Sunday, February 12, 2012

No time to cook....oh, yes, you do!

I've been running like a maniac lately, with work, school, chores around the farmlet, and other responsibilities.  Although I didn't have time this week to make a make this stunning lasagna that my pal Ohio Farmgirl made, we still had some pretty wonderful food to eat.  Today's pork roast was the crowning culinary moment of the week.  I'm going to tell you how to make it.  You must make it your goal....this was beyond amazing.

Like OFG's meal, this one started in our yard last spring with the little piglets we bought and installed in the pig pasture.  No, started the year before, with the onion wine I made.  I only made it because the recipe was just too weird not to try.  Homemade wines are CHEAP to make if you are not crushing grapes.  Country wines are made with anything that will ferment.  Onion wine is made with onions, potatoes, wine yeast, sugar, and water....and maybe a bit of frozen concentrated grape juice, if desired.  But that is another blog, this one is about the roast.

I took the largest pork roast out of the freezer almost a week ago to thaw in the fridge.  It was a huge pork shoulder.  I didn't weight it, but it must've been close to 10 lbs, maybe even more.  I needed to marinate it with some raw apple cider vinegar to make it into a nutrient-dense food but it was too big for any bags I had in my cupboard...I had to find a large produce bag from the grocery store.  I put this into a pot I rarely use (I can't go a week without my pots!) and set it in the fridge to thaw and marinate, turning it occasionally.

Let me tell you about my day before you whine (like I used to, I assure you) that you have no time or energy to cook decent food.  If you are whining, you need new recipes....and a good smack.  Like I got.  From Dr. Christine Decker, who put me on this path to wellness through nutrition.  (The smack I got was figurative, she is very, very nice!)

Today started out like most Sundays, getting up early, doing some studying, then heading out to feed the goats and then to shower, change, and head to morning services, leaving the house shortly after 9:00 AM.  But not today, no, not today.  I was in the hay storage room (later to become the main kidding stall) filling hay bags for the girls when I heard the sound of goat horns rubbing on the outside of the wall where I was standing.  I said something aloud to one of the barn cats, and the rubbing became pounding....I made some exclamation and the pounding began to shake the wall a foot from where I was.  A peek out the was the buck!  He'd escaped, and when he heard my voice on the other side of the wall, he got very angry and started bashing it in earnest.  He has had to watch me leading the girls away from his pen and across the yard twice a day for months.  They are milked in the garage in good weather, where the mosquitoes are rare.  This infuriates him, and he blames me and considers me a rival....a strange rival who brings him food twice a day but also takes all his girls away from him.

I don't go into his pen anymore without my husband.  He is a big man and Dorian respects him.  Here I was, trapped in a stall with a large and angry buck bent on doing me harm....and no way out except through the paddock that he was now in, with the girls.

There was nothing in the stall that I could use to defend myself on a quick dash to the gate....I surveyed the situation for a few minutes (he was still pounding the wall, harder and harder...does that boy never get a headache???) and realized that it might be a while before the hubster noticed I was not in the house.  I needed to take action.  I took a cautious and silent look out the door...he was still pounding around the corner.  Peach and Ginger were between us....I took a cautious step out the door...he was still pounding and didn't hear me.  I made a dash to the gate and had my hand on the latch before he came to see what the noise was....and I made it through the gate just in the nick of time.

Hubby was summoned and he caught up the buck and put him back in his pen.  All his pounding had loosened the latch on his gate and it finally let go, so a quick repair and we were on our way.  Late. 

After services, I got home and had two hours to change into barn clothes, milk, filter the milk, eat lunch, prepare a bunch of paperwork for clients and gather my tools (two practice clients for my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner training), change again and look presentable.  I wouldn't be home until after 5 and then hubby and I needed to get out before it was totally dark and fix the buck's house....he'd removed the back (north!) wall the night before and I suspect that a chilly night had him more enraged than usual.  We didn't get into the house until about 6:30 PM. 

And this was waiting for us:
*Contented sigh*

In between milking and paperwork, I put the big cast iron Dutch oven on a burner to heat up.  Did some paperwork.  Added two big globs of bacon grease, turned the heat up to high, and added the marinated pork shoulder.  I seared it quickly on all sides, then settled it into the pot with the fatty side facing up.  I added about 8-10 ounces of onion wine from August 2010 and 6 whole cloves of garlic, and it went into a 320 F oven where it stayed from 1:30 until 5:30, when I turned the oven off during a dash into the house for a flashlight and some longer screws with which to fix the buck's house.

Peter made a big salad while I finished feeding the girls their night hay (pics tomorrow).  I shredded a generous portion of the pork, added sea salt and pepper, and drowned the whole thing in the greasy pan drippings.  The drippings where almost black and so rich.....My mouth is watering just typing this, and my stomach is full!  That does it, I'm going back for another portion...
There will be several more meals from this big roast, and these are leftovers we will not mind eating...not one bit!  The sauce and some of the pulled pork would also be amazing served over some whole grain carbohydrate, such as brown rice, whole wheat noodles, or even ployes to mop up every last drop of that dark brown loveliness.  We are still off grains, but there are plenty more pork roasts in the freezer and a five gallon batch of onion wine from this past summer's garden.  That is how good the onion wine is.  I made five gallons.  For about 27 cents a bottle, mind you.  Five gallons fills 25-26 standard wine bottles.  Enough to cook several hogs in and some to gift to friends who cook from scratch. 

Oops, getting off track again and getting excited about my favorite topic, gourmet food on a shoestring!

Who else loves gravy and pan juices?  Raise your hand!



  1. me! me! me! that roast looks fantastic - and so easy! and cooking low and slow like that keeps the house warm on these cold days. now give me a huge plate of that beautiful meat - and a lot of pan drippings please!

  2. Here ya go, girl. Lots of extra drippings for you!

    You should see the pile of leftover pork I have! I pulled it all off the bones. The dogs were faithfully by my side the entire time. So was the hubster.

  3. I made a pork roast with cranberries and pickled lemon in the slow cooker yesterday and it was delicious! Now if only it was homegrown pork...

  4. Ya know, I've been wondering what one does with pickled lemon. I have instructions for fermenting it, but never knew what to then do with it. Are you using the type that is slices of lemon, rind included? Then what do you do with it after, leave it in or pick it out, like bay leaves?