Merry Christmas Meals

I usually don’t get too worked up about holidays, even if I am cooking.  Because this Christmas it’s just me and my boy (who is a frustratingly picky eater), I decided on a very simple pork shoulder and fingerling potato dinner for Christmas eve.

The roast recipe was loosely based on a few internet hints–drizzled with balsamic vinegar, packed with brown sugar, and roasted on a bed of onions and cranberries with about a half-inch of apple cider in the bottom.

I put it in the oven (still partly frozen) mid-morning at 225 degrees, and it roasted most of the day (about 7 hours total). It’s not very pretty when it comes out of the oven, but with the meat forked out onto a platter with the onions and cranberries ladled over it, it’s passably handsome.  I ladled off some fat and made a gravy with the fruity-meaty juices.

In the last few minutes of the roasting process, I scrubbed and sliced some Russian Banana fingerling potatoes from the garden, and they went in when the roast came out (and the temp went up to 375).

I served chunks of the roast and potatoes with homemade applesauce and the gravy, which made for an all-brown meal, but it was still super-tasty.  M’s plate wasn’t so brown as mine because of all the ketchup.

Of course, when I make a big roast, it’s not that first meal that captures my imagination.  I mean, a roast is a very fine thing, but leftovers from a roast are even better!

M keeps saying he wants tacos for dinner one of these nights, so I’m thinking shredded pork tacos are one possibility with the load of leftover meat.  I might roast the bone, too, and make pork stock. Or split pea soup? Mmm.

Tