Veloute sauce

Last weekend I rooted through the small refrigerator freezer in the house where I keep the immediate supplies. I wanted to make some space, so I pulled out a bunch of things and put them in the refrigerator to defrost, including a container of pork stock and a pork loin. The loin wasn’t part of Tom Clark’s pig, it was a natural meat loin I had picked up at Central Market on sale. Last night I decided to have it for dinner. I roasted it as usual: salt both sides of the loin, put on a small rack in a roasting pan, roast at 300′ for 90 minutes or so until it reaches 160′. I was afraid the freezing and roasting would leave me with a dry roast. Also I was inspired to make something a little fancier than just slices of roast. I flipped through Joy of Cooking’s sauce … Continue reading

New Year Bean Soup

The Mt. Walker Farms ham bone from Christmas dinner was still in the refrigerator. I figured I’d better use it up. Last night I cut off the pieces that would come off and used them in a stir-fry. I also soaked some white beans (Great Northerns picked up from Hunter Farms last year). This morning I made a soup with the beans and the ham bone. After a couple of hours of simmering I went to put it up, and tasted it to see if it needed salt. Nope, no salt needed, and it was so good I immediately sat down and ate a bowl. I called Alex and Ted and they sat down and ate a bowl on the spot. I froze another couple of pints for lunches. I learned this as a southern thing but I know many cultures have beans at New Year for good luck. New … Continue reading

A Fancy Local Holiday Meal

For the end-of-year holiday I managed to put together a meal straight from my southern childhood: ham and scalloped potatoes, salad and a green vegetable, and pie. Ham I had a 5 lb. honey-smoked ham from Mt. Walker Meadows Meats in the freezer. I thawed it in the refrigerator for several days. The day of the meal I roasted it at 350′ in a shallow Le Crueset pan for about two hours. Opinons differ – Emeril and other chefs like to bring ham just to 135, but I decided to err on the side of caution and take it to the widely recommended temp of 160. It was perfectly wonderful. Scalloped potatoes Slice 3 lbs. of potatoes thinly. Boil until fork tender. Layer in baking pan (I used a square Pyrex pan) and sprinkle each layer with flour, salt and pepper. Add milk to cover. Bake at 400′ until potatoes … Continue reading

Pork stew

This is the winter of Tom Clark’s pig. Well, half a pig, that I bought from Tom last summer and picked up from the butcher on Thanksgiving weekend. I was disappointed when I discovered the butcher had discarded parts of the pig that he thought I wouldn’t want, as I wanted to learn to use the whole pig. I discovered this week that the parts I do have provide me with plenty of learning experiences. The pig came to me butchered, but this is one step back in the process from picking up meat at the grocery store. It comes wrapped in plastic and then paper labeled with a simple description like “pork roast”. Last weekend I had a group potluck and thought I would pull out the roast as a special treat. Alex roasted the “pork roast” on Saturday to 145′ as per my favorite cookbooks. When it reached … Continue reading