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1 hour ago, Foxworth said:

Reckon that might be quite tasty actually. I used to get a sausage casserole at work that was quite spicy almost curry like and it was great with chips. Sausages tend to work quite well in a liquid. I like the texture they seem to take on.

 

It’s actually really good - I added some extra veg (slices of cauliflower in there too) and made up a curry powder myself to give a bit of extra zing.

 

For a quite low rent dish it really delivers, but I found eating it confusing as the whole curry with mash/sausage thing, despite working perfectly, wasn’t something my head was expecting to like so much.

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Another dish I've long had on my to do list - Jerk Chicken. Don't really recall ever eating it out and wanted to get something that tastes the part but converted to work in my pot format, crispy skin and BBQ meat wouldn't work here.

 

The jerk marinade seems pretty authentic - its a Thermomix one but the ingredients all look on point from my YouTube research, scotch bonnets, all spice (pimento) berries, orange & lime juice/peel, coriander, thyme, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few other bits. Its a strong smell when all blitzed up, very vibrant and fresh with a strong herby and fruity hit to it, not like anything else I've ever made.

 

I decided to marinate the chicken cut up rather than whole bits to get more flavour in, and then had to cook quite quickly so they didn't dry out - not sure that is the best way to do it, may butterfly breast or use boneless thighs and grill next time to get a bit more colour on the outside (if there is a next time, the reviews aren't in yet).

 

Cooked up some rice and peas to go with it (I know peas are beans usually, but i had a few frozen peas so thought I'd lob them in too) - I'm not a coconut fan so cut the milk back a bit in favour of more stock. The rice is delicious, very moreish.

 

https://www.africanbites.com/caribbean-rice-and-beans/

 

jerk2.thumb.jpg.532a3e827d2300c25d8d3f00ee2e9571.jpgjerk1.thumb.jpg.90389fe8d47d90c283943190f1b0809b.jpg

 

 

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This one fails my tests for what classifies as a 'pot dinner' but is cooking and planning ahead so fits into the general prepping theme.

 

Wanted to make pies for ages and I'm in the camp that a pie isn't a pastry hat on a stew in a bowl - the genius of this recipe (beyond the incredibly rich filling) is the 2 pastry approach, shortcrust for the case and then puff for the top - never seen that before. Pastry is an area I get lazy, with shop made versions of both purchased for this.

 

You blind bake the case, cook the filling on the hob, then top with puff pastry - I'm going to freeze at this stage so then will thaw and cook the top whilst reheating the pre-cooked innards.

 

I did have enough for an extra that I made up in a ramekin - the domed filling and use of chuck means these are weighty efforts - and if I may be so bold the sample I just ate is one of the best pies I've ever eaten. Don't be fooled by the size of these, the domed and filled pie makes them substantial.

 

pie2.thumb.jpg.0e1f7cb003aa59a637e10465e42f63b7.jpgpie.thumb.jpg.7f34488323c48bafc795846326e3fbea.jpg

 

I do love this site, her recipes are really well written and always work

 

https://www.recipetineats.com/meat-pie-recipe/comment-page-1/#comments

 

 

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On 23/04/2019 at 14:16, Gotters said:

Another dish I've long had on my to do list - Jerk Chicken. Don't really recall ever eating it out and wanted to get something that tastes the part but converted to work in my pot format, crispy skin and BBQ meat wouldn't work here.

 

The jerk marinade seems pretty authentic - its a Thermomix one but the ingredients all look on point from my YouTube research, scotch bonnets, all spice (pimento) berries, orange & lime juice/peel, coriander, thyme, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few other bits. Its a strong smell when all blitzed up, very vibrant and fresh with a strong herby and fruity hit to it, not like anything else I've ever made.

 

I decided to marinate the chicken cut up rather than whole bits to get more flavour in, and then had to cook quite quickly so they didn't dry out - not sure that is the best way to do it, may butterfly breast or use boneless thighs and grill next time to get a bit more colour on the outside (if there is a next time, the reviews aren't in yet).

 

Cooked up some rice and peas to go with it (I know peas are beans usually, but i had a few frozen peas so thought I'd lob them in too) - I'm not a coconut fan so cut the milk back a bit in favour of more stock. The rice is delicious, very moreish.

 

https://www.africanbites.com/caribbean-rice-and-beans/

 

jerk2.thumb.jpg.532a3e827d2300c25d8d3f00ee2e9571.jpgjerk1.thumb.jpg.90389fe8d47d90c283943190f1b0809b.jpg

 

 

 

Jerk is traditionally cooked on a drum barbecue, the smoke part is important. 

 

A method I use at home is to cook it in the oven at a low temp to cook the meat through and then finish it on a hot cast iron pan. Also definitely use dark meat. I'd say legs are best.

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Yeah the jerk wasn't a success in my eyes, though my other half loves it. The rice was pretty good though. Suspect I've gone too far from the 'classic' cooking approach even if the spice/herb mix  is pretty authentic. Its a rare 'miss' I'd say in its current form - and by miss I mean for this type of thing where I'm looking to freeze & reheat.

 

Can't all be winners though, and my hit rate on new dishes is still quite decent, the Peri Peri is getting remade this weekend as was really good, and the curried sausages were a surprise hit too.

 

All in all only had a few fails - the chinese ages ago was amazing fresh but didn't store well, hungarian meatballs were a good concept but the sauce needs adjusting a lot, carbonara was perfect fresh but again didn't keep - for the most part though I'm picking things quite well.

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I'm a big fan of the char on jerk chicken (the char is much more important than the smoke, IMO, which is more incidental.)

 

That said, I live next to a largely West Indian area, and there appears to be an entirely separate style of jerk which is milder, has more of a gravy, and certainly isn't cooked over a flame. It seems just as popular round here. Could be a Jamaica/T&T difference, as you'll find different kinds of a lot of Caribbean food. If you make it work, stick with it.

 

I recently started adding soy to my jerk marinade. It's not entirely authentic (though they shift a lot of soy sauce in the Caribbean), but it's the backbone of a lot of my marinades.

 

 

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Doing my research I found jerk then found something called 'stew chicken' or 'brown stew' which had a lot of the similar base ingredients to jerk but in a pan cooked dish with a lot more sauce.

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The local places round here have that on the  menu too. But I don't love either of them. 

 

Truth be told,  outside of curry goat and (dry) jerk, I can take or leave spinners, hard food, callaloo and stew. The banana fritters can be very good though.

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17 hours ago, Gotters said:

Doing my research I found jerk then found something called 'stew chicken' or 'brown stew' which had a lot of the similar base ingredients to jerk but in a pan cooked dish with a lot more sauce.

 

I've made this before.

 

I modified this recipe and it's amazing. One of my favourite recipes.

 

http://www.helengraves.co.uk/caribbean-brown-stew-chicken-recipe/

 

I usually use oxtail which I cook for about six hours and add a decent amount of rum (maybe 250ml). Instead of regular soy I use Kecap Manis (thick sweet soy), but you can just add more brown sugar to taste. I sometimes add a bit of Dunn's River Jerk Paste too (flavour bomb), but be careful it's pretty hot. If I don't have scotch bonnets I use a Caribbean scotch bonnet sauce.

 

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I gave my old housemate a taste of the sauce and he declared it the best sauce he'd ever eaten. (Not that my old housemate is an arbiter of taste)

 

My picture doesn't really do it justice.

 

image.thumb.png.77200fe43b9c37ca8d14ec4d831963f2.png

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Couple of classic remakes - one featuring for the first time in over a year. Both are a multi stage and a bit of faff but really worth it in the end results. I've tinkered with both recipes but at their core they are as listed

 

enchils.thumb.jpg.5f5527b3a0089d9364bd872038d03d52.jpgPeri.thumb.jpg.eb1f5d3ac5da17ae3a55b0992552bc7c.jpg

 

Serious Eats technique to get great filling and sauce for the enchiladas - plus you get a lot of leftover sauce which freezes nicely and makes great mexican rice..

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/04/pressure-cooker-fast-and-easy-chicken-enchiladas-food-lab-recipe.html#comments-45809

 

Then the Peri Peri is from back in March - I was hoping that the Thermomix would help with the sauce and it was great, just cuts the effort and time and clean up massively on something like this - its a great sauce recipe and will work a treat on a BBQ.

