She came to Australia, worked to support her family and cooked dinner for us every day. It was a rare occasion that we had take out. She was very organised when it came to feeding her family.
These days we have cook books, we have the internet, we have cooking shows, we have access to any recipe we want. Yet this dish is something my mum just made up.
She was, and still is a great cook, she was always so skilled in the kitchen. So this is her dish which I now make for my family. They love it, as do I, it is hearty, it is tasty.
My super tip here is I like to chop the garlic, carrot, onion and celery in a small food processor, makes it far quicker and easier. Just don't over blitz it. If you don't have one, make everything a small dice.
Give it a go, the flavours are amazing.
250g dried lentils
2 racks smoked pork ribs
1 tablespoon vegeta
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 stick celery, chopped
1/2 cup risoni pasta
2-3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon paprika
Crusty bread, to serve
Place the ribs in a large pot, pour boiling water over them from the kettle, make sure the water covers the ribs. Soak for 30 minutes.
Discard the water the ribs were soaking in.
Place the ribs back into the pot with 3 litres of water. Bring to the boil, cook for 1 hour, until the bones are easy to remove from the ribs. Remove the bones, shake the rib meat about in the rib water to remove any bone fragments left on the rib meat. Chop up the rib meat into small pieces and set aside.
Slowly strain the water the ribs cooked in through a fine sieve into another pot. Make sure you leave the last little bit of water in the pot, here you will see the bone sediments which you do not want in your soup.
To the rib water add vegeta, garlic, carrot, onion and celery (If by chance your ribs are still not cooked and are tough, add them back in now to continue cooking, if they are soft, add them in later, as per recipe). Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1.5-2 hours. If your stock is reducing far too quickly top up with some boiling water from your kettle.
While the soup is cooking, place the lentils in a large bowl. Cover with cold tap water, make sure the water goes at least 2cm above the lentils. Soak for at least 1 hour. You can soak it while the soup is cooking for the 1.5-2 hours, it's better to soak them longer.
Strain the lentils, discard the water the lentils were soaking in.
Add the lentils to the stock (again if it feels like there is not enough stock, add a little more water from your kettle) bring to the boil, cook for 15 minutes. Add the ribs, bring to the boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer while you make the zaprzak.
In a small frying pan add 2 tablespoons oil. Heat over medium heat, add the flour and paprika. Stir it constantly for 1 minute. If it is too thick at the other tablespoon of oil. Pour in two ladles of cold tap water and stir to remove any lumps. Add the risoni into the soup. Pour the flour mixture into the soup, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring the soup occasionally to ensure it doesn't catch on the bottom.
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