So, I finally get it, getting groceries home delivered is the freaking bomb! Aussie Farmers Direct, where have you been all my life? Like, why did I wait so long for this? Sure, it’s a little more forward planning, having to work out what meals you will have that week, rather than deciding on the day. However, when you end up doing, sometimes several, daily trips to the supermarket due to a particular propensity to forget rather key items, this forward planning home delivery thing is already paying for itself.
While minimising my hopelessness is the best thing about home delivery, there were some other very important benefits of being organised. The first thing I was conscious of was waste. When planning a weeks worth of dinners in advance, my choices were much more focused on things I would have leftover, and ensuring that a dinner later that week would use it up. Food waste in Australia is huge issue and I think we are all guilty of it. So avoid as much food waste as you can by planning ahead and ensuring tomorrow night’s dinner will use up the remaining ingredient from the previous evening.
Now one of my favourite by-products of saving on waste, is saving on dollars! Planning ahead and using up leftover ingredients means the next dinner costs you less. When a head of cabbage or left over herbs can do 2 or 3 dinners, you are winning. Planning ahead also allows you to browse the weekly specials and plan meals around items that are on sale. If you want spaghetti bolognese, make it on a week when mince is on special. Last week, pork belly was on special and so, pork belly it was!
Since last week the weather finally stopped feeling like mid spring, and pork belly was discounted, I decided my favourite Vietnamese pork, egg and coconut stew was happening. And you better believe the rest of the cucumber, bean sprouts, spring onions and herbs were all used up later in the week.
1 kg pork belly, cut into 3cm cubes
4 eschallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 spring onion stem, chopped
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 star anise
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 white onion
300ml coconut water
4 soft boiled eggs
Coriander and steamed rice to serve
1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed and dried
1/2 cucumber, julienned
1/2 cup coriander, picked
1/2 cup mint, picked
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar
In a large bowl combine fish sauce, soy sauce, star anise, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add pork, eschallots, garlic, mix well to coat. Marinate for 1 hour.
While marinating, put all salad dressing ingredients into a jar, shake well and set aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy based or cast iron pot, over medium heat fry of the white onion until soft and starting to brown. Remove the pork from the marinade and add to the pan to sear off and seal all sides. Add the marinade to the pot along with the coconut water and water. Bring to the boil and then skim off any scum that rises. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover and cook for 30 minutes, skimming occasionally.
Remove lid and continue to gently simmer for 1 hour, skimming occasionally.
Add the eggs and continue to cook uncovered, for a further 30 minutes.
Place salad ingredient in a bowl and dress lightly with the dressing.
The meat should be super soft by now, not falling apart but a fork should go through it like butter, and the sauce should be thick and reduced. Serve the stew with rice and salad.
This has been a sponsored post for Aussie Farmers Direct.