Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I love surpises
--Savory Pork Pot Roast
Savory Pork Pot Roast
Cheap. Fast. Good! Copyright 2005
1 boneless pork loin (3 to 3 ½ pounds) My roast was smaller
4 medium-size potatoes
2 medium-size onions
2 medium-size ribs celery
3 medium-size carrots or 1 cup (about 12) baby carrots
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup dry wine or apple juice I used apple cider
¼ cup ketchup
Juice of 1 lime I used a splash of bottled lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced, or 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1. Trim off and discard any excess fat from the roast and place it in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Peel (I didn't) and quarter the potatoes and add them, making sure they are at the bottom of the pot. Peel the onions and cut them in half. Cut each half into crescent-shaped slices about ½-inch thick. Put the onions in the pot. Cut the celery and carrots into 1-inch long pieces. (If using baby carrots, there’s no need to cut.) Add them to the pot.
2. In a 1-quart container or glass measure, whisk together the orange juice, wine, ketchup, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and salt. Pour the mixture over the meat and vegetables. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the roast and vegetables are very tender, 8 to 10 hours. I cooked it on high for less time.
When I cook something the night before I'm serving it, I sometimes get really excited about eating it when it looks like it's going to be really good. Other times, I spend the entire next day thinking I don't want to go home and eat that slop for dinner.
I wasn't excited about eating this. For one thing, my mother-in-law made beef pot roast with carrots and potatoes for Sunday dinner so it was going to be somewhat repetitive to have this on Monday night. For another thing, I just didn't think this was going to taste very good. I spent all day trying to think of ways to doctor it up. I was considering removing the orange-flavored liquid and making gravy. I thought the meat might be stringy too - pork loin is touchy in the slow cooker since it's so lean.
However, when I took it out of the fridge and opened up the container, it looked good. The liquid was very gelatinous - usually a good sign of a rich flavorful broth. I tasted it and it tasted really good. So I just sliced the meat (which was tender and not stringy) and heated this up gently on the stovetop and, end of story - there were no leftovers. I was shocked and pleased that this recipe wasn't the disaster I thought it was going to be. It was darn good.
In another surprise I bought some fresh sweet corn to go along with this that was very, very good. So good, my husband who often passes on sweet corn altogether, ate two ears of it. Last week we had roasted sweet corn on a farm and it was the best ear of corn I've ever eaten in my life. Where is this great corn coming from in late October?
This cookbook was from the library. It focuses on cheap eating, obviously. And fast too - although this recipes isn't fast, you're supposed to save half of the roast for other 'quick' recipes but I used a smaller roast so there were no leftovers. This was relatively inexpensive although have you seen the price of potatoes lately? I think I paid close to $5 for a bag of them. I don't often buy bags of potatoes but I could swear that they used to cost less. There were cheaper options if I wanted rotting or green potatoes. I know I could get cheaper at the auction but I'm done with the auction until spring. I only needed a couple but they didn't have any loose potatoes for sale in my grocery store.
I bought the roast on markdown so that wasn't expensive. Pork loin pops up for $1.99/pound quite often and occasionally even less. It's rare to find a cut of beef to pot roast at that price. You do need to be careful though - like I said pork loin is touchy in the crock pot.
Question of the Day: What is your favorite potato recipe?