Posts tagged: cooking

Roast (Schweinebraten) a la Freya

Freya makes a really good roast so last time she did it I “documented” the whole process. So far I didn’t really get to write the post but I think it’s time.

The ingredients list is not something fixed but this is what we usually use, or what we used this time:

  • about 2.5kg potatoes.
  • a hunk of meat, around 1kg. We used pork meat.
  • bit of garlic
  • vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, leek)
  • some Maggi vegetable bouillon

First of all we start with the potatoes. We cut the potatoes in smallish pieces, put them in a big pot together with garlic pieces, cover them with water and we let them boil.

They are done when they are almost soft but not quite, so you have to watch them. They don’t have to be too soft because we will fry them later on. Next we take care of the vegetables. Here we usually find at Aldi a vegetable pack which has everything we need: couple of carrots, some leek and 2 pieces or so of celery. We need to cut them all in smaller pieces then we put them all together in a pot with a bit of oil and we let them cook for a while:

Then it’s time for the meat. We put some oil in yet another pot and we let it get really hot. In the meanwhile, the meat needs to be seasoned with salt and lots of pepper on all sides:

The meat needs to cook for quite a long time but before we do that we need to have a crust all around it. So once the oil is really hot, we put the meat inside and we make sure it gets dark and cooked on all sides:

This should happen pretty quick since the oil is very hot. Don’t worry if the meat is getting a little dark, that’s ok as long as you don’t forget it in there and make it completely black.

When it has a crust all over, we just let it in side and we add the onions, cut in not-too-small pieces. We let that cook for a little bit until the onions soften and then we add some water into the pot, maybe until the meat is half submerged. As an alternative, we can substitute some of the water with some red wine, or even with some beer.

We add 2 tea spoons of Maggi and 2 table spoons of paprika powder (sweet or a bit hot, depending what you like; we used hot):

We let it boil for a bit longer then we add some of the vegetables, but not all. We just added mostly carrots and celery to one side in the pot:

That is it for the meat for the time being, we cover the pot and now it needs to cook real good. The rule of thumb here is that you need to let it cook for 1h plus 30 minutes for each kilo. So in our case, since we had 1kilo of meat, we need to let it cook for 1:30h. The fact that we have a crust around the meat will help it cook good inside without getting too soft on the outside.

So now you have a little break but we still need to do the potatoes. Depending on what kind of frying pan you have, you might need between 20 and 30 minutes. Basically we will just fry them in oil, kinda like french fries:

Once they get nice, crusty and golden-brown, they are done.

Once the time is up for the roast, we just take it out, put it on a plate and we cut it in slices with a steak knife. I don’t really have a long steak knife so I used one of the bread knives but that works just as well:

What I don’t have pictures of is the making of the gravy, so I am just going to explain how it’s done. Basically once the meat is out of the pot we are left with the gravy. What we do now is, we take everything which is in there (i.e. the gravy which contains the softened vegetables) and we force it through a strainer into a bowl. The resulting gravy should be nice and spicy from the salt and pepper which was on the meat and also thick from the vegetables which we forced through the strainer.

If it’s not thick enough, you can add maybe a bit of  tomato paste or you can also put a little bit of paprika powder and some cold water in a small cup, stir it and then add it to the gravy.

And that is pretty much it. We put the rest of the vegetables which were cooking separately in a bowl and then we are done:

Guten Apettit!


Today it was my turn to cook so I tried my hand at Red Rice again. Ok, Freya did “supervise” me a little bit but I think I got the hang of it and I can do it on my own. And it was delicious ;-)

Red Rice

One of the meals Freya cooks extremely well is Red Rice. I learned to cook it as well but somehow it still seems hers is better.  Or maybe just different. My opinion anyway. I guess you can’t have everything ;-)

You start with 250g of chicken cut in pices, not too big, and you cook them in a bit of oil. In the pan you also put one peperoni sliced in small pieces, one red pepper cut in small pieces (without seeds, I would say) and an onion cut in small pieces. Meanwhile you prepare the rice. You need a pot with some water in it, you let it boil then you add the rice (one coffee cup, 150ml or something like that) and you let it boil like that for 10 minutes. This can depend on the type of rice, we usually use the Basmati type.

When the rice is done and the pieces of chicken have a brown’ish color, you put it in the pan on top of the chicken, you add tomato paste and you stir them all together. You might need a little bit more oil if it does not stir well. We also add some hot chillies powder and salt but that’s up to you. And that’s it! Here what it looks like:

Recipe for Spaghetti a la Freya

Related to the previous post and to the one on Ciupercutza’s blog, I present you the recipe for Spaghetti à la Freya ;-) So, we need the following ingredients:

  • 150-200g normal ham
  • 100-150g sliced mushrooms. I buy them canned but fresh are even better
  • one hot red pepper
  • 100ml wine (red or white, does not matter)
  • 100g tomato paste
  • spices (chillies, garlic, onions, oregano, basil, parsley)
  • 500g thin spaghetti
  • 1-2 spoons Knorr powder gravy

All this will yield about 3-4 portions. If you want to cook for less persons then use the ingredients accordingly. Cut the ham in stripes and cook them at high heat in a pan together with 1 spoon of oil, don’t make it too brown. After couple of minutes, add the sliced mushrooms, spices and the red pepper cut in tiny pieces.

I use a mix of dried spices called Arabiata, it’s hot and it’s meant to be used for spaghetti. If you can’t find something like this you can use the individual spices.

After another couple of minutes of cooking at high heat, add the wine and the tomato paste and let it boil once. Then you can add a bit of water and, as desired, 1-2 spoons of Knorr poweder gravy. The final gravy must not be too liquid and the Knorr powder (as well as more tomato paste) helps to thicken it. Taste every now and than and add more wine, spices, etc as desired.

Let everything cook at low heat now and boil some water for the spaghetti. When the water is boiling, add the spaghetti and let it cook at medium heat for 11 minutes (at least that’s the case for the spaghetti I use, might differ for yours). Stir them every now and then so they don’t get stuck together

Take the pan off the oven, add a spoon of cream and mix it together with the gravy

That’s it ;-) Put the spaghetti through a strainer to get rid of the water, put them on the plate, add the gravy. Guten Appetit!