Boil up

Food boxes are a help for busy  families
The food boxes are growing in popularity, which is great as I love doing them. We include meats, veges, canned goods, beverages, breads, cheeses and deli items, and baking. Each one is slightly different, customised for the family, whether they need school lunch items, entertaining perhaps, or prefer particular items. The advantage over an ordinary food box, apart from our special lines, is the we can adjust for individual preferences. I try to include something to make the box interesting with a recipe, and over the last few weeks Glendowie has been enjoying "boil up"

boil up ingredients
Boil up
I have been asked to put the" boil up " recipe here, and will be getting free range pork bones, root veg, puha and water cress again this week for the food boxes. I much prefer it made with lean bones, and I have a suspicion that the huge, fatty bones used sometimes have put some people off who would otherwise enjoy it. Watercress, Puha and Kumara are all superfoods, so this really is a tonic. Only a kiwi could call such a dish "boil up"  -  peasant food at it's finest! 

In an enormous pot, place lean free range pork bones. We fed a family from $10 worth spare ribs, but whatever you prefer. Any bones are fine really, beef, mutton, or even a whole chicken works. I recently saw a Kai Time clip using smoked pickled goat spareribs which looked great - they used the usual root veg, but used cabbage as a green instead of puha and cress - an interesting take on corned beef.  Cover with water, add salt (unless using pickled meat), and bring up to a simmer on the hob. If you are using big bones which need slow cooking, hold the veg until meat is falling from bones, but pork spareribs are ready by the time you have the veg ready to put in the pot. Peel carrots, kumara, potato (coloured Maori potatoes look great) and pumpkin, and cut into large pieces. I prepare the veg in order of cooking times, eg carrots first and pumkin last, and add to the pot as they are ready. Pull the puha into small pieces a couple of centimetres long, remove flowers or hard stalks, and soak in a sink of cold water to release some of the bitterness. Chop watercress into short lengths too, and pick off any yellow leaves. When meat and veges are cooked, place greens into pot, and gently poach until limp.

Serve in deep bowls, meat and veg, with lovely greens on top, and broth either poured over or in a bowl beside. I had forgotten how good this is until we had it recently.

We were starving last time, so no pic,  sorry, but will try next time!

I made doughboys, or dumplings to sit in the broth which my family were not so keen on, but I recently saw a recipe for pumpkin dumplings which I thought might tickle their fancies more.

 Rewana bread, made with a potato sourdough starter is very good with "boil up "  too. has some good recipes for rewana. It can be made as a flat bread, which is nice.

I am looking forward to the Native Cooking series on Maori TV, starting Saturday 20 October, 4.30. My understanding of very traditional Maori cooking practices is that food was not boiled in a pot, so these dishes are post European arrival. However, this series is not just about preserving  Maori heritage, but about looking to the old ways for a new direction in addressing the diet problems in modern New Zealand. This wonderful fusion dish is to be included, and it will be great to see what else is in store. 
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