Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pork roast

Tonight's Menu

  • cider-braised pork roast
  • mashed potatoes
  • sauteed cabbage w/mustard
Oh, people. If you're wondering where I've been the past couple of weeks, I'll tell you: I've been hobbling around with a sprained ankle! It hasn't been much fun, to say the least. DH has been taking dinner duty while I've been recuperating, and while he certainly made a good effort, he ... well, he doesn't really cook. So, er, there hasn't been much to report as far as our dinners go. But FINALLY I'm off the crutches and able to be up and around long enough to cook a decent dinner, so that's what I did tonight!

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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've noticed certain staple foods of mine "disappearing", too! Which means, not only do I have to plan each shopping trip, among four or so stores, but I also need a contingincy plan if the store is out of the intended item. Sheesh! I've actually taken to buying a few non-perishable items from Amazon, to save me some legwork. Do you have recipe/food ideas for the coming economic collapse? :-) I'm already rethinking my thoughts on sardines.

p.s. thx4ckngtps!