Sunday boil up (puha & pork, London style) with fried bread

April 27, 2014
It’s officially Spring in London but you wouldn’t know it. Outside of our apartment it is cold, windy, and miserable. So it was with some jealously that I read on Facebook that some friends of mine in Auckland were going for “a boil up and bloody marys” at  Three Lamps in Ponsonby. 
What exactly is a boil up? It’s a common method of Maori cooking. The clues in the name really. You boil all the ingredients up in a big stock pot and add dumplings or serve it with some kind of starch. Hopefully fried bread. Delicious savoury doughnuts. 

A real traditional recipe would include Puha (a kind of thistle), lots of pork bones, Kumara (a purple sweet potato), watercress, and maybe potatoes or pumpkin. 
But I’m in London. And too hungover to travel far in search of watercress or Puha. Which I would probably have to forage for. I don’t think people eat it here. 
So my substitute ingredients were spinach, carrots, potato and sweet potato. Without pork bones to create the stock I had to use lots of stock cubes for flavour. 

Fried bread is very simple to make. You just mix a cup of self raising flour with a teaspoon of salt (I added a bit of MSG as well), a little splash of oil, and enough water to make a non sticky dough. 

Add a bit of extra flour and you can flatten it out on a floured board with your hands. It should be about a centimetre thick. Cut it into smallish chunks and shallow fry it in a couple of centimetres of oil.

This simple bread is amazing at absorbing the boil up broth. It really makes the meal.

Serve them hot. Like most doughnuts that’s when they’re at their best.

Boil Up Method: Fill a large pot with water and 3 or 4 stock cubes. Bring it to the boil and add the pork a chopped up root vegetables. Cook for about an hour. Remove the bones from the pork and add the greens (puha, spinach, etc) and cook for a further twenty minutes. Taste it and add some salt if necessary.

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