog if you want to see your name up in lights. Just drop us a line in the comments and we’ll contact you.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s get to the bloody pulled pork chilli boats.

slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats

to make slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats, you’ll need:

  • a good joint of pork, we used shoulder from Musclefood – it came with very little fat on (and we just cut it off) and an excellent price at £6.00 per kg – click here for that!
  • tin of tomatoes
  • tin of beans
  • tin of black eyed beans
  • an onion
  • a small carton of passata
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • a slow cooker
  • Old El Paso Stand and Stuff tacos (4.5 syns each)
  • one slice of Edam (the sliced Edam from Tesco – one slice is a HEA, or just use your syns for about 4 syns)
  • potato wedges for the side
  • chopped lettuce

to make slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats, you should:

  • put everything bar the taco, cheese and lettuce into the slow cooker and cook overnight on low – then shred the pork with two forks
  • stuff into a taco
  • make a cheese sail
  • put it on a bed of lettuce
  • serve with potato wedges and a feeling of what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-with-my-life

Meh! It made Paul laugh. The leftovers can be served with rice the next day and put into a sandwich. Hell, you could even put it on a pizza like this old recipe of ours. This chilli really is the bare bones – add as many vegetables like peppers or mushrooms as you want. Really, it was just an excuse to muck about with our food. Enjoy!

For other pork recipes, click the icon below!

porksmall

Goodbye!

curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard

It doesn’t get any fancier than curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard, even if the photo does look like I’ve smeared some houmous on a built-up shoe and sat it beside something the cat’s brought up. Meh, it tastes nice, and it all comes out the same colour so who really cares about presentation? We’ll get to the recipe after this short moan about Forever Living.

STRONG WARNING: if you’re a seller of Juice Plus or Forever Living, let’s just assume that you’re the exception to prove the rule rather than someone who is guilty of the below. No need to get uppity, I know there’s some good in all scams. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

We all know how I feel about Juice Plus. It’s worthless powder pressed into pills and shakes designed to be sold to vulnerable folk by desperate pushers who care not about the health risks but more about lining their pockets. The company actively encourages reps to post via Facebook slimming groups and pretend that they tell people off for it when they don’t. Meh. I’ve talked about them plenty of times and frankly, if you’re a Juice Plus seller, I think you’re a parasite. 

No, Forever Living entered my orbit recently (lots of things tend to do this – when you’re the size of a horse-box you tend to have your own slight gravitational pull) because I, out of nosiness, responded to a post on a Slimming World group from someone who said ‘they desperately needed help‘. Actually, it was more like ‘CAN ANI1 HELP PLZ I DESPRATLY KNEED HELP PLZ MESSURJ ME‘. Sorry, no, forgive me, it was more like ‘CAN ANI1 HELP PLZ I DESPRATLY KNEED HELP PLZ MESSURJ ME ⊙﹏⊙ ❤?☹?♥☹? ♥❤ xXxXxXx‘. That kind of shit typing that makes you feel like you’re being inadvertently groomed by Dark Justice. Anyway, being a kind soul and/or nosy, I messaged to find out if she was OK, only for her to launch into her sales pitch about Forever Living and how wonderful the products were and she just needed people to try the products and they could solve eczema and depression and MS and aches and pains and first world melancholy and the Times Cryptic Crossword blindfolded. I responded that it was a load of horse shit and she promptly blocked me. I was annoyed simply because she’d made out like she was in trouble or needed support and it was just a ploy to get caring folk to message her so she could exploit them to pay off her Brighthouse sofa. Or rather, pay off her leader’s Brighthouse sofa. Which you just know will be 90% highly-flammable Taiwanese foam and have built-in speakers. The worst part is that I know some poor sap will end up buying her products, losing their money and feeling blue. Nice one!

Anyway, I let that lie, but seemingly because I’d mentioned the words Forever Living on Facebook, the sponsored ads threw up an intriguing proposition that I should get in contact with a ‘Global Home Business Manager’, accompanied by the kind of graphic someone disinterested in Media Studies might put together in MS Paint in order to stop failing a class. The kind of poster you see in church halls advertising beetle drives and jumble sales. The type of advert that gets filed under ‘God bless them, they’re trying’. It was the ‘Global Home Business Manager’ bit that made me intrigued – not because I want to work from home, but it’s such a clash of words that it really struck me. Many things do at 7.30am in the morning over my bran flakes. What is a Global Home Business Manager?  To me it sounds like the kind of absolute nonsense title that people who sit in front of Jeremy Kyle recruiting other people to exploit help live the dream give themselves to justify their existence, but no, turns out it’s the title given to the next tier up in the Forever Living pyramid, presumably because Chief Shill isn’t quite positive enough. A quick look at the profile for this ‘Global Home Business Manager’ reveals all the usual tricks – the rent-a-quote images about ‘BEING MY OWN BOSS’ and ‘YOU CAN DO IT TOO’, all the positive reinforcement messages lifted verbatim from 1000 other Forever Living profiles.

There’s no doubt you can do well from it, absolutely no doubt. Problem is, you have to turn into one of those annoying folk who piss off their friends, families and neighbours with constant and endless pushing of your tat. How come if it is such a great product it can’t be bought in shops but rather needs to be peddled via a network of recruits on facebook? People describe themselves as business owners but that’s a complete misnomer – you’re a modern day Avon lady, only you’re an Avon lady who rings the doorbell every ten minutes and shouts through the letterbox about the benefit of smearing aloe vera on your ‘gina to clear up your cystitis. You’ll sharp notice that people stop answering the door too, the more you pester them. I left a comment on this sponsored advert asking why there is never any mention of the folks who buy into the whole Forever Living scam and then lose all their money, or about the dubious marketing, or the fact that it’s a giant fucking racket. I didn’t swear, but the comments were deleted immediately and I got a snooty, patronising private message from someone with a dreadful haircut advising me that ‘they felt sorry for me for not being able to see the benefits of such a fantastic product’. You can imagine how grief-stricken I was by such a retort, but typical that the negative comments get deleted. People looking for the champagne lifestyle – which such a tiny amount of sellers will achieve, and even then it’s only with the ill-gotten gains of those below them – are likely to be suckered in. It’s a mess.

