Buckwheat with Pork – One Pot Easy Meal

Buckwheat kernels are delicious and easy to prepare base for different types of one pot meals. Buckwheat goes well with any vegetable mix. To enrich the dish with protein any meat or poultry can be added. The recipe below is a simple and easy to prepare buckwheat pilaf with just onions, carrots and pork meat. I used relatively lean pork belly, but diced meat from any cut can be used instead. I like to cook gluten free pilaf from buckwheat, quinoa or millet in heavy cast iron pots, Dutch oven pots give the best results. I also like to stop cooking while grains in pilaf are not fully cooked, with some liquid left in a pot. I cover the pot with kitchen towel and wool blanket to keep it warm. In those conditions buckwheat (or any other grains or pseudo-grains) absorb remaining moisture and become fully cooked without having the texture of mushy porridge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat kernels (raw or roasted)
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • diced pork (meat cut and quantity of your choice)
  • 1 table spoon of olive oil or butter
  • 1 heaped dessert spoon of homemade garlic, sweet and hot chilli pepper preserve, which can be replace by 2 finely sliced garlic cloves and 1 long chilli pepper of medium heat, deseeded)
  • pinch of cumin seeds
  • pinch of coarse black pepper
  • 2-3 cloves
  • sea salt for seasoning
  • 2 cups of boiling water or chicken stock (liquid ratio to buckwheat is 2 : 1)

In my version of the same dish for babies and toddlers from the age of 1+ I use grated carrots and pumpkin with cooked chicken meat or frozen chicken meatballs. To balance the sweetness of carrots, and especially homegrown organic pumpkin, I use several cherry tomatoes. I do not use garlic or hot chilli pepper when cook for young children.

Preparation:

  • if using pork belly cut, take the skin off and dice meat in 1 cm cubes
  • heat oil/butter in a pan, add cumin seeds and onion, sliced in semi-circles
  • gently fry onion on low heat until translucent
  • add sliced carrots, stir, season with sea salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes

  • add pork, garlic and chilli paste, cloves
  • cook stirring for 3 minutes

  • add boiling water, cover the pot with a lid and cook on medium/low heat until meat is cooked and soft, time depends on meat cut
  • add buckwheat kernels, stir
  • cook covered or semi-covered with lid until buckwheat is still hard in the middle and liquid level is not seen on the surface, but some liquid is left on the bottom of the pot
  • check the taste and season with sea salt to your liking

  • cover the pot with kitchen towel and thick blanket that will keep the heat
  • leave the dish to rest for 1 hour (thick cast iron pots keep the heat up to 5-6 hours, you can make the dish in the morning and leave it to eat for lunch or even dinner)
  • alternatively cook until buckwheat is fully done and no liquid is left in the pot
  • rest the dish covered for 15-20 minutes
  • serve as is or with butter

Buckwheat carrot, pumpkin and chicken pilaf rested for 5 hours in Staub cast iron small cocotte (size 16 cm in diameter). Buckwheat kernels are very soft in texture, nearly melting in your mouth, but still keeping their shape.

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