This is one of my own favourite meals I thought I'd share with you - a yummy slow cooked Asian style soup. Its a dish to feed at least 4 people but is easily portioned for freezing if you are cooking for one or two.
The method below looks long but its actually really easy and needs very little fiddling.
You'll need a slow cooker, a large cast iron casserole dish or any pot that can be set on a long slow cook.
- a piece of meat in a whole such as a pork scotch fillet, a whole small chicken or a small piece of pot-roasting beef (somewhere round 1kg is good)
- at least 2 whole pieces of ginger - the amount is very flexible
- at least 6 whole cloves of garlic
- stock (I use a low salt commercial one for convenience) - I usually use chicken unless the meat is beef. You need enough to mostly cover the meat so usually 2-3 litres.
- you can add chillis if you are keen and star anise (3 or 4) if you wish but I enjoy the basic garlic/ginger broth.
- chop the ginger into pieces about half a cm thick - you don't need to peel it as it gets strained out of the soup later
- peel and slightly squash the garlic cloves
- put these in the pot/slow cooker and place the meat on top
- pour stock over to almost cover - remember its going to be a soup so the more liquid the better
- Either set your slow cooker to cook at least 5 or 6 hours on low
- OR - what I do as I have a heavy, large cast iron casserole dish: allow at least 6 hours cooking time. Put the casserole in the oven on high (about 230 degrees) for 1 hour then turn the oven off, leaving the casserole in the oven for at least 6 hours. (I do this before going to work in the morning and come home in the evening with beautifully cooked meat and a delicious broth with only the assembly left to do)
- The meat will now be soft and gorgeous and the broth delicious
- remove the meat and chop it up or pull it apart - set aside
- strain the broth to remove solids, put the meat back in and keep hot without boiling
- this is the time to portion and freeze some for later if you are only feeding one or two
- now you can add vegetables and rice noodles as you wish - cook enough rice noodles for about half to one cup each person and select Asian vegetables, chopped shallots (spring onions), carrot, broccoli, mustard greens, chives, fresh coriander, chilli, thinly sliced mushrooms (or soaked dried mushrooms) etc. The choices here are individual and depend on what you can find. Its not essential to add vegetables but they do boost the antioxidants.
- cook the veges first if you wish but most are fine sliced thinly and popped into a bowl with the noodles then the hot soup is poured over.
The meat in this soup is soft and easy to digest so you get all the benefit of the protein, iron, zinc and other nutrients it contains. Any vegetables or herbs you add will boost antioxidants and provide all sorts of other nutrients.
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