I think what gets me most of all, though, is the fact they prey upon the desperate. Officially, they’re told they’re not allowed to say that these products help with illnesses, but I know from personal experience – many, many times over – that the reps say whatever they can in order to gain a sale. I’m lucky that aside from being outrageously handsome and ever so slightly overweight, there’s nowt much wrong with me. I play along, though – I make out I’ve got disease XYZ just to see if they ever back down and say no, this product isn’t for you. They never do. It’s always ‘oooh yes, this can help with your illness’ as though they have the cure to all known disease in a box in their bedroom as opposed to a few sachets of knock-off tat. They don’t give a flying fuck whether these crappy, untested products make a disease worse or the pain that you might go through, they care about one thing only: your money in their pockets. Well, a tiny bit of your money in their pockets and the rest in their leader’s pockets. They are arseholes of the highest order.

Listen, as you can imagine, the Internet does a much better job of explaining this. Take a look at this article on cracked.com or this (god-forbid) recount of an ex-rep on the Daily Mail (I know I know).  Have a gander on Mumsnet for some honest opinion of what people think of the sellers or take a read of the many, many discussion threads out there on it. If you’ve got someone with white teeth and whistling ears trying to sell you a magic potion or worse still, trying to recruit you, ask yourself three questions:

  • why can’t I buy these wonderful products in a shop or why aren’t they prescribed by a doctor;
  • what has this person got to gain by promoting such a ‘wonderful’ lifestyle; and
  • who do I trust more – science, the NHS, doctors and medical studies – or the badly-typed words of someone with a BTEC in Travel and Tourism and debts to pay off?

Exactly.

Right, let’s get to the recipe, eh? This dish is very easy to make – pretty much a bit of blending, a bit of smearing and a bit of grilling. The side of rainbow chard is an excellent way to get your speed food in and can be used as an accompaniment to any other dish.

curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard

to make curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard you will need:

for the chard…

  • a big bunch of rainbow chard cut up into small chunks (or use spinach)
  • a big fat onion sliced thinly
  • a clove of garlic, minced, using one of these
  • one orange

to make curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  • make a dry rub by mixing together in a small bowl 2 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp curry powder, salt and pepper
  • in a small pan, mix together the mango, ½ tsp curry powder, ½ tsp paprika and stir frequently over a low heat
  • rub a good amount of the dry rub mix onto each pork chop, on both sides
  •  heat an oven-safe pan over a medium-high heat with a little frylight and add the pork chops
  • sear for about 1-2 minutes on each side
  • add a tbsp of the mango mixture onto each pork chop and spread evenly, reserving the rest
  • place the pan in the oven and cook for about ten minutes
  • keep stirring the mango mixture until it has thickened slightly
  • when the pork is cooked, serve with the remaining mango puree on the side

to make the rainbow chard

  • cook off the onion and garlic until golden with a few squirts of oil
  • lower the heat and add the chard, put a lid on the pan and allow to steam gently
  • once reduced, squeeze the juice of half an orange in the pan and allow to bubble gently

I’m not synning the orange juice. We’re talking half an orange between four. If you want to syn it, it’s such a fractional tiny amount that it can be your job to work it out!

Serve!

J

slow cooker: sticky fruity pulled pork burger

Have to be quick tonight, as we’re going out to a drive-in to watch Inside Out. I’m not going to lie, it’ll be unusual for Paul and I to be parked by the seafront at night without a lorry driver poking his knob through the passenger side window, but we’ll give it a go. I’m kidding, we don’t do that. We found a deal for said drive-in on LivingSocial and thought, well why not. We wanted to see Grease but apparently the good people in South Shields beat us to it, which is surprising as I genuinely didn’t think you could drive a car with webbed fingers.

My facebook woes continue – I’ve just been deleted from the Newcastle ‘Pick Up My Tat’ (swapping) page for pointing out that someone’s light-up, flashing, disco headboard is one of the tackiest things I’ve ever seen. Someone with a name that sounds like a company that manufactures t-shirts for a market stall (Demi-Marie?) kicked off, said I had no right ‘dissing her bed’ and blocked me. You can just imagine how devastated I am.

Seriously mind, who orders a bed with a flashing headboard? Humans do two things in bed – sleep and shag. Neither of those activities are helped by a bed that looks like the world’s shittest nightclub. Either you’re going to be kept awake by a bed that resembles the back of a lorry making a three-point-turn on a country lane or you’re going to be held off your vinegar strokes by a seizure. 

Let’s quickly discuss that John Lewis advert, shall we? This one?

Yeah yeah. I’m sure your facebook walls have been awash with emoticons of crying faces and people posting statuses like ‘OMG!!!Q1 TEURS STREEMING DOWN MY ARSE SO SAD’ and the noise of thousands upon thousands of mooing cattle trying to outdo themselves with sentimental guff and tearful reactions. Well honestly. Have a Mars Bar and man the fuck up. I don’t understand the fuss and frothing over the various John Lewis adverts, truly I don’t, and I’m not just saying that to be wicked-cool. They’re pretty to look at, yes, but so is a rainbow, and that doesn’t mawkishly yank on my heartstrings like a coked up campanologist. This advert, featuring a dirty old bugger sitting on the moon lamenting his bail conditions and spying on a wee lass in her pyjamas…well, it doesn’t scream Christmas, does it? Aside from that bit where Alexis and Alexander sit down in their Farrow & Ball coated dining room for a split-second of sprout-eating before letting their child get back to hurling paper out of the window, it’s about as Christmassy as an Easter egg. And that bloody song – is there a piece of software that takes any decent piece of music and runs it through a filter so it sounds like the dying gasp of a sparrow? Pfft. 

Mind, I’m a massive hypocrite, because I love the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert. I do! But there is a giant cat in it, so you know, I can be excused. I laugh at the sentiment though – I can tell you now that if we had a house fire, some of our neighbours wouldn’t be coming around with plates of food and beaming faces. No, we’d get them traipsing across our lawn moaning that there was ash blowing on their washing and could we please do something about the smoke because poor Colin’s asthmatic and he’s two puffs from running out of Ventolin. 

Anyway, tonight’s recipes makes enough for eight. I know we said we’d try and stay away from pulled pork, but well, we had to do it once, and put into burgers…well, it’s amazing.  Plus, if you have any meat left over, you can cook it down with pasta and tomatoes and make a very quick lunch. So there.

FRUITY BUNS

Come on, admit it. You want to push your face into that and shake it all about. Before anyone asks, the chips are from our perfect roasties recipe, found here.

to make fruity pulled pork burgers, you’ll need:

to make fruity pulled pork burgers, you should:

  • mince your garlic, chop your onion, tip everything bar the coleslaw and bun into a slow cooker and cook for nine hours on low
  • remove the pork, put on a plate and pull apart with two forks
  • tip the sauce into a frying pan and heat it on high to reduce it right down
  • tip in the pork and stir, getting everything nice and sticky and thick
  • serve!

The breadbun is your HEB – if you have two, don’t forget to syn the extra bun.

Any leftover pork can be turned into this:

IMG_2238

Just make a sauce of tomatoes, chopped artichoke, onion and garlic and add the meat in. Heat through and serve with pasta! 

DONE.

J

pork and chorizo kebabs

EMERGENCY RECIPE ACTIVATE (Paul and I are gallivanting!). This is super quick to make and a good way to use up pork mince – pork is a slightly drier mince so works well with the oily chorizo but beef could be used too. 

pork and chorizo burgers

to make pork and chorizo kebabs, you’ll need:

  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 75g chorizo, chopped (7.5 syns)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • handful of chopped parsley

This makes enough for six ‘burgers’, which you can chop up and put into a kebab or indeed, have as a burger. I think that’s enough for three people. If you’re finding that there’s too much meat for you to handle and you’ve got a badly-packed kebab, just take a bit out and try again. You’ll get the hang of it and there’ll be thick yoghurt sauce everywhere in no time at all.

to make pork and chorizo kebabs, you should:

  • mix together all of the ingredients and season to taste
  • divide the mixture into six and press into burger shapes
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and place the burgers in the pan
  • cook for about 6-7 minutes each side, making sure the burgers are fully cooked
  • serve in a pitta bread (make sure it’s suitable for your HEB) with salad and raita (mix fat free yoghurt with chopped mint and shredded cucumber)

So easy!

J

pork, apple and stilton parcels

Oops. I said one recipe a day didn’t I? Well, look – it was late when we got home yesterday and then I had the pleasure of showing my parents around the newly decorated house, where I had to stop my mother measuring up for new carpets and calling Pickfords to get herself moved in. After they’d gone, it was really all we could do to order a Chinese and watch some shite TV. We’re only humans and it’s been a really, really long week. I do wish I had a job which meant I could work from home on occasion (sadly, someone has to make the photocopier work and make the teas). I know I couldn’t, I’d spend 7 hours watching Youtube, eating everything in the fridge and half-heartedly masturbating. Look it’s what all blokes do when we’re alone. That’s why our emails from home are always so badly typed with the spelli ng al to cock.!

I had to stop typing for a second there because Paul has set our ‘any colour’ lights to flash on and off when the International Space Station goes overhead and I genuinely thought I was having a stroke. God knows why he’s decided we need that to happen. Frankly all I use the lights for is making the whole house glow red when we’re out so the neighbours think we’re running a gloryhole in our hallway. And we’re definitely not doing that – we’ve just had the walls painted and I don’t want it looking like a Jackson Pollock. 

I’m doing some work behind the scenes on the blog at the moment to make each recipe easier to find, so you might notice a few things changing. Don’t be alarmed. One thing I’ve just added are decent share buttons, which you’ll find at the bottom of each recipe. Please – you’ll be doing me a massive favour if you could share a recipe or two that you like. Hell, you can even print them and take them along to class. Admittedly, you’ll need to push out all the badly-photocopied recipes for Scan Bran stir-fry or other such muck, but go on, be a rebel.

Tonight’s recipe is something a bit different – we always try and make ‘cheaper’ recipes for the blog, but on this one you’ll need to spend a little bit of cash and some of your syns. But look: it’s worth it. They’re tasty, look good and served with a couple of speedy sides will be a complete meal. If you get big chops to begin with, you’re laughing. You could swap the prosciutto for bacon and the stilton for feta and drop the syns right down, but what’s the point in living if you can’t feel alive? Please note: if you’re one of those folks clearly starved of oxygen in the womb and you’re planning to leave me a snotty message along the lines of ‘u kneed 2 sin the appul as ewe’ve cuked it‘, please save your fingers. It’s a slice of apple. A SLICE. Generally speaking, unless your apple is covered in toffee or stuck in the mouth of a suckling pig, you’re not going to take much fat on board. Cheers thanks a lot.

pork chops

to make pork, apple and stilton parcels you’ll need:

  •  4 pork chops, all fat removed
  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 12 slices of prosciutto (6 syns)
  • 100g white stilton, crumbled (16 syns)
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary (use cocktail sticks if you’re not dreadfully middle-class like us and in possession of a herb garden)

to make pork, apple and stilton parcels, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200°c
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat – you won’t need to add any oil!
  • season the pork chops with a little salt and pepper and sear in the hot pan – a non-stick pan is best for this bit because you’ll know when each side is ready when it no longer sticks to the bottom of the pan
  • meanwhile, lay out three slices of prosciutto so that they overlap slightly – you’ll need to do this three more times; one for each parcel
  • place the pork chop on top of the prosciutto, add a few slices of apple on top and then crumble over 25g stilton cheese
  • wrap the prosciutto around each pile and secure with the rosemary sprig so it keeps its shape
  • place onto a baking sheet and bake for fifteen minutes – the prosciutto should be nice and crispy and the cheese melted but not oozing out

Serve with a nice simple salad, or if you can be chewed, some fancy potatoes – and that’s on the next recipe. I’m such a cocktease!

J

cuban mojito pork with pineapple salsa

Firstly let me apologise for any spelling errors that may arise during this post – we have finally unpacked our super shiny iMac and I’m not used to the tiny keyboard. I feel it is made for delicate, straw-like fingers to dance over, not having my hairy sausage digits pummel away at it like a sailor applying lip gloss to a £10 hooker. WOW there’s a sentence you didn’t expect.

We bought the Mac because we are pretentious, shallow bastards it is a lot easier to edit the blog photos on, which means you better hurry along and buy a billion copies of my book to pay for the fucker. It wasn’t hard to win Paul round – he has such a love of polished metal and smooth edges that I’m surprised he isn’t dryhumping the Micra on the side. But everything about using a Mac is different from a Windows computer. Even navigating using this tiny mouse is proving a bloody chore, yes it’s fair enough taking away the buttons and relying on me using gestures but so far the only gesture I’ve managed is calling it a dick and scratching my foot with it.

In fact, it almost looks like a sex toy, all slick and polished – but it would be a boring person’s sex toy, something slipped into a pastel handbag and wheeled out between  accountancy seminars at various Days Inn across the country. It would be called something yawnsome like ‘Pleasure Max’ or ‘Orb’. Amateurs. Everyone knows a good sex toy needs to be tapped into the National Grid and come with an instruction manual on DVD, called something like ‘The Ripper’ or ‘Uvula-nudga’. Anyway. One thing I do like is how sharp everything looks – it’s in 5k, which is apparently like HD but even better. Even better than 4k. Great, now when I watch Jeremy Kyle on catch-up I’ll actually be able to see the sheen of smugness that he has in every pore. I just hope the ultra high definition doesn’t turn online pornography (a healthy part of any modern marriage) into a disturbingly accurate affair – god knows bumholes aren’t pretty to look at in soft-focus, let alone splayed in billions of colours and filling the screen like a flattened sea anenome.

The Mac does look good in our new living room, and the good news is that we’re almost finished with decorating. We’ve got someone coming around to hang our artwork on the wall, fix the TV to the wall and various other little odds and sods, someone coming around to fix the alarm and then finally, the house is our own and we don’t have to make small-talk with anyone but the cats every again. Yesterday was a painful case in point – we had a chap around to install new blinds throughout and because I’d responded to his question of ‘How do you like them hung’ with ‘Well’, Paul retired me to the kitchen to research recipes.

What this actually meant was I got to eavesdrop on Paul making small-talk and the good news is that he’s even worse than me at it. Clearly both Paul and the blinds man were hard of hearing because every sentence by one of them was met with a ‘pardon’ from the other, then an ‘EH’, then Paul clearly doing that thing where he hasn’t heard a word of what was said but is too embarrassed to ask him to repeat it. At one point, he answered the question ‘What do you do for a living’ with ‘absolute junkies’ and that killed the conversation dead. Like the good husband that I am, I just spent the two hours laughing into my fist and trying not to fart too loudly.

One thing we’ve learned from all of this decorating is that buying furniture is a bloody chore. We can’t buy stuff in shops because we’re too common for the posh shops and too posh for B&M, so we’re stuck buying things online, which is fine to a point until you order what you think is a cushion and you get a 7ft beanbag delivered. I mean it looks nice enough but work don’t half raise their eyebrows when they have to hoick that into the lift. We’ve bought most of our new stuff from made.com which has been a revelation, but we’ve tried shopping local for all the accessories and bits and bobs. What a waste of time. Since when did it become acceptable to half-arsedly rub a bit of sandpaper over a shitty chest of drawers from IKEA and call it vintage or even worse, distressed. Distressed? I certainly was, I could barely stop the tears. There’s a shop near us absolutely rammed full of the sort of trinkets and sculptures you’d imagine someone who has the word ‘healer’ in their job-title to have littering their house and it is quite genuinely one of the worst places I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to Southend, remember. (I’m joking, before I get any barely-understandable voicemails left). Who decides that what they really need for their house is a friggin’ incense burner made from a rusty tin and a feeling of malaise? 

My mother, god love her, looks a bit of chintz and tat, saying it makes a home – well, that’s one gene that didn’t make it down the line to me, I can tell you. For a woman of normal, reasonable taste, she refused for all of my teenage life to throw away what I consider to be the ugliest statue I’ve ever seen. It was a grinning monkey dressed as a waiter holding a tray. It looked to all the world like the final thing a demented mind might see before the hands of hell grabbed your ankle. I dreamed of kicking it down the stairs or accidentally setting fire to it (I’m not sure how well stone would burn in a Hotpoint oven but fuck me I longed for the chance to try) but my mother was fair attached to it. A quick look online suggests I can buy one for around £150, which might actually be money well spent if it meant I could fulfil a fantasy. I note you can buy a similar statue in the shape of a rooster – that would certainly be more suited to our house, given how much we’re fans of large cocks in our bedroom, but still.

Mother, if you’re reading this, it really is your only decorating faux-pas.

Tonight’s recipe then. As part of Musclefood’s generous care package, we were given some of their pork loin steaks to try. I struggle with pork, I always think that unless it is done really well, you might as well chew your arm. It’s what I imagine human flesh to taste like. Nevertheless, these steaks looked juicy and plump, just how we liked them. You can buy Musclefood’s pork steaks right here along with all their other marvellous meats. It’ll open in a new tab, don’t worry. I know I might sound like a corporate shill but I promise you, if they tasted like farts and nothingness, I’d tell you. As it is, they’re thick as a sadist’s slipper and juicier than a happy orange. Or something. Actually thinking about it, they’re no more expensive for pork than Tesco, so you’ll be reet. Take a look!

A bit of research was done as to what we can cook with them and Paul came up with a recipe for ‘Cuban Mojito pork’. The only thing I associate with Cuba, because I always revert lazily to stereotypes, is cigars. They’re about the only thing I occasionally miss about smoking. Before I joined my current job, I almost took up a job managing a cigar and pipe shop in Newcastle. How different my life could have been, dispensing cherry tobacco to whiskery old buggers and burning my eyebrows with the cigar lighters. 

Paul and I used to be members of a mail order cigar club that would send out a variety of different cigars every month – I always remember one month they sent a cigar that looked like a bloody roll of carpet – I could barely get it in my mouth, and let me tell you, that’s a problem I almost never have. It took about ten minutes to light the bugger (I had to use the grill function on the oven) and it was enjoyable for approximately sixteen seconds before the emphysema kicked in. There’s something inherently butch about cigars, well, decent cigars – mincing along with a Café Crème  that you’ve lit with a novelty lighter shaped like a phallus doesn’t quite have the same gravitas. 

Oh, if you’re wondering how this is mojito, well, I dunno. It has mint in it. There’s no alcohol in it, so if you’re shaking your way through this blog entry in the hope of getting a fix, have yourself a morning gin and a packet of Polos and get a grip.

cuban mojito pork

to make cuban mojito pork, you’re gonna need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (6 syns)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 150ml of orange juice (we use Tropicano 50/50, which is 1 syn per 100ml) (1.5 syns)
  • 50g coriander leaves  (a good handful)
  • 5g mint leaves  (about 8 big leaves)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • pack of pork steaks

to make cuban mojito pork, you should:

  • add all of the ingredients (except the pork, salt and pepper) into a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped into a nice green paste that you definitely wouldn’t like oozing out of any hole on your body
  • if you don’t have a food processor simply chop the coriander and mint, and grate the garlic and mix together
  • pour the mixture a into a sandwich bag or sealed container, add the pork and mix everything together
  • leave for a few hours, or overnight in the fridge
  • when ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220 degrees
  • remove the pork from the mixture and discard the remaining marinade (you’ll actually lose a few syns this way, hence I’m only putting this down as 1.5 syns each)
  • place the pork onto a rack over a baking tray and add salt and pepper, just a pinch of each mind
  • roast the pork for around twenty minutes until it is lightly browned
  • reduce the heat to 190 degrees and cook for another ten minutes
  • transfer the meat onto a chopping board, cover with foil and let it rest for twenty minutes – don’t worry if it’s black – that’s intentional!
  • serve with plain rice and pineapple salsa.

hang on, pineapple salsa? shit-a-doo, forgot to give you that recipe. OK, you’ll need:

  • a few rings of fresh pineapple (use the rest in a fruit salad)
  • two ripe tomatoes
  • half an onion, chopped
  • handful of coriander leaves
  • one green chilli
  • 1/2tsp of cumin
  • 1/2tsp of salt to taste
  • 1 minced garlic clove

to make pineapple salsa, you’ll need to:

  • chop everything into uniform small cubes
  • mix
  • put in your mouth
  • enjoy
  • turn into poo

Easy!

Fuck me ragged, that was a long entry, was it not? I spoil you.

J

sweet and sour pork meatballs

James is busy trying to be all macho with his dad putting together our new utility room but there’s no manly way to hold a handheld Dyson or use a microfibre cloth. So tonight’s post comes from me (Paul). Sorry about that.

Blimey. What a day. I knew there was something the matter with us when we starting planning our day at IKEA. ON A BASTARD BANK HOLIDAY. IKEA is pure hell at the best of times – one of these places that makes you think you’re going to have a wonderful day bouncing about on sofa cushions and bean bags and being one big giggling family with a hot dog and an ice cream at the end, when the reality is actually you spending one floor staring intensely into the back of someone’s head because they’re walking far too slowly, and the second floor wanting to just die because you’re SICK OF THIS SHIT ALREADY. So, against our better judgement, that’s what we did today.

But with a difference.

After having the Ikea experience on multiple occasions for big projects (like the kitchen) we’ve eventually got this all down to a tee. So, down to the second, we had the whole day planned out that minimised any interaction with slow-walking, gormless members of the public, ordered a new living room set, refunded a dodgy kitchen door (that I accidentally drilled through – eeehwhatamilike) and threw in a breakfast for good measure. Well, you need that energy if you’re going to mutter ‘FUCKING MOVE’ under your breath every ten seconds.

We arrived on the dot, just as the revolving door started to move and slyly minced our way through all the shortcuts to get straight to the restaurant – the most important part of the day. Once James had wiped away his tears after noticing they’d gotten rid of the potato cake (NOOOOOOOOOOOO) we were straight to the BESTÅ stand to fuck around on some crappy little computer bunging cupboards on walls. If you’ve ever fancied having a sob into some KUNTÅ sidetable go ahead and try and plan your living room on their online planner. It’s what I imagine it’d be like to be Stephen Hawking on speed trying to describe the texture of Quark on that little Atari he’s got strapped to his chair. Stressful isn’t the word. You might as well etch your design it into your arm with a compass and present it the warehouse staff.

I’d fantasised about at least ten ways of dispatching multiple rough sorts on the way to the lighting section. I can never understand the mentality of people who think it’s perfectly acceptable to just stop in the middle of an aisle when there’s practically a stampede of guffawing Geordies rampaging towards you (not unlike that scene in the Lion King but with a lot more polyester and teenage pregnancies). I bet those people are also those that pull their trolley across in a supermarket like a barrier. I’m far too polite (cowardly) though to ever say anything. I just stare at them like I’m trying to burn through them with laser-beam eyes. James isn’t quite so composed and will just barge through shouting at people to ‘MOVE!’, like a hairy snow plough. He almost ran someone off the road simply for having the temerity of having a mauve car.

Fortunately though the whole day was a success, despite all the eejits and lack of an ice cream at the end and we got everything sorted. They even managed to refund us the drawer and door that I ballsed up without a receipt. God love ‘em. As a thank you I was sure to press the green smiley face button that measures people’s happiness as many times as I could. I’d like to think it made a difference.

One way we always make our IKEA experience a little more fun is to watch out for any couples that are eyeing up a particular piece of furniture. If either of them makes a muttering that they quite like it we’ll always come up behind them and then start slagging it off. ‘Oh that’s fucking gopping’, or, “Oh lord, I’ve never seen anything as tacky as THAT in my life’. They’ll soon walk off and have a tiff a little further on. Oh we’re such terrors.

But that’s enough yak. In the spirit all things IKEA we’ve managed to bring together a delicious meatball recipe that’ll cure any takeaway pangs you have… here’s our take on Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs.

