September 30, 2012
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|1 3 – 4 lb center cut pork roast
||3 qts chicken stock
|½ cup Cajun seasoning (more or less)
||2 cups dark roux
|3 cups diced onions
||½ cup garlic powder
|1 ½ cups diced celery
||1 tsp black pepper
|1 ½ cups bell pepper
||1 tsp cayenne pepper
|1 cup dried oregano
||1 cup dried sweet basil
|½ tsp thyme
||1 tsp cumin
|1 tsp chili powder
||½ tsp cardamom
|1 bunch carrots
||2 lbs potatoes
- Rub the roast with Cajun seasoning (Tony Chacheres or equivalent) and refrigerate for at least an hour prior to cooking.
- Using a large skillet or a griddle, sear the roast on all sides. Remove roast from heat and set aside.
- Saute the ‘holy trinity‘ (onions, celery, peppers) with the basil and oregano until the onions begin to brown.
- Transfer the ‘holy trinity’ into a large pot. De-glaze the saute pan with some of the chicken stock and pour the ‘dirty’ liquid, plus the rest of the stock into the large pot.
- Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the spices and stir well.
- Use tongs to transfer the roast into the simmering pot, cover and boil for at least an hour until the center temperature of the meat is at least 160 degrees (F).
- (You can also add other vegetables, such as squash, corn, mushrooms, …whatever you have. Add the tender vegetables late in the process, or else they will get mushy. Ten minutes is long enough to boil squash or mushrooms.)
- When the roast is done cooking, remove it from the pot and place it on a platter. Skim off some of the spices from the pot and coat the top of the roast with them. Cover the roast with aluminum foil and let it set for a half hour.
- Add the roux to the pot to make gravy.
They have bred the fat almost completely out of modern pork so that ‘roasting’ a roast makes it come out too dry. This is a great way to keep the meat juicy. You can use a crock pot, too; I would rather wash a big kettle and I like having everything on the stove to make all the transfers easier.
We don’t eat much ‘red’ meat, mostly because it is so much more work than seafood to prepare. This one’s a keeper, though.
- 3 lbs pot roast
- 5 potatoes
- 4 medium onions, quartered
- 1 pkg “baby carrots” or equivalent
- 4 stalks celery with leaves
- 4 small yellow squash
- 2 bell peppers
- 6 medium portobello mushrooms
- 1/4 c. minced garlic
- Worcestershire sauce, or your favorite steak seasoning
- 1/4 c. Cajun seasoning, e.g., Zatarain’s or Tony Chachare’s
- 1 bottle beer
- 2 cups red wine
Prepare the meat & onions
I use a cast iron griddle that’s two burners long, but a large skillet would work. One one end, I brown the roast (marinated in Worcestershire or what-have-you) on the other, I caramelize the quartered onions. Use medium-high heat. The meat will be browned before the onions are done. You want to actually burn the surface of the quartered onions.
Meanwhile, cut the celery into medium-small chunks and put into a crock pot (250 degrees) along with the carrots, potatoes, garlic, beer and wine. I like to cut the yellow squash into finger-length and -diameter sections, and the bell peppers into pieces the size of my thumbnail. I will save them and the portobellos for the last hour.
When the roast is well seared, put it into the crock pot. The onions go in 5 to 15 minutes later, when they are caramelized. This is an important step: Do not chicken-out on browning those onions!
Stir up everything. There should be enough liquid to cover it all. If not, you must have poured some of the beverage into the wrong receptacle!
Go find something interesting to do for two hours.
Come back and add the delicate squash, peppers and portobellos. Now is when you add the Cajun spices. You can taste the broth to make sure you don’t add too much or too little. We like Cajun!
The delicate veggies will be done in another half hour.
Serve with garlic toast or whatever you want to soak up the juice.
That sweet taste is the onions… Oh, Good Lord!