So we’re now in the third month of the Swallow Recipes for Life Challenge and the chosen three ingredients were a potentially tricky Pork, Sweetcorn and Tomato. I have to admit to pondering for quite some time before coming up with my Retro-tastic Sweet & Sour recipe. And my sincere apologies now for the absence of any authenticity, and if you’re likely to be offended please look no further!. But I can nevertheless assure you it’s a pretty tasty dinner.
Admittedly not a dish I’m usually a big fan of, and I’m always a bit sniffy of the take-away version, but this homemade recipe was a bit of a hit in the Chez Foti household. The kids happily chowed down and successfully consumed a healthily pleasing quota of veggies, but then anything inclusive of fruit and/or sweetcorn and served with rice is usually onto a winner with them. I really should confess to very much enjoying it myself too, way more than I thought I would, though I did perk mine up somewhat with an additional (very) hot chili. And it proved a delightful and worthy use of the very last of my Homemade Tomato Ketchup.
Just in case you missed the earlier challenges, the lovely Vanesther of Bangers and Mash Chat has tasked fellow bloggers to come up with wholesome, delicious and easy-to-cook recipes using three key ingredients, that members of the Swallow cookery club can cook themselves. Swallow is a Somerset based charity that help adults with learning disabilities to lead more independent lives, including the running of cookery courses and the preparation of meals for themselves.
Sweet & Sour Pork
Great for: Toddlers & Young Children, Bigger Kids, Tomato Ketchup Fans, Family Dinners, Grown Ups, Mid-Week Suppers, Retro Foodies
Enough for a Family of 4:
For the Sauce:
a 227g tin of Pineapple Slices in Natural Juice, drained and juice retained, slices cut into chunks
a level tablespoon of Cornflour
2 tablespoons of Tomato Ketchup, Homemade or bought
2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons of Chinese Rice Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
a dessertspoon of Honey
For the Stir Fry:
2 tablespoons of Groundnut or Sunflower Oil
300g of lean Pork loin or fillet, cut into fine inch long strips
a small Onion, diced
a Carrot, sliced into very fine inch long strips
a Red Pepper, large dice
a clove of Garlic, finely sliced
a thumb sized piece of Ginger, grated or finely chopped
0 – 2 Red Chillies, finely sliced (depending on your heat tolerance)
a Courgette, sliced into inch long strips
a 150g tin of Sweetcorn (or you could use a handful of Baby Sweetcorn)
Start with prepping your sauce. Mix the cornflour with all the retained pineapple juice, then stir in each of the other ingredients. Set aside.
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large sauce pan to a very high temperature. Carefully add the pork to the hot fat and cook for a two or three minutes, moving the pork around regularly so it cooks on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Into the hot pan add a further tablespoon of oil and carefully add the onion, carrot, red pepper, garlic, ginger and chillies (if using). Cook for three minutes on a very high heat, continuously moving everything around. If the veggies are sticking to the pan throw in a splash of water. Stir in the courgette and continue to c0ok for a further three minutes.
Finally stir in the set aside pork strips, pineapple chunks, sweetcorn and the sauce. Stirring regularly allow to bubble away for a few minutes and take off the heat when you have your desired state of veggie tenderness. I personally prefer a healthy crunch to mine but the kids favour their’s a little on the softer side. So I settle for somewhere in the middle.
Chow down with noodles or steamed rice. Maybe a cheeky prawn cracker or three on the side.
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April 21st, 2013 at 9:36 am
[…] A Very Retro Sweet and Sour Pork from Chez Foti […]
April 21st, 2013 at 9:40 am
I have to admit being a bit sniffy about sweet and sour dishes – I really can’t deal with those big battered pieces of meat you sometimes get in Chinese takeaways with an incredibly sticky sweety sauce in a polystyrene cup to dip it in. But this looks much more my kind of thing. Lots of lovely crunchy, colourful vegetables and succulent meat in a tasty, properly sweet and sour sauce – I know my kids are going to adore this. A great entry for Recipes for Life Lou – can’t wait to try it out on my gang here.
April 21st, 2013 at 9:58 am
Oh I’m so with you on deep fried battered meat dished up with msg gloop. And I’d never order a Sweet & Sour from a takeaway I don’t know for fear of it. My foodie hell! This is still pretty sweet but with no nasties and very little fat. And I was mightily chuffed my two really liked it, and shall be made again no doubt very soon!.
April 21st, 2013 at 10:58 am
My mum used to make something similar when we were kids. It was always a favourite of mine so I am not surprised your children scoffed it. It looks delicious, especially packed with all those veggies.
April 22nd, 2013 at 9:02 am
Ah thanks, I’m sure it’ll be making a pretty regular appearance on the Chez Foti menus now!
April 21st, 2013 at 12:33 pm
I think msg ladden dodgy Chinese restaurant when it comes to sweet and sour pork…this looks nothing like that!
April 22nd, 2013 at 9:08 am
So do I! Which is probably why it took me so long to dare to make one 🙂
April 21st, 2013 at 1:09 pm
My son is peanut allergic so we don’t buy Chinese food anymore (for fear of peanut oil sneaking in there) so I make my own Chinese style food at home and, like your little people, he loves my home made sweet’n’sour. My recipe is quite similar to yours but I use Worcester Sauce instead of vinegar. Delish!
April 22nd, 2013 at 9:09 am
Oh I didn’t think of using Worcester Sauce, might just have to give it a whirl next time, thanks!
April 21st, 2013 at 2:20 pm
I really like sweet and sour or the idea of it but never order from take out for exactly the reasons above. I love yours and will give it a go, lots of great stuff in it! Love it!!!
April 22nd, 2013 at 9:10 am
Why thank you. Please do try but add plenty of chili if you like any heat!
April 21st, 2013 at 2:49 pm
What a great idea for this months collection of ingredients. You dish looks so good….very chunky and healthy. A world away from a take away. Nice one Lou x
April 23rd, 2013 at 9:08 am
Cheers me dear! I think it could be my new guilty pleasure 😉
April 21st, 2013 at 5:52 pm
That looks wonderful – so colourful! I love the sweet-sour-hot combination in food, so I’ll definitely give it a try.
April 23rd, 2013 at 9:08 am
Ah thanks, just make sure you add plenty of chili to heat things up….
April 22nd, 2013 at 9:57 am
I love sweet and sour pork – I wonder why it’s become ‘retro’? I’d sort of forgotten about it – thank you for reminding me. The trouble I always have is finding pork that doesn’t get really tough… or maybe that’s just me?
April 23rd, 2013 at 9:12 am
To tell you the truth I’d forgotten about it too and can’t have eaten it for at least 10 years!. But I suddenly got the urge guessing that my kids would be big fans. I use good quality pork fillet in recipes like this with zero dryness, and cook for a brief a time as poss.
April 22nd, 2013 at 3:08 pm
Definitely wouldn’t get sniffy about this, it looks fab! Another one that would be great with our never-ending supply of pork too. I’m very keen on home-made ‘takeaway’ food too, out of necessity with none handy but I’m always suspicious about the quality of meat etc
April 23rd, 2013 at 9:17 am
Would be super-delish with your home-raised pork. Big fan of homemade ‘take-aways’ too and despite the obvious lack of convenience they’re always way better than the real deal!.
April 29th, 2013 at 11:13 pm
[…] about this for a taste of summer sunshine? Chez Foti’s Very Retro Sweet and Sour Pork looks just glorious and I bet it tastes every bit as good as it looks. Sweet and sour flavours are […]