As promised … a recap of Thanksgiving dinner!
Ooooooh … steamy!
Mister Principessa is not overly fond of turkey, so only have it every second or third Thanksgiving. This year, we decided to do something meaty. After some research, we settled on Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Melted Apples from Simply Recipes (and apparently originally from the Wall St. Journal … who knew they even PUBLISHED recipes?). This recipe starts with a giant hunk of pig marinated in herbs and seasonings and wrapped in plastic wrap. Vegetarians, avert your eyes.
The meat needed to sit overnight at least, so we got it ready on Wednesday afternoon. The Mister rubbed the seasonings all over it, and then we wrapped it in plastic and stuck it in the fridge. I know from obsessively reading Cook’s Illustrated that this sitting-in-the-fridge period acts as a sort of brine; the salt initially pulls the juices out of the meat, but then the now-salty, flavored juices gradually settle back into the roast, pulling all the flavors of the herbs and garlic with them.
The cooking on Thursday got off to a fairly slow start. We knew that our roast would take several hours to cook, so we had a hearty lunch around noon.
This is Mister Principessa’s specialty, The Many-Meat Sandwich. This particular one has turkey, ham, roast beef, and capocollo, along with Havarti cheese, sauteed sweet onion, romaine lettuce, and an heirloom tomato, all on Italian bread from La Brea Bakery. The Mister makes a hell of a sandwich.
Thus fortified, I retrieved the roast from the fridge and prepared its accompaniments. The meat sits on a bed of sliced, seasoned apples and onions, which break down completely in the oven, forming a sort of gravy.
I covered it with foil, and into the oven it went.
While the meat was roasting, I decided to finish off the pie. The recipe included instructions for a topping that sounded really good–pecans coated in melted butter and brown sugar, sort of like pralines. I don’t know if I used the wrong kind of sugar or my heat level was off or what, but it did not work AT ALL. The sugar refused to melt with the butter, and I ended up with chunks of buttery brown sugar that tasted good but looked just like ground beef.
Appetizing, no? No matter–they tasted good and formed sort of a crumble topping. Dutch Sweet Potato Pie, that’s what it was.
About an hour before the roast was done, we got to work on our side dishes. We went with fairly traditional Thanksgiving sides–mashed potatoes, stuffing, and the ubiquitous brown ‘n’ serve rolls–plus wedge salads, which we are very into at the moment. They consist of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, homemade blue cheese dressing, and our super-secret special ingredient: shitloads of bacon.
Finally the roast was done. We pulled it out and let it rest while the stuffing cooked.
Check out the melty apple-y goodness. And kindly ignore the part of the roast that looks as though it’s been attacked by small rodents. WE HAD TO DO QUALITY CONTROL, OK?
The roast was incredibly good, and I highly recommend it to those of you who are into that kind of thing.
We ate while watching our favorite Thanksgiving show (nice creative photo courtesy of the Mister).
And this morning, we enjoyed a scrumptious post-Thanksgiving breakfast of pie and coffee.
Not too freakin’ shabby. I hope that those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving had a glorious one.