Yes, I mentioned the “H” word. Home! Big Man and I arrived back Up our beloved Mountain in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Only for a week mind you. This weekend is our village fiesta, and it was time to touch base with family and friends and to pick up some warmer clothes for the English autumn weather.
Our last night in very rainy Bexhill was spent pulling staples out of floorboards, hammering in nails and preparing the floor downstairs in House Number One to be sanded and varnished in our absence. Well, it was easier than trying to varnish around two excited pups (who are staying with my parents this week and creating havoc in their home). We had also spent time at House Number Two knocking down an outside loo, dealing with most of the kitchen ceiling falling in and leaving things ready for the plasterer to do his stuff while we are in Spain. Hectic times.
To get us in the mood for being home again I cooked a delicious one pot (what else) pork dish, reminiscent of Spain with the flavours of smoky pimentón, olives and peppers. I made sure to make double so that when we get back, tired and hungry (as we inevitably are after a day of travelling) we´ll have dinner sorted.
Ingredients (to serve 4)
- 500g of cubed pork shoulder
- 1 heaped teaspoon of smoked pimentón/paprika
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
- Approx 150g olives (I used anchovy stuffed olives) sliced or halved
- 1 ½ cups of your favourite or home made tomato sauce (yes, I made it!)
- 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
- A glass of red wine (optional, but of course I added!)
- Olive oil for shallow frying
- Salt and pepper
Start by frying the pork until browned and remove from the pan. Then add the onions, garlic and pepper and cook gently until softened. Add the pork back into the pan and sprinkle over the pimentón. Now stir in the olives, the tomato sauce, the purée and the wine and season lightly. Bring to a simmer, cover (or half cover) with a lid and cook gently for about 45 minutes while you continue to pull staples out of floorboards (the stapling bit is optional).
If it starts to dry out too much, add a little water, depending on how saucy you like your dish.
When the sauce is rich and thick, and the pork tender and delicious, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve with rice or boiled potatoes or simply crusty bread. Pour yourself a glass of wine from that bottle you opened, pull the staple out that has embedded itself in your knee and relax.
And what did we do with our first day back? Take it easy? Heck no!
We dealt with the last tomatoes in our Huerto.
We met up with a cousin of Big Man´s to pick plums.
Then we went to a wine tasting last night.
Today we planned to attack our very overgrown garden and enjoy some sunshine, but it´s not to be. The weather here is as cold and rainy as Bexhill on Sea.
Time to dig out the winter woolies I think.