 

https://www.everynookandcranny.net/peri-peri-sauce-aka-homemade-nandos/

 

The Nando's style rice recipe is really good too, but I use Basmati and the cooking time is around 15m, also i pre soak the rice in cold water.

 

https://hintofhelen.com/nandos-spicy-portugese-rice-recipe/

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On 27/04/2019 at 16:48, Gotters said:

 

I do love this site, her recipes are really well written and always work

 

https://www.recipetineats.com/meat-pie-recipe/comment-page-1/#comments

 

 

 

I love her site, I've been following for years. She's good to follow on instagram if you don't already, she puts up great videos. Her Greek chicken and Rice recipe is one of my favourites, but not sure how adaptable that would be for your prepping purposes?

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On 05/04/2019 at 18:19, Gotters said:

I'll keep posting in here for a bit as I quite enjoy looking back over the evolution of dishes and hopefully there are a couple of people still reading - got so many great dinners now though the new ones will probably slow up a bit as we've always got a hankering for a previous favourite.

 

My other half gave about 4 nanoseconds thought to my latest 'what should I make next' request - it's like she had fajitas loaded ready to answer.

 

So here they are - serve these with those little salsa/guac/sour cream Tex-Mex dips selection you can get all in one, and bit of grated cheese. Recipe is linked above, I pep up that sauce a little with a tsp of some exotic mexican chilli powder, and find grilling rather than pan frying gets the adobo stuck on better. 

 

Screenshot_05_04_2019__15_11.thumb.jpg.817c91057156495f333f01b513d7b72c.jpg

 

Please keep posting!  The wife loves to read through this thread and she was particularly pleased to see you had made Hungarian meatballs and lecsó :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

This weeks cooking choice resulted in a semi heated debate in my household as to 'what are the best meatballs ever' - for me its hands down the Serious Eats Italian ones I've made several times (they are one of my fave meals ever) but my other half was adamant that for her it's the teriyaki chicken ones, and apparently I've been depriving her of them since October last year.

 

So having got that conversation out the way this weeks dish is teriyaki chicken meatballs. Even if you don't fancy the meatballs the teriyaki sauce recipe is incredibly simple once you've located the ingredients, and tastes better than anything you'd get out of a bottle.

 

https://www.recipetineats.com/teriyaki-chicken-meatballs/

 

teri1.thumb.jpg.fd210a0794e95eac32ede29fa9783698.jpgteri2.thumb.jpg.b6656844b5d5fb11eccc48a48d186fd8.jpg

 

 

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Curry time again - quite a bit of effort here but so worth it, just have to do when you've got the time & patience for it. 

 

The main chicken dish is Mughlai chicken that I posted back on page 6 around xmas, it's a really good onion based sauce which takes caramelised onions and blitzes into a paste with cashews & chillis - my Thermomix does a stellar job here leaving no discernible bits of nut at all and just gives you a totally grain free paste without putting thru a passing sieve.

 

Found some new taste the difference 12 month aged Basmati today for the rice, the pack claims a nuttier more developed flavour. Hipster rice is here, though Quora tells me aged Basmati develops a better flavour and cooks less sticky and fluffier.

 

Finally a new side, chana masala. It's a pretty lively veggie side with a nice acidic fruity twang added by lemon juice (and I put a small bit of tamarind paste in too as this is often in this dish).

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/04/channa-masala-recipe.html

 

curry1.thumb.jpg.95539050ee43d4a36b1e6c31ecd41033.jpgcurry2.thumb.jpg.13874a9a03d03d107a8d6908361a1242.jpg

 

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The pies posted further up page 8 were such a hit had to have one more go before summer properly kicks in - I love chicken and leek in a nice white sauce and went looking for one without milk or cream in it as my other half is intolerant.

 

James Martin seems to know his stuff on comfort cooking so despite never having boiled a chicken in my life went for this one as the sauce is dairy free. Got 2 small chickens from Sainsbury's and set them off boiling - didn't expect the house to smell so lovely, was like xmas morning. Seems a good way to cook as they stay lovely and moist and after a bit of faff I've ended up with 2L of chicken stock I need to find space for in the freezer as a bonus.

