Monday, October 22, 2012

Pigs in Clover

Pigs in Clover 
"For this wholesome and economical dish you will need 6 medium, well-scrubbed potatoes, 6 skinned sausages and some cabbage.  With an apple corer, remove a center core lengthways from each potato and stuff the cavity with sausage meat. Bake the potatoes in the usual way and serve on a bed of lightly chopped, cooked cabbage."

I confess that today's entry is more a case of "as inspired by" than a faithful recreation of its 1940s prototype, which appears in Marguerite Patten's simultaneously entertaining and sobering We'll Eat Again: A Collection of Recipes from the War Years

Initially, I had every intention of giving the original a shot with only two minor alterations: the substitution of a vegetable-based "sausage" filling for the offal of unfortunate oinkers, and a bed of kale rather than cabbage for the little darlings to rest upon once they were baked. The first obstacle appeared when I realized we don't have an apple-corer, and the second when I couldn't find one in a shop for love nor money. 

Since I wasn't keen to risk my digits gouging out the center of raw potatoes with a paring knife, that effectively put the kibosh on my recreating the dish as written. But then I thought to partially cook the tatties, scoop out some of their midsections, stuff them with the "sausage," put the two halves back together, and bake them in foil; this would probably would have worked fine, but I'd have been left with way too much extra filling. And so it was that I opted for the classic twice-baked potatoes approach: microwaving the spuds, scooping out the insides, combining it with my sausage stuff, and then putting the whole business back in the skins and baking them uncovered until brown and crispy. This turned out great, and once nestled into a pile of leafy greens, with some steamed carrots and cauliflower cheese for boon companions, these little piggies made a delicious (and filling) dinner.

Pigs in Clover
~ 6 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and baked (oven or microwave is fine)
~ 1 tbsp. margarine
~ 1 small red onion, diced
~ 1 large stalk celery, diced
~ 1 parsnip, grated
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
~ 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
~ 1 tsp. each: Marmite, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
~ 1/2 tsp. each: salt, marjoram, sage, thyme
~ Pinch of mace
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ 2 tbsp. rolled oats

~ Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
~ Scoop out the center of the cooked potatoes into a bowl and set aside; being careful to leave the skins intact.
~ In a large skillet, melt the margarine and sauté the onion, celery, and parsnip over medium heat for about 5 minutes, adding water or stock as needed to prevent sticking.
~ Add the mushrooms, garlic, and seasonings and cook 5-7 minutes more, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are quite soft.
~ Add the rolled oats and any remaining stock and cook a few more minutes more, or until most of the liquid is cooked off.
~ Add the cooked potato to the mixture in the skillet and combine thoroughly; set aside until cool enough to handle.
~ Carefully scoop this mixture into the potato skins, and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet.
~ Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes; ovens vary, so be sure to check occasionally to ensure they don't burn.
~ Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving on a bed of "clover," in the form of leafy greens of your choosing.

1 comment:

  1. yay! I can comment!
    I wound up running errands till 9pm so I didn't make these tonight but I am hoping to get to them tomorrow.

    Mofo Post pending!