Sunday, November 11, 2012

Creating in the Kitchen - Sunday Cooking

I was supposed to have a craft outing today at 2pm, but that was cancelled. I'm kinda glad. I really wasn't in the mood to get out. It's a grey day here in Washington. So that called for comfy clothes and comfy food.

Right now I've got TCM Channel on marathon mode and am watching old black and whites in my realxing clothes. LOL!

I had leftover cookie dough from my batches of Cappuccino Cookies and Candied Ginger Shortbreads. So I'm baking all of that.

I had a small bag of home-trimmed fine diced beef* handy, so I took some time and browned that in the skillet to get some flavor. Then  I threw in a jar of my soup/stew starter. To that I added an extra quart of water, some worchestershire sauce, and some A-1 Steak sauce. I've got that simmering in the crock pot. Later I'll add a bit of flour to make a slurry to give it a hearty stew gravy.

Boom. I've got a supper done for one night this week, as well as a lunch. I'll just bake up a loaf of bread or a batch of rolls and we'll be in business.

I need some comfort food for tonight, so I experimented a bit today. I have a 2-pound package of large pork stew chunks*. I set my Dutch oven on the stove, heated it up, and I browned the chunks in @1/4 cup olive oil. I let the pieces get good and seared... browned on all sides with that yummy caramelized goodness. I usually brown at a 5 setting on my electric stove, because the cast iron retains/conducts a lot of heat.

Then I threw in some minced garlic (3 cloves) , 3 small bay leaves, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, a dash of  salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon oregano for seasoning. To give it more background flavor I added the juice of two satsuma mandarins. I slow-cooked those chunks for about two hours in my dutch oven (covered) over low-ish heat. (3.5 on my electric stove.) for 2-3 hours. I kept the lid on, the heat constant and broke  those large chunks into smaller pieces, allowing the meat to "fry" in it's own juices.

It smells absolutely divine. Take a bite, you know you want some! This is Jeanie's version of carnitas/confit. Moist, juicy morsels of melt in your mouth pork.

The depth of flavor is amazing! It's very subtle, but rich and savory.

Do I want to serve these as is, or just bump them up a notch? I'm thinking bout making some Enchiladas with  them. We'll see what hubby says. I already have some leftover rice and can easily open a can of beans to go with it.

So guess what's for dinner?

* Our local Costco has a restaurant supply store nearby. We usually buy a whole beef chuck and trim/butcher the sub-cuts ourselves. This gives us better control of how we use the trimmings, etc. We do the same with pork (our last batch was pork cushion meat), as well. It really helps us eliminate waste. All of it gets used, except for a very small bit unusable pieces. By doing it ourselves, we get a decent price and what we need. it's win-win for us!


Denise :) said...

Oh YUM! No fair posting pics like that!!! :)

Brandie said...

I love TCM! I was watching all day Saturday. I started with the "Five little Peppers" and ended the night with my absolute favorite "The Thin Man". Sunday I saw a new one to me "The seventh Sin".
Maybe if I wasn't watching so much TV I could have finished my stars sooner.
This post has made me so hungry! I would have been at your house for breakfast if there wasn't so many miles between us. And I would have brought dessert! Yum!