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to make our sweet and sour pork meatballs, you’ll need:

for the meatballs:

  • 500g pork mince
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • half a pineapple, cut into small chunks (0.25cm)

for the sweet and sour sauce:

  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minded
  • ½ large red pepper, sliced
  • ½ green pepper, sliced
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • half a pineapple, cut into chunks (halve again into two separate portions)
  • 115g tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (1 syn)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey (5 syns)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

and this is how you make it:

  • preheat your oven to 180°c and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper
  • heat a small saucepan over a medium heat and add a little oil
  • add the minced garlic and spring onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened and slightly browned. set aside
  • in a large bowl mix together the mince, carrot, peppers, egg, basil, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, pineapple pieces and the spring onions
  • roll the mixture into even sized balls – squeezing out the liquid if you need to – don’t worry if it seems too wet (fnar), they’ll keep their shape if you squeeze enough liquid out (fnar)
  • place the meatballs onto the baking sheet and spray with a little Frylight
  • cook for about thirty minutes or until golden brown
  • whilst the meatballs are cooking you can make the fruity sauce
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a little oil
  • add the sliced red onion and garlic and stir frequently until the onion is slightly caramelised
  • add the peppers one of the pineapple portions and cook for a few minutes until softened
  • add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and keep cooking, stirring frequently
  • using a sieve, crush down the other half of the pineapple chunks portion into a jug to get the juice
  • add the cornflour to the pineapple juice and stir until dissolved
  • add the tomato paste, honey, cider vinegar, lemon juice and 120ml water to the jug and mix well
  • pour this mixture into the frying pan, bring to a boil and simmer for about ten minutes until the mixture thickens
  • serve the meatballs and pour the sauce over the top

Please don’t be put off by the long ingredient list – you’ll probably have a lot of it already in your cupboards and if not, go get some! It’ll all be dead cheap and useful to you for future recipes. Also, don’t be put off by the syn values – yes, this uses honey and cornflour but divided by four this only comes in at 1.5 syns, which is nothing compared to a takeaway. And, it’ll finally give you a reason to use that pineapple you keep buying and leaving to rot on your windowsill…

Technically, because you’re squeezing the juice out of a quarter of a pineapple you could syn it if you’re anal about such things. We didn’t because we take a more common sense approach to tweaking. You can if you wish – I reckon it’d be about half a syn’s worth (if that).

Smaklig måltid!

bacon wrapped tenderloin with a balsamic and strawberry dressing

Just a quick post tonight as we’re busy sorting out Cubs Towers ahead of the Summer of Works. Exciting.

We had a glut of strawberries to use up, I wanted a salad, Paul wanted a roast dinner, so this was the happy compromise. You might wrinkle your nose at the thought of using strawberry but it pairs nicely with pork – think plum sauce with duck and you’ve got the right idea. We served it with roast potatoes which were PERFECT. In fact, let’s cover off how we did our roasties.

roast potatoes

you’ll be needing

  • enough potatoes to fill that echoing belly of yours, cut up into decent chunks
  • Frylight or oil – just a drop or two
  • a lamb Oxo cube
  • an Actifry (if you don’t have one, don’t shit the bed, you can do it in the oven and I’ll cover that in a second

then…

  • squirt the chopped potato with a spritz of spray or a drop of oil
  • chuck in the actifry
  • cook for twenty minutes
  • crumble a lamb Oxo cube on there and splash a good tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce on them
  • cook for another twenty minutes or until they look just right
  • serve!

The Actifry is possibly the best thing we’ve bought since joining Slimming World – not least because it does make genuinely proper tasty chips. You can get others like it but they’re not quite as good (the Airfryer, for example). It’s expensive, but we fry off our meatballs, sausages, chips and potatoes in it with little to no oil. If you’re on the fence about one, take it from us that you won’t regret the expense. You can buy it on Amazon by clicking here. Why not treat yourself?

Too tight for an actifry? Don’t worry. Just put them in the oven for 20 minutes, take them out, shake them, splash them and crumble that cube on the top, and cook again. The key is letting them sit for a few minutes before they cook for the second time.

I’ve seen a lot of people gobble on about those Oxo potatoes where you cook them half submerged in stock…well yes, but then you end up getting potatoes that look like athletes foot, all soft and crinkled and mushy. If that works for you, champion, but I’m not quite at the stage in my life where I need to gum my food. Try the above! 

Anyway, the main event:

sliced pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

you’ll be needing this (this serves 4):

  • pork tenderloin – with fat removed, ours was around 1kg
  • eight slices of bacon with fat removed (if only it was that easy!)
  • 300g of strawberries, nicely ripe, sliced
  • 125ml of balsamic vinegar
  • three cloves of garlic
  • bag of rocket

and then, once you’ve finished being all hysterical, do this:

  • wrap the tenderloin in bacon – use cocktail sticks to secure if you want
  • put it into the oven on 200 degrees for 30 minutes, then take it out and turn it over and cook for another thirty minutes
  • meanwhile, finely chop (remember: buy a mini chopper, easier, and no stinkin’ fingers) the garlic and pop in a pan over a medium high heat with a drop of oil or a squirt of Frylight
  • cook for around two minutes until slightly golden
  • add the balsamic vinegar and half of the strawberries
  • bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for ten minutes – your kitchen will smell lovely at this point
  • once the second half of the pork is done, take it out, baste it with a few tablespoons of the balsamic strawberries and whack it under the grill for about two minutes to colour it
  • throw the other half of the sliced strawberries into the balsamic pan just so you get a nice difference in texture 
  • remove the pork, cut into thick slices, serve on the rocket with a drizzle of the balsamic and strawberry sauce
  • enjoy, you posh bastard.

Here, I was GOING to call it a reduction, because I suppose it is, but that’s just too wank, even for me!

ENJOY.

J

parmesan pork chops, garlic broccoli and smashed potatoes

Right, so here we are, back again to slide into your mailbox with all the subtlety of a kick from a horse. You may have missed our delicious recipes, you may have longed to hear our caustic wit, or you may have struggled without at least eighteen euphemisms for a penis (though here’s two right off the bat you can use freely, though perhaps don’t cry them out at point of climax: “Spurt Reynolds” and, if he’s particularly hung, go for “spam bannister”). Who knows!

We had to take some time off to move the website over from its previous home, tethered to a blog-hosting site like a bag full of dog-muck hanging off a gate, to a fancy new host elsewhere on the Internet that will allow us to customise the blog and make it easier for you, the rabble that read it. How? Let me count the ways…

  1. you can now comment using Facebook – a small change but significant, as if you want to share a recipe, just tag someone in there – plus you don’t need to wait for me to remember to check the spam filter and approve your comments. Not going to lie, I’m terrible at stuff like that. You wouldn’t think I was a super-organised secretary dealing with the cut and thrust of the legal world in real life, would you? Probably for the best, saying as I’m not…
  2. once I’ve figured out how, you’ll be able to search for recipes – that’ll make things a lot easier when you’re trying to tell people about the time I got caught blasting a tune on Paul’s pork trumpet by a wily Irish farmer – just type in ‘mortifying embarrassment’ and you’ll be taken right there;
  3. also coming are more ‘readable’ recipes that you’ll be able to print in a nice neat order. It won’t take all my angry protestations about Frylight and overuse of the words ‘dash’, ‘pinch’ and ‘fuckery’, though, so sensitive eyes should stay away; and
  4. easier to read text – the last blog would scroll awkwardly on mobiles and as the stats say most of you are coming here inbetween playing online bingo and buttering your muffin over internet pornography, I thought I’d help.

There’s also all sorts of tedious behind the scenes gubbins happening and you’ll probably notice the site changing its look as we go on. I’m learning here – I’m not a website designer, I’ve actually had sex before.

How are we? We’re good!

Work continues for the both of us, ever onwards.

Cats are fine, although the white cat keeps coming home with a black face where he’s been rubbing against something sooty. Maybe that’s why some of our neighbours seem to dislike us – they think we’ve got a minstrel routine in the garden.

The only thing to note is the diet – I’ve just been completely off it the last couple of weeks. You may remember I posted about losing my mojo a little, well, it continued. I did try to get back on the horse, but damn it if it didn’t taste so delicious. Two weeks of pizza, McFlurrys, jellybeans and chocolate and I’ve only put on 4lb, and I’ve finally got it ‘out of my system’. I’m ready to diet again! Paul’s been the same but not quite so severe, and has actually lost 2lb. The jammy fucker! Again, I’m going to write a post about all this fairly soon.

Finally, with regards to the blog, you’ll be glad to know one thing – we’re going to aim for more recipes on here. I know a lot of people like my writing and don’t worry, you know me well enough to know I’m not one to keep quiet, but it can be a bit of a chore making a new recipe and also writing a mini-essay of an evening. So the focus is going to be on continuing the delicious food, writing the recipes in our usual sassy style, and writing longer pieces when I get the time to sit and do it properly. I’m also writing a book alongside this so I don’t want to stretch too thin! Our 7777 week was a great success when we looked at page views, so we’ve got several theme weeks pencilled in:

  • America week – expect junk food but SW style;
  • budget week – aiming for seven meals that serve four on a very tight budget;
  • slow cooker week – if only so we can hear hundreds of people simultaneously going OOOH IT JUST FALLS OFF THE BONE;
  • vegetarian week – our lot of our recipes are meat-focused, but then, so is my lifestyle choice, so let’s mix it up a bit;
  • desserts week – there’s a recipe of disaster when it comes to the scales; and
  • breakfasts week – because if I have to eat another fucking bowl of fromage fucking frais with frozen fucking berries, I’ll die.

If you can think of anything you want us to cover, then contact us via the comments, or on our facebook page found here.

I’m going to make a final plea before you get today’s recipe: please, please, please share us. Share the blog by posting www.twochubbycubs.com in whatever group, facebook page or discussion forums you use. Follow us on Twitter and retweet us far and wide. Join our facebook page by clicking here and then share the hell out of it. We do it all for you, of course, but the more people reading the better! We’re like the clap – we want to spread as far as possible.

Right, enough guff – the recipe tonight is for pork chops breaded in parmesan and breadcrumbs. I’m not normally a fan of strong-smelling cheese on my pork but these worked ever so well…

rosemary pork chops

you’ll be needing these:

Chops
  • 2 pork chops (fat removed, and thrown away, no sucking on it)
  • 1 wholemeal roll (made into breadcrumbs) (*HEB*)
  • one egg
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan (30g being a HEA)
  • salt and pepper
  • Frylight if you must, but a couple of drops of olive oil is better
Garlic broccoli
  • two garlic cloves
  • tenderstem broccoli
Smashed potatoes
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • as many small potatoes as your big old belly can handle

and you’ll need to do this:

Chops
  • remove all visible fat from the pork chops
  • whisk an egg into a small bowl and set aside
  • in another bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and parmesan
  • dip the pork chops into the egg mixture and coat well with the breadcrumbs
  • spray some Frylight into a hot pan and cook for about 6 minutes on each side
Potatoes
  • boil the potatoes until just tender, and drain
  • spray a baking sheet with Frylight and place the potatoes even spaced onto the sheet
  • using a potato masher or a fork push down onto each potato so it spreads out a little
  • spray with Frylight and sprinkle with the herbs and salt and pepper
  • bake for about 20 minutes at 230 degrees until crisp and crunchy
Broccoli
  • trim the bottom of the broccoli stalks
  • spray a frying pan with Frylight and cook the broccoli over a high heat for about five minutes
  • add the garlic, salt and pepper to the pan and mix well
  • turn off the heat and add 60ml of water to the pan, cover with the lid
  • cook for about 3 minutes until tender

Tasty right?

J

cabbage rolls

First of all, today’s recipe is cabbage rolls, which couldn’t sound less appetising if they tried. Plus, I tried to take a decent photo of them, but they invariably look like something you’d see hanging off a tramp’s foot in the summer. They tasted wonderful though and, well, it’s something different! And here, it’s a Romanian recipe so that gives us an excuse to dust off the old flagmaker, rattle off this banner and declare twochubbycubs’ European Tour back on. OK so it may not be weekly but we’re only two men.

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But first, today. We’re mulling over whether or not to move house. I know, the people in the street would be bereft not seeing my knob hanging out of the front of my boxers as I absent-mindedly put the bins out on a Monday, but since we had some strange lads in our back passage a few days ago (not invited through Grindr, either, unusually) it’s made us a bit unsettled. We don’t think they were trying to break in, because there was an open window into our bedroom (though admittedly the flashing neon red light was turned off at the time) and they didn’t do anything…but still. It makes you feel uneasy. Though saying that, had they climbed in through the bedroom window, they would have fallen onto our bed – and all I’m saying is I wouldn’t have needed Tony Martin’s shotgun to make them bleed from behind. The little smackrats. This is a nice part of the world!

So yes, we bundled into the car and decided to go have a look at some of the new estates that are being build, and to take the opportunity to view the showhomes. Well, they were awful. It didn’t help that the chap on the front desk took one look at us – physically looked us up and down, mind you, taking in our dog-walking trainers, shaved heads and George jeans – and clearly decided we were there to steal the copper wiring and good silver. His opening gambit was that ‘these houses are very difficult to get’ and that we’d need excellent credit to get an appropriate mortgage. The cheeky, oily little oik – we own our house outright with no mortgage and I’ve got better credit than the Queen. Paul hasn’t, because he bought a stereo from Kays catalogue on tick and then forgot all about it over ten years ago, but there you go. Always trust a Geordie with money. We spent ten minutes looking around and then left with a disdainful look at Captain Acne behind the desk and told him it was far too small and there were altogether too many Audis on the estate.

We didn’t manage to leave quietly though as I managed to back the car over a child’s football that had been discarded in the middle of the road, resulting in an surprisingly loud bang echoing around the estate which probably sounded like the car backfiring, which I suppose didn’t help our image. We trundled over to The Parents and spent half an hour oohing and aahing at how well my nephew is coming along (I make him sound like a tomato plant) – without so much as a cup of tea mind, mother – and the highlight of that being when he pointed at Paul and called him Uncle Fatty. The kid has style!

After my parents came IKEA, and good lord IKEA is stressful at the best of times but even more so when you’re breaking the rules and going anti-clockwise with seemingly all of Gateshead’s unwashed masses bearing down on you, it’s hell on Earth. Especially because when the weather is warm enough not to leave an icicle on your tit, everyone decides to throw on a scraggy t-shirt exposing their Neapolitan-ice-cream skin to the sun – blistered red from being out under a SKOL umbrella all afternoon, yellow from nicotine and jaundice, streaky brown wherever the Poundstretcher Fake-Bake took hold. 

And the stopping! I know everyone needs a moment to sniff their eighty-dozen orange-scented KLIT tea-lights but for goodness sake, do it to the side. I genuinely think there should be two lanes in places like this – one of those who can glide with purpose and one for those dolts who walk like they have a ball-bearing stuck in their socks. I’m being glib, I appreciate that people have disabilities and of course, they’re exempt, but if you can’t move quickly simply because you’re too much of a clot to remember to put one foot in front of the other in a reasonably rhythmic pattern, then just do everyone a favour and stay at home and have someone else pick up your ÖRGI bookshelf. Bastards. I didn’t even get a bloody hot-dog at the end because I couldn’t bear the thought of having my face stripped by someone’s eye-watering B.O for ten minutes in the queue whilst I had nothing to do than count the skin tags on their neck.

Hark listen to me, you’d think I was Adonis. But Paul says I am, so there.

Costco next – and if you think IKEA is bad, then Costco is even worse. Here the aforementioned numpties are armed with a trolley big enough to fit a hot-tub and enough baked beans to keep a Toby Carvery going for a financial quarter. Oh and it gets worse – it was bloody tasting day, which meant crowds of people all pushing and pulling at one another with their 4×4 trolleys in a nugatory attempt to get their cracked hands on a postage stamp of lasagne or a bit of brioche you could start a fire with. We bought our usual forty tins of tomato puree, sack of pasta and catering jar of gherkins, which were crashed through the till by the cashier with all the care and panache you’d expect from someone who had tattooed her eyelashes on, and we were on our way to the final test – Tesco at 3.40pm on a Sunday afternoon.

Which, remarkably, was a fairly sedate experience, despite me shrieking at Paul ‘STOP PLAYING WITH YOURSELF THERE ARE KIDS ABOUT’ when he was adjusting his belt in the reductions aisle. I’m surprised he had room, the usual ballaches were waiting to tackle the poor Tesco lackey to the floor for their 35p breadbuns. I genuinely can’t stand greed of this sort – but I’ve rambled on about these shitgibbons before who fill their trolley because they can, not because they need to. Nobody needs fifteen discount cauliflowers at 4pm on a Sunday. Take one, and fuck off.

So that was today. Goodness me.

Today’s recipe then: cabbage rolls!

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to make cabbage rolls you will need:

1 medium white cabbage, 160g cooked rice, 1 egg (beaten), 60ml skimmed milk, half an onion (chopped), 500g pork mince, ½ tsp pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, 500ml passata, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp black pepper, a good dollop of sauerkraut (optional but delicious but by gaw it’ll make your bum windy)

to make cabbage rolls you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (gas mark 4)
  • remove the core from the head of the cabbage
  • boil the whole head of cabbage for ten minutes
  • drain the cabbage and leave to cool
  • in a large bowl mix together the cooked rice, mince egg, milk, chopped onion, crushed garlic and pepper
  • peel away 12 or so leaves from the cabbage – they need to be a good size but the smaller ones will still be okay, just use less for the next step. Shake off any excess water, nobody loves a moist cabbage
  • scoop roughly two-tablespoons worth of the mince and rice mixture and plop into the centre of a cabbage leaf
  • fold the bottom ends up and the sides to make a small parcel
  • place roll seam-side down into a baking dish that has been sprayed with a little FryLight if you’re a tasteless buffoon or a drop of oil if you’re sensible
  • in a separate bowl mix together the passata, tinned tomatoes, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the cabbage rolls
  • cover the dish with tin foil and bake for an hour
  • serve with anything you like, but we had new potatoes because they were the easiest thing to grab

Enjoy!