Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winter Food

Last week, March gave us a glimpse of spring.  The weather was warm, the grass was green, the sun shone.  This week, we are back to gray, cold and yesterday, snow.  March in the Midwest is fickle like that.

 For my family, we're embracing the last few days of winter.  Yes, we're tired of gray and cold, but pretty soon it'll be unbearably hot and sweaty and weekends will be filled with yard work.  So for now, we're going to live up the last days of winter.  And in that vein, we're using up the last of our "winter" foods. 

 If you are a super couponer like me, your pantry is likely stocked with an odd assortment of things like 4 jars peanut butter, 14 cans of diced tomatoes and 27 single-serve puddings.   Right now, super couponing has filled my freezer with roasts.  And while I think I've mastered the beef roast (thanks to my amazing mother-in-law), making a tender, delicious pork roast has evaded me.  Until now.  This week I found the best recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook: Pork Pot Roast in Cider.  It was moist, delicious and - the best part - made in the crockpot.  For those of you with freezers stocked with roasts thanks to Jewel's sale four weeks ago, this one's worth breaking out your crockpot:

 Better Homes and Garden's Pork Pot Roast in Cider

1 - 1.5 to 2 pound boneless pork blade or sirloin roast
2 - tablespoons of cooking oil
1 1/4 cups apple cider or apple juice (I used juice)
2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut (I just used baby carrots)
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut (I omitted)
1 onion cut into wedges
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Crockery-cooker directions:

1.  Trim fat from meat.  In a Dutch over, brown meat on all sides in hot oil.  Drain off fat.  (I skipped all of this). 

2.  Place potatoes, carrots, onion and parsnips in crockpot.  Place meat (I used frozen) on top of vegetables. 

3. Stir together apple juice, bouillon granules, mustard and pepper.  Pour over meat and vegetables. 

4.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Transfer meat and vegetables to serving platter, keep warm. 

5. For gravy (I skipped all of this step too): measure juices, skim fat.  If necessary, add enough water to juices to equal 1.5 cups.  Put in saucepan.  Stir cold water into flour.  Add to juices in pan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 1 minute more.  Serve with meat and vegetables. 



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