 

With the amount of chicken I got his amount of sauce seemed a bit on the dry side, so I doubled that up, and added in some additional mixed dried herbs. Omitted the mushrooms as they are fungus. 

 

https://www.jamesmartinchef.co.uk/recipes/chicken-and-tarragon-pie/

 

Once I had a big old pot of pie filling I went to the method above from the beef pies, blind baking a shortcrust case before putting a puff pastry hat on top.

 

Have to say pies are a lot of effort, so you have to be in the mood for them, but the end results are pretty good and freeze perfectly. If anybody is wondering those are 14cm dishes, so a good single pie. Got 4 of them and 2 other rectanglular tins out of 2 chickens so the pies are pretty stuffed, and could do just 1 chicken next time for a smaller batch. 

 

pie.thumb.jpg.0aeee32d68f7ff1e17070b0b2f1078e6.jpgpies2.jpg.c2f06f308bd40a687350003151691f20.jpg

 

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This is the time of year where I try to keep this going but am looking for less involved cooks I can get done quickly before the sun comes round and hits my kitchen - enter variant number 46 on my official list, baked ziti.

 

Pretty easy recipe to source and whip up this one, but tastes pretty good to me out the pot - I doubled the recipe (and got way too much so we're having for lunch tomorrow) - my only finding for next time is my pasta soaked up the sauce quite a lot and its a little firmer and more lasagne like in how it came out, but I can remedy that next time round easily enough.

 

If in doubt for a side now I just fire up my huge commercial sized carbon steel wok and do a load of veg, the flavour the wok imparts is really impressive (wok breath), it tastes like there is a a sauce and more than a sprinkling of salt on it all.

 

https://www.recipetineats.com/baked-ziti-with-italian-sausage/comment-page-5/#comments

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been away on holiday so playing a bit of catch up to get stocks back up - 2 new recipes being tried this weekend (taking me up 48 distinct varieties now).

 

Update on the ziti above, big hit, freezes and reheats pretty well and only really lacks the crunchy top you get out the oven first time out.

 

First is an experiment as needed pork shoulder for the second recipe, so got a bit more in to try out this Korean bbq I've wanted to try for ages. The recipe uses a foul smelling fermented red bean paste called gochujang (which I've had in for ages and never got round to trying), has grated pear, ginger, soy, onion and when you seal up in a bag for overnight soaking its fair to say it stinks a bit.

 

I suspected it would transform on being cooked and wow has it, its delicious and is so sticky and spicy, a proper nose clearer and i had to resist chowing a whole one down at 1030 in the morning. 

 

So I now know its a great recipe fresh, I do wonder how it will survive chilling and reheating, hence why I've just tried a couple as an experiment on some plain stickyish rice.

 

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KB2.thumb.jpg.525a21e088eadac5dd2058e9b6e81abe.jpg

 

Recipe is from one of my faves, will say the recipe is great, but the method seems a bit out, she claims caramelisation in 5m, I used a full flame in non stick as advised and took me over 10m to get to that sticky jammy stage. Mention as quite a few comments about not getting it caramelised, which seems a vital taste component to me on this.

 

https://www.recipetineats.com/spicy-korean-pork-stir-fry/comment-page-3/#comment-824902

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Busy morning part 2 - another attempt at authentic Mexican with Chilli Colorado, frijoles a la charra (beans) and green rice. Thermomix really helps on something like this as every element below has a blitzed up component and it so quick to use and clean up - I know its a luxury but its a proper kitchen workhorse tool.

 

I'll confess that whilst the chilli looks good in my pics, straight out the pot its a little lacking in 'pow' - I followed the recipe precisely and I wonder if we just don't get the dried chillis over here, despite using a reputable supplier via Amazon who only sells spices. If you watch the vid he talks about 'fresh dried chillis' that are pliable and soft, some of mine were but the ancho's always arrival a bit brittle. I also wonder if its just my more Tex-Mex slanted taste buds that crave tomato, onion, beans etc in a con carne.

