Tuesday, August 16, 2022

I Couldn't Resist

      This morning's breakfast is a fried egg, a slice of bacon...and a sliced-up, day-old cornbread muffin, fried in the bacon fat.

      It's one of life's little joys, despite starting from store-bought cornbread with sugar in it.*  That's the best I can do just now, and even that is pretty good.

 *  *  *

      Sunday, I couldn't resist dividing the leftover pork roast into two freezer bags.  I'd marinated a four-pound "Boston butt" ($3.99 a pound!) overnight in some balsamic and white vinegar with soy sauce, garlic and lime juice, then drained most of that off and given it a long, slow roast in a covered pan over indirect heat in the grill.  Once it was browned, I added a diced fresh pear and three bay leaves, followed by sections of multi-color carrots, a generous handful of marble-sized red cherry tomatoes from our garden (and a couple of small, yellow pear-shaped ones)†, one and a half onions -- with celery seed, after I realized my fresh celery was too old -- a can of green chili peppers and, after realizing I was out of potatoes, a partially-drained can of pinto beans.  Fresh mushrooms topped it and it cooked for hours, with the vegetables added along the way.  As things cook down, the pan ends up brim-full of broth.  Tam and I had a nice Sunday dinner from it.  There was plenty left.  I diced the pork (it was falling apart, as it should) and filled two freezer bags.

      Monday, I squeezed a hot Italian sausage from its casing, browned it, drained the grease, and added some preserved red Spanish peppers, a few mild pickled banana pepper rings, a can of mild green chilis, chili powder and small can of tomato sauce, along with a bay leaf.  Meanwhile, a bag of Sunday's pork roast was thawing in the microwave.  I zapped it until I could break the frozen lump into several pieces, added it to the pan, put the cover on and let it simmer until everything was bubbling along nicely.  It made nice, thick chili (oops, "red stew," mustn't alarm the chili purists), rich and meaty.

      The next batch of leftover pork roast will get fennel bulb and potatoes.  Boston butt is usually sold tied up with string or elastic netting.  I cut that off once it's in the pan, ready for the grill.  The meat's not going anywhere and the netting is more difficult to remove after cooking -- it adds nothing to the flavor, either.
* Sugar has about as much business in cornbread as it does in a gas tank, and is equally as useful there.
† The last couple of years, what I have done to select tomatoes for planting is...nothing.  One of my nieces starts a lot of tomatoes early, plants her garden, and gives the leftover starts to the rest of the family.  You get what you get; this year, I have one plant bearing larger, striped heirloom-looking tomatoes, one with small yellow pear-shaped ones, and four that produce large amounts of the smallest cherry tomatoes I have seen, fast-ripening, with thin skins and a lot of flavor.  They cook up well.


John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Tomatoes being one of life's "Essential Food Groups".

Glad you had more success than I.

Cop Car said...

And here I've been saving netting to use as flavoring in my stews. Goes to show that I'm not a cook - lol. All of your cooking sounds wonderful - as do your second-hand tomatoes.