After looking around the internet for a recipe, I found one I was happy with. I picked up all the ingredients I needed and got to work. I was happy with the fact that I found a pressure cooker recipe, which meant that I could sit down to a nice bowl of soup in a fraction of the time. Since its the middle of the year, I didn’t have any leftover ham. But for those of you that bake a leg of ham around the holidays, using your leftovers would be perfect for this recipe. I bought some smoked ham meat from the supermarket and used it. When I think back, I think I’d be happy even without the ham in the soup. The split pea soup is so flavourful, a vegetarian version would be really delicious as well. All this without the fuss of having to spend hours developing flavour.
I looked at this recipe and this one to get an idea and then from there on I mostly winged it. So here’s my
homemade almost homemade split pea and ham soup. If you baked your own ham and made your own stock, you’ve got yourself a made from scratch Split Pea & Ham Soup. 🙂
Homemade Split Pea & Ham Soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb dry split peas
1 stock cube (chicken, beef, veg – its upto you)
6 cups water
200-250g ham, diced
Rinse the peas under cold water.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker under medium heat.
Add the bay leaf and onion and saute till onions soften up.
Add the garlic, carrots and celery.
Saute for 4-5 minutes.
Add the peas, crumbled cube and water.
Cover and bring to a boil. After it reaches pressure / till the first whistle, simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
Take off the heat and let the cooker release pressure on its own.
When it is safe to open, adjust liquid by adding water if needed.
Adjust salt and freshly cracked pepper if need.
Add the ham, remove the bay leaf and let the meat heat through.
If the soup feels like it needs more cooking, cook till it reaches the desired thickness.
I crack some black pepper over it after serving it up and
** You could use stock instead of the cube and water if you have any at hand.
** This soup keeps well in the fridge. My pot lasted us about 10 days. I just took out small portions and heated it up as I needed it.
** I found that the soup thickened after refrigeration. So each time I need to heat up a portion, I added some hot water to the portion I was heating up, to reach the consistency I like and then heated it through.
Today I am going to share with you a wonderful recipe for which I can take absolutely no credit at all. Yup, you heard that right. This is a recipe that my husband remembers and has committed to memory from watching his mother and Nan cook. Can you believe that!!! I love him to pieces and its things like this that earn him extra brownie points. 🙂 I remember the first time he whipped up this beauty was a few years ago. I was out of town for a couple of weeks on work. I had a few things cooked up and kept in the fridge for him to just heat up and eat while I was away. I knew he was good with puddings, breakfast and the like, but wasn’t too sure if he’d manage mains for lunch and dinner. To my delight, when I got back from my trip, waiting for me was a pot of this beautiful fragrant stew. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. Long story short, we both loved it and from then on, each time we have this stew, my husband actually makes it himself.
This is such a simple recipe and it requires just a handful of ingredients. If you use a pressure cooker to cook your meat, its comes together faster, which is what I did. Unlike typical Indian food, this stew is not spicy but is beautifully flavored. You can serve this up with a couple of slices of hearty bread or croutons or even over steamed rice. I personally think it tastes better on the next day, so we always make a little extra to enjoy for even 2 to 3 meals.
Nana Braganza’s Beef Stew
1lb. beef, boneless (I use what we call undercut, very flavorful n tender, cooks up really fast, but you can use what you have on hand)
8 pepper corns
Salt, to taste
Juice of half a lime
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 onions, finely chopped
2 potatoes, cut into small cubes
1-2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
3/4″ ginger, finely chopped or minced
1/2 cup of red wine
2-3 rashers of bacon, skin taken off and chopped into small pieces (optional, but yum)
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper powder
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Cut the beef into 2-3 large pieces.
Sprinkle salt, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce over the meat. Add the cloves, cinnamon and pepper corns and toss well making sure the meat is marinated in this for about 10-15 minutes.
Pressure cook with a couple of cups of water till tender. I cooked it on low for 30 minutes after the first whistle. Let the pressure ease of on its own. Cut the beef into cubes. Reserve the stock.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the bacon. Let the bacon fry a little and release its fats. If you’re using bacon you may want to reduce the amount of oil a little. If your not using bacon, simply move on to the next step.
Add the chopped onions and chillies and saute them.
When the onions have softened a little, add the chopped ginger and garlic and continue sauteing.
After a minute or two add the potatoes and continue sauteing.
Add some pepper powder and stir.
When the onions have slightly started to brown, add the wine to deglaze and add the stock that the beef was cooked in with the whole spices.
Let it come to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Add the meat and let it all heat through.
Check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Once the flavors have fully developed, take it off the fire.
This recipe has been linked to –
Show me you Plaid Mondays
Anyway, things got better from there. We spent Sunday with family at my brother-in-law’s place. The guys had a blast. They played carrom after years and played for quite a few hours, while I spent time with my sister-in-law and neices (you remember them – Faith & Shania – from my second post). After a delightful morning and lunch with them, we headed home.
I was exhausted but I still wanted to make something for dinner that night.At first, I wanted to make some Moussaka. I’ve made that a couple of times before, and my husband and I simply love it. Then I started having second thoughts as the recipe calls for a lot of frying and with the temperatures and humidity levels being sky-high in Mumbai at the moment, I didn’t think I could endure all that frying. So as I was sifting through my collection of recipes, I stumbled upon a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie that I’d bookmarked some time ago and decided to give it a go. The original recipe calls for lamb mince but since I only had beef mince in the house, I made the switch. Well some folks say that Shepherd’s Pie is strictly made using lamb mince and if you do happen u switch the meat like I did, then what you’ve made is some Cottage Pie. Either way, I must say, this recipe did not disappoint. I used the recipe found in Nita Mehta’s – The Best of Mutton. All you do is make some mashed potato and a simple mince. Place the mince in a baking dish and smear the mashed potato over to make a nice layer. Bake @ 170ºC for about 20 minutes. In less than an hour, we sat down to a hearty, warm and scrumptious dinner. This, served with a lovely fresh salad, is really yummy.
Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed.
Note to Self: Next time, get pictures before wolfing down delicious food. 🙂