 

That said no dish takes on a new lease of life and develops like a chilli so will reserve judgement for now. Also in the pics I really over sauce as the meat is like a sponge and sucks it up so much you wonder where it goes when it comes time to eat.

 

Green rice pretty simple apart from sourcing the poblano, I replaced fresh with tinned and reading up some places recommend that anyway. Its very fresh and tasty and the colour is quite appealing.

 

The beans are lovely and not refried, whipped up the uncooked beans in pressure cooker yesterday in advance then its just a matter of making up the tomato based sauce to mix them in with.

 

chill1.thumb.jpg.fa806ece69446546e524765072dd5cf4.jpgchill2.thumb.jpg.caac3b9e3f51338f91188db903b48cb3.jpg

 

 

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/08/frijoles-a-la-charra-recipe-beans-rice.html

https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mexican_green_rice/

 

 

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2 minutes ago, schmojo said:

You can microwave the dried pasillas/anchos/chipotles etc for about 10 seconds to make them more pliable. And pungent. 

 

I assume I robbed that tip off Serious Eats. Just like everything else.

 

yeah, i got that from there too - Kenji recommends it as easier than heating up a skillet - the problem would be that its still an old dried up chilli in the first place that has lost some of its punch though

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If you use damp kitchen towel it'll steam it to some extent, while toasting it, which helps.

 

Dried chilis can still have all the punch you'll need. God knows I have plenty that are essentially chemical warfare rather than feasible foodstuff.

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On 22/06/2019 at 12:52, Gotters said:

I'll confess that whilst the chilli looks good in my pics, straight out the pot its a little lacking in 'pow' - I followed the recipe precisely and I wonder if we just don't get the dried chillis over here, despite using a reputable supplier via Amazon who only sells spices. If you watch the vid he talks about 'fresh dried chillis' that are pliable and soft, some of mine were but the ancho's always arrival a bit brittle. I also wonder if its just my more Tex-Mex slanted taste buds that crave tomato, onion, beans etc in a con carne.

 

That said no dish takes on a new lease of life and develops like a chilli so will reserve judgement for now. Also in the pics I really over sauce as the meat is like a sponge and sucks it up so much you wonder where it goes when it comes time to eat.

 

Quick update - this chilli has taken off after resting in the fridge for a day or two.

 

It's not about raw blinding heat you see on MvF challenges, I hate that, its huge full flavour tasty heat that give you a little head sweat and makes your tongue tingle a bit.

 

This is my new pole position authentic Mexican style chilli, all I'll do different next time is little less salt (as you reduce the liquid the salt intensifies, and I'll pre soak the dry chilli in water and not use the poaching liquor - its a little tannic/earthy and my pref is to not use - but these are tweaks.

 

Quick update 2 - the Korean dish is a proper wow, not lost a scrap of flavour in the fridge - though inevitably the pork goes a bit chewier on reheating, though this almost adds to the stickiness of the dish.

 

That may be my favourite new recipe in quite a while, so much so the experiment just made 2 and I have to make some more next weekend - entirely correct to just serve on plain rice as the marinade sauce is a major taste explosion.

 

 

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With the temps going up this weekend it lead to a discussion about what makes a summer dinner - for my partner it seems to be anything with couscous, for me its anything Mexican (it always looks hot there on TV so must be the right thing to eat).

 

That was the inspiration for the latest creation, barbecoa beef (with my old standby sides of maque choux corn and Mex rice, love the rice as it looks quite plain but uses up a lot of the enchilada sauce I get when making them so has great flavour).

 

Its not a million miles removed from my previous pork carnitas dish, except this one is pressure cooked and the sauce has some good punchy ingredients (seen lots of slow cooked variants but didn't fancy having the oven on for hours this weekend).

 

Initial results seem pretty good, and I've reserved some left over cooking sauce in small pots to freeze and pour over in case the meat soaks all the juices up (which it often does).

 

Folowed this pretty closely except added in some Mexican oregano as lots of other recipes seemed to have it.

