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Pork Lemonato, on antique English porcelain courtesy of The Collector

It seems I’ve fallen into a nice little routine of posting a new blog post every Sunday. However, this week I’m getting in an extra one(um, I was supposed to have this uploaded on Thursday. Saturday instead of Sunday isn’t quite breaking the routine!). Anyway.

The past week has actually been a bit of a food blogger’s nightmare. First came a recipe I hoped would rock, but it turned out mediocre (will try it again before posting). This was Monday. Two days later I had a minor disaster when I forgot to turn on the slow cooker before leaving for work in the morning, and a whole turkey breast sat waiting for me all day to get home and cook it some other way (thank goodness it’s still cold these days, otherwise it would have ended up in the bin and that would have been a crime). In the end I tried two different ways, since there was a lot of meat to use up. One of these ways was a turkey korma, with a ready-made sauce (*gasp*). Sometimes shop-bought is just the best option. We’re only human. The other way however, well, that was absolutely gorgeous! But the third and most annoying disaster of the week was that I forgot to take photos of it. So I’ll just have to make it again before telling you all about it. Soon, very soon.

Finally, and having remembered to both plug in the slow cooker and turn it on this morning last Thursday, I have a dish to talk about, complete with photo (antique plate an’ all – thanks Collector!).

I’ve been wanting lately to try out a few traditional Greek recipes adapted for the slow cooker. Greek cuisine has many stew type dishes, which are called “of the saucepan” (katsarolas) because they are –surprise- cooked in a saucepan on the stove top. These are all good candidates and I’m slowly working my way through some of them, so I can share them with you here.

This dish is called Lemonato, which means “lemony”. It’s basically meat, cooked in stock and lemon juice with a few herbs and is usually made with pork, beef, chicken or rabbit (yeah, sorry about that). Mine is pork. Lemonato is mostly served with french fries or rice, or potatoes that are cooked in the pan with the meat and sauce (we had it with mashed potatoes, which is probably unheard of here!). It’s lovely with any of these, but to eat it like a true Greek, you need to also have some crusty bread on hand to scoop up the wonderful lemony sauce. So, here goes.

Pork Lemonato
Serves 3

You’ll need:
700g pork, cut into portions or chunks
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup water
juice of 1 ½ lemons
1 medium onion, minced or chopped
1 tsp mustard
1 sprig of rosemary (about 7-8cm/3in)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper (or to taste)
1 Tbs corn flour (to thicken sauce at the end – if needed)

What you do:

  1. Put the carrots and onion in the bottom of the slow cooker
  2. Put the pork pieces on top
  3. Mix the liquids and mustard together and pour over the meat
  4. Add salt & pepper, bay leaf and rosemary
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours
  6. About half an hour before the end of cooking time check your sauce. If it’s too watery for your liking, use a cup to take some of the liquid out of the slow cooker (you want about ¾ of a cup). Mix in the corn flour, and stir well until it has completely dissolved. Then pour it all back in and cook for a further 30 minutes on high.

(Writing instructions for slow cooker recipes is brilliant)

Due to this being a work day, mine was on for about 9 ½ hours. I think there is a point after which meat becomes a bit tough again in the slow cooker. I’m not sure about this, so I’m going to experiment, but it’s happened a couple of times with some of the recipes I’ve tried, including this one. If you have any idea whether this is the case, please let me know!

This was a really nice dinner, and made even nicer leftovers, but next time I would start checking for doneness after about 7 hours (providing I’m not stuck in my office). I might also omit the rosemary (it was a teeny bit strong for my taste) or maybe replace it with some dried oregano (½ tsp at the most).

Hope you like it!