14 January 2008

Pork - not bbq

It is sometimes hard for me to think about a pork butt and not think about bbq and smoke, but I live in Wisconsin now and it is *cold* outside. Besides the oven does such a nice job of temperature control...

So I was in Knoche's looking for lamb shanks (which are much harder to find than I would expect) and they had some nice pork loin roasts, bone in. They weren't very expensive and I had seen Jamie Oliver do a nice stew with a boned butt. So I bought one thinking about the 1/3 bottle of old red wine sitting on the counter and the bag of peppers in the fridge.

When the time came I salted the roast and browned in my enameled steel casserole and removed it from the pan. In the oil in the pan I sauteed 2 medium onion roughly chopped, a mess of peeled whole garlic and an apple in the oil. To that I added thyme, bay, pepper and salt and a pinch of cinnamon. Back goes the pork, in goes the wine, on goes the top and the whole mess goes into the oven at 300˚F. (note that I changed my mind wrt the peppers - such is Life)

4 hours later I took the thing out and it was falling off the bone - actually it was a little dry. Next time either lower heat (maybe 275 and a bit more patience for the liquid to come to a simmer inside the pan) or start paying closer attention at about 3 hours.

Somewhere early on I found some baby carrots that wouldn't get eaten in a school lunch - so those went in the pan.

I degreased the sauce, removed the bay leaves and pureed the heck out of it in the food processor. This made an amazing rich sauce, which I then mixed with the pulled meat and the dryness was not such an issue any more.

I served it with mashed potatoes and chopped spinach. Zora commented that there was a lot going on with the meat - and she liked it.

Tomorrow we are having tacos with the left over, unsauced meat - stay tuned.

12 January 2008

Squeeze a Lemon in it!

Sometimes when I am making soup I just can't get it right. It is at this point when I am thinking that all is lost and the soup is just going to be disappointing that I think maybe something acid will help and I consider either vinegar or lemon. Now in the context of this post I am of course suggesting that lemon is the way to go.

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.

So the next time you are standing at the stove stumped by a pot of soup: