18 March 2011

Quick thinking on the ham hock front

I popped into the butcher's on the way home from taking son & heir to school today, in order that I could buy the meat for the weekend.

I'd noticed, during the week, that they were offering Beef Brisket at a reduced price and so managed to get an entire kilo of gorgeous looking brisket for just over £4.  Now if that's not good value, I don't know what is!  I also picked up 500g of beef mince for the bolognese on Monday, but hit a bit of a snag when it came to the ham hocks.  They didn't have any.  Meep!  What to do?

I'd been looking at the display of meat - and the prices thereof - while the lady was out the back finding out about the ham hocks.  I also knew what I was cooking with the ham hocks, as I'd reviewed the recipe last night.  It involved beans, celery, carrot - and the beans got me to thinking.  I knew we'd got rice in the cupboard and chocolate in the fridge, so the idea to do a Chilli con Carne with diced beef was born.  We'd been wanting to use "proper" beef rather than mince, for a very long time.

So - strike the Ham Hocks from the menu list for this week.  After a bit of quick thinking in the butcher's, we're now having chilli tonight.  Fingers crossed that suits hubby, as he's done himself a mischief with a particularly sharp chip (we abandoned the mash & veg part of the pie, mash & veg meal that was on the list, as I just didn't have the muscle power required to peel the spuds & carrots, and went for chipshop chips instead) which savaged his mouth in retaliation for being eaten.  Don't you just hate it when that happens?  It's usually toast that does it to me.

This week, so far, has been a bit of a muddle - although we seem to be making our way successfully through the muddle, so fingers crossed it continues!

You remember I was doing a Mulligatawny Soup on Tuesday?  Well, I did it - but it didn't turn out quite in the way I was hoping.  It was nice - but it was more of a spicy stew than a curried soup.  If you consider that it contained exactly the same amount of curry spices as the curry from Monday night did, it is absolutely incredible how the Passata wiped them out.  The next time I try making Mulligatawny, I'll include a tin of tomatoes rather than the 700g of Passata.  I am quite sure that less tomato/more stock will be an improvement!


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