Saturday, February 16, 2008

What's Cooking?

Okay. So it's been a while since I've updated. Part of that is a company policy that prohibits us (journos) from blogging, because it might conflict with...the time we spend at work. Okay.
I'm cool with that. What's missing from the contract of course, is the idea that we might PROMOTE what we're doing at work (Check out my work at RedHerring.TV). But let's leave that issue for a moment.
What's on the stove?
Yeah. Some people say I know how to cook. I certainly do a lot of it. And tonight's dinner promises to be something special.
So. Spring is coming. So there's one last chance to kick out a nice, slow-cooked pork roast before the spring veggies are on, and slow-cooked meats are, well, so last season.

I wanted a dish that looks at pork, plus winter vegetables, but also, a little different.
Here it goes: Let's call this:

Last Chance Pork Roast
2 lbs. pork shoulder roast.
1 celeriac root.
As many boiler onions as you feel comfortable with. I also threw in a few shallots, and some undersized cippolini onions.
A few carrots.
Some celery (I used 3 stalks).
3-15 cloves of garlic (I used 7).
Beer, pearl sake, and a nice white wine. You could probably narrow this down. I'll give my reasons for the combination in a moment.
1/3 stick butter
Olive oil, probably 1/4 cup scant.

Here we go. Get your Griswold dutch oven or other heavy duty piece of deep cast iron with a lid. Your La Creuset marmite would probably work. If you have neither of these things, improvise, go on E-Bay and wait a week, or cook something else.
Okay, time to brown that roast. Butter and oil go in the pot, wait for the foam to subside a bit, and brown the meat rotating at about 2 min. intervals. Incidentally, this is about 4-5 boiler onions prepped. YMMV.

Okay, sucker's browned. Dispose of most of the cooking fat. Leave a tablespoon for taste, or, if you're on Weight Watchers, dump the whole nine yards if it makes you feel better. You're eating pork tonight, for heaven's sake.

Now, if you haven't finished prepping your veggies for slow-cooking, i.e., 1.5-2" segments, get busy.

Done? Great. Heat up that pan again, dump some beer in -- half a cup is good, more is better.
Replace roast, top off with veggies, and let it sweat a bit on low.

Now hit it with that pearl sake. Smell the sweetness? Oh, that's going to be good. Top it off with half a glass of white wine for acid.

Wait 1.5-2 hrs, rotating at 15-20 minute intervals.


You probably should have thought about what you're going to have with it. I baked some yams, and briefly considered an eggplant dish, but ultimately went with garlicky greens (stir fry garlic until golden, add onions if you like, sweat greens (chard, spinach, etc.) for about 90 seconds, cut heat, remove wok from burner, cover, and allow to sweat away from heat until read to serve. Easiest best greens on the planet) for your meat-remedy.

Enjoy, and thanks for looking at an outdated blog.