 

https://tasteandsee.com/instant-pot-beef-barbacoa/

 

barb1.thumb.jpg.9cdf2ea185cbce402fce2df859e3b3cf.jpgbarb2.thumb.jpg.18e1cd983b7f57cbfb9cdd35254cd7e9.jpg

 

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10 minutes ago, emerald fox said:

@Gotters looks great! I think you'd really enjoy a Mexican chicken and tortilla soup, though you add lots of stuff at the moment you serve (sour cream, coriander, lime, red onion, cheese and crushed tortilla) but you could still batch cook the actual soup.

 

Got a couple of those tagged actually, a good looking one for the Thermomix (which is a great soup making machine), would make up a little side pot of stuff as needed to dump in like you say.

 

Although I tag Mexican as summer food in my head soup is definitely winter food so that one will have to wait for a few months !

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Quick dish and early start for me today - key to keeping this going thru the summer is faster dishes and good prep. As previously mention my partner insists that couscous is a key element to making a dish summery, but I'll need to research more things to serve alongside it. 

 

For this harissa chicken dish I got organised yesterday, getting the chicken in a bag to marinate overnight in the fridge, I also benefit from making up batches of certain sauces - I made and froze this harissa paste last year and got some great 50 & 100ml sealable pots from Amazon so I can store them in the freezer, then just defrost as needed. This gives me the benefit of batching a time consuming element and having home made from scratch on tap. 

 

Sides are just some roasted veg in garlic oil, and couscous to which I add a little butter fried red onion and garlic. 

 

This is a pretty punchy recipe, especially if your harissa is a bit fiery

 

https://tasteandsee.com/lemon-harissa-chicken/

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2018/04/dried-chili-harissa.html

 

harissa1.thumb.jpg.1115abfd34e8fa90b7a16fa46acdec66.jpgharissa2.thumb.jpg.9bb5924e5059dafe673a0639acd28e57.jpg

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Adrock said:

@Gotters that beef barbacoa looks amazing. Do you do it in an instant pot?

 

I'm going off to post in the pressure cooking thread, I've spent the morning looking at pressure cookers and all the alternatives.

 

That barbecoa tasted wonderful straight out the pot, and most chilli based things really develop over a couple of days after cooking so really got hopes for it.

 

I've got a Sage version of an Instant Pot, they're both combis that will do slow cooking or pressure (and both have cool added functions to sear, brown, reduce etc) - great bits of kit.

 

I did mine in pressure cooking mode, but it would work equally well as a slow cooker recipe, would just need a recipe adjusted to that method liquid wise I guess - the link above for Barbecoa has a slow cooker variant I believe.

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Round 2 with the Korean BBQ from up the page a bit - the sauce was so good so haven't touched that recipe at all, just swapped out the pork for chicken as the pork goes a little chewy when you reheat it (I quite liked the texture and chew but my other taste tester rather harshly knocked 1 off her score for the chewiness).

 

As I mentioned above the technique in this recipe is definitely out on the linked site - she says cook for 5m or until dark and caramelised, after 5 mins the sauce is still red and uncooked, I even did today on my double wok burner, it took 15m on full heat to get the look in my pics (do make sure you use a good non stick pan). Because I knew this I didn't use chicken breast but got some thigh fillets and Sainsbury also had drumstick fillets too (which I'd never noticed before or they're new) - you want a meat that is going to be resilient to such high heat cooking and they cooked up a treat.

 

I did a double batch but cooked in 2 lots as you don't want the pan overcrowded if going for this sticky sauce.

 

Delighted with the results and suspect this one is going to rank highly up on my keepers list.

 

Finally I serve with some simple roasted veggies, also just spotted I forgot my garnish on pics, little bit of green is a nice addition though.

 

kor1.thumb.jpg.03b6834c63b1203f91c8062604033f1c.jpgkor2.thumb.jpg.32d5ba4e08e35d81b84f316ad32394f0.jpg

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I've bought a bigger freezer for storage, so needed a good high count dish for stock - luckily this Japanese curry is one of our favourites - its essentially the Serious Eats recipe, which I've tweaked a little having cooked this several times.

 

Its pretty quick to make as long as you've made up the spice blend in advance, which I do and then get a couple of uses out of.

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2018/01/print/japanese-curry-kare.html

 

curry.thumb.jpg.87bc1f1b137ff1cc45484cb2d7cb5376.jpg 

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