Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Boil-up with my twist and a tweaking.

I have heard various friends almost going into rapture when they talk about going home to a good old-fashioned boil-up. There would be very few Maori families out there who don't appreciate the idea of a weekend boil-up. As with most 'traditional' recipes in many cultures, each family has its won spin on the family favourite. Fro the most part, a boil-up consists of pork bones (maybe beef too) purchased from a 'favourite butcher (or even 'home kill') stuck in a large pot along with watercress or puha, various vegetables and possibly some salt and pepper. The idea is to keep it simple, cheap and with the addition of of some 'doughboys' near the end of the cooking process, the family has an easy meal.
I well remember a friend cooking the above version at school one day and the smell went right through the administration block, causing the principal at the time to jokingly banning us from doing that again. Of course, the Maori students, knew exactly what we were cooking and their smiles spoke volumes.
Yesterday, while I was shopping at the Aussie Butcher, I came across some water cress and a few metres along the aisle, I spotted some meaty, not too fatty pork bones. 'Flash,' my mind went: Maybe I could do what that clever chef does on Wednesday night TV, where he takes a 'favourite recipe and gives it a twist and a tweak.' I rushed home with my very cheap purchases and excitedly announced that I was about to 'experiment' with my version of a boil-up. Did that cause  equal excitement at home? No---not really, just a raising of eyebrows and a resignation that I was going to do something different----again! Here's what I did and yes, I know the 'purists' out there are going to have me 'hung drawn and quartered.'
I found my biggest pot. Damn, I shouldn't have sold that huge one on Trade Me.
I washed the pork bones and placed them in the pot.
I added the pork bones.
In went the water cress---heaps of it!
I chucked in a chopped carrot and an onion.
In went a little salt and pepper.
But, then I added some chilli flakes, garlic, a piece of ginger and a dash of Paprika, nutmeg and a pinch of sugar.
I also biffed in small bacon bone.
After boiling the kettle I poured that over the mixture until it covered everything nicely.
I slowly cooked the mix for three hours and turned it off.
Was it good?  Hell, yes! The fluid was divine and the meat just melted in mouth.
Why is it that families insist on buying crappy takeaways night after night when they can cook (the original versions) something as cheap and tasty as the 'boil-up?' Mrs Brown tasted my version and she said, 'That's feckin nice.'
Honestly, It was magnificent!


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