- cider-braised pork roast
- mashed potatoes
- sauteed cabbage w/mustard
The pork roast was a ginormous bone-in pork butt. You could also use shoulder or something of that nature -- basically a big ol' hunk of well-marbled pork. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and then browned it on the stovetop in an enameled cast-iron dutch oven. Once it was browned on all sides I took it off the heat, poured in a 12-ounce bottle of hard cider (Hornsby's Draft) and just a bit of water, then arranged the following around the roast: four big sprigs of fresh rosemary, several sprigs of fresh thyme, a couple of bay leaves (all from my herb garden), a chopped onion and a handful of whole peppercorns. Then I covered the pot and stuck the whole thing in the oven at 225 degrees F for about six hours. The house smelled AMAZING while it cooked and it was soooo tender!
When the roast was done I removed it from the pan (in pieces; it was falling apart!), shredded it and set it aside. Then I poured the pan juices through a mesh strainer to remove all the herbs and whatnot, poured the juices back into the dutch oven, and used flour to thicken it all into a delicious gravy on the stovetop. SO good! It didn't even need added seasoning thanks to all those herbs.
For the cabbage, I just chopped half a head of savoy cabbage (that's the crinkly one) into chunks, then sauteed it in a skillet with a couple tablespoons of butter until it was nice and wilted. Then I seasoned with salt and pepper and stirred in maybe a teaspoon of whole-grain mustard. Easy and delicious!
Okay, can we talk about mashed potatoes for a minute, y'all? Longtime readers know that I tend to skimp when it comes to this dish. I don't like the nasty powdered kind, but I LOVE Ore-Ida's frozen mashed potatoes that you heat in the microwave and then season to taste. Well, suddenly I can't find them anymore! All the store had this week were these new "steamers", which are just cubed, peeled potatoes that steam in a bag in the microwave. You still have to add milk, butter, seasonings, etc., and actually mash them yourself. I went ahead and bought them anyway, but it was hardly worth it. They were tasty, but didn't save me much in the way of work. I guess I'll be making mine from scratch from here on out. Curses!
Oh well, I guess I'll deal. I'm just SO GLAD to be back in the kitchen!