I was going to take it easy on the culinary front this evening and whip up some couscous with onion, capsicum, peas and corn to serve with grilled pork loin medallions...and then discovered I didn't have any couscous.
So I had to improvise and it ended up turning into another Nanny Ogg type cooking adventure, here's what I came up with:
Mim's Pork and Beans (as christened by Tom, Adam wanted to call it "Weezer")
1 brown onion, diced
1/2 small red capsicum, diced
2 heaped tspn minced garlic
a splosh of olive oil
600g diced pork loin
a bit of water
800g can diced tomatoes
1 Massel chicken stock cube
4 shakes of dried chili flakes
2 bay leaves
a few shakes of ground cumin seeds
a few shakes of ground cardamom
a couple of shakes of dried thyme
a couple of shakes of ground allspice
freshly ground black pepper
a couple of shloshes of Worcestershire sauce
420g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Melt butter in large saucepan and cook onion, capsicum and garlic for a few minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add olive oil to pan and brown pork.
Add water to deglaze the pan (the pork can stay in there while you do this).
Add onion and capsicum mix and tinned tomatoes. Start rummaging through the spice rack grabbing this and that, reading the "what this is good with" blurb, realise you have no idea what this dish really is (chili? casserole? something else entirely?) and end up throwing in a semi-random collection of herbs and spices.
Add stock cube and Worcestershire sauce.
Be suddenly afflicted with a Weezer earworm and decide to throw in a can of beans.
Tom got very excited while I was cooking this, I think he was fascinated by the process of inventing a recipe, he was watching everything I put in and then running to the other end of the house to give updates to the others. He kept telling me how great a cook I am and how much he loves me. It certainly made cooking the meal into something special instead of an inconvenient chore (I was tired and not really looking forward to tackling the kitchen).
We served it up over rice, Adam made Weezer jokes, Dave told me it looked yum and I held my breath as Caitlin tasted it.
"Yum, this is good Mum, you should make it for Grandma or Grandy or Nana."
And then I fell off my chair in shock.
It did need longer cooking, the meat wasn't as tender as I'd have liked, I reckon it'd be pretty good in a crockpot with the beans added towards the end of the cooking time. The spices were fairly mild, if I didn't have to accommodate the kids I'd bump up the chili. Definitely worth doing again sometime.