There is something so grounding and comforting about eating seasonally. When I cook food that is in its prime, I feel that it is not only about making a tasty dish, but also about reconnecting with nature and the rhythm of its ever changing seasons.
Seasonal eating gives us an opportunity to create a strong food culture, with rituals and traditions, rooted in nature and belonging. It makes sense, really. Humans and land have forever been connected, it is in our genetic makeup. That’s why feeling the soil with our hands, or growing our own food is so powerful and healing. It makes us feel whole, like we belong.
There is so much to be said about feeling connected to something larger that us, whether it is our family, community, or purpose in life, and there are so many ways to create and nourish that connection. Cooking is one of them.
So with this in mind I am sharing the story of a humble stir fry made from our local seasonal vegetables and slow roasted pulled pork.
I didn’t have a recipe in mind when I made this stir fry. What I had was a box of organic vegetables from our local farm, and some leftovers from a shoulder of pork, slowly roasted in the oven until falling apart. Oh, and some homemade roasted peach barbeque sauce, a recipe from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, one of my favourite cookbooks celebrating seasonal and homemade food.
So I started to cook, and let the process lead me to the final dish, which was very nourishing and satisfying indeed. Soft and crunchy, sweet and tangy, with its beautiful autumn jewel colours, I think it is going to be an autumn classic in our family.
- 200g of pulled pork, shredded
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 head of red cabbage
- 2 carrots
- 1-2 cups of rainbow chard, shredded
- 1 heaped tbsp sesame seeds
- Salt, pepper
- I slowly sautéed some sliced red onion and fennel seeds in olive oil, with a little bit of brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar, until soft and caramelised.
- Then I added the shredded pulled pork and combined until the pork was coated in balsamic glaze.
- I sliced some red cabbage, carrots, and chopped a generous bunch of rainbow chard, stalks included.
- I added the cabbage, carrots, and colourful rainbow chard stalks to the pork mixture, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and cooked until softened, but still had some crunch left.
- Finally, I added the rainbow chard and cooked for a minute or two, until the chard has just wilted.
- I served the stir fry on a bed of floury mashed potatoes, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, and a splash of sweet and tangy barbeque sauce. If you don’t have homemade sauce lying around, a dressing of tahini, lemon juice, soy sauce, and honey works well too.
Have a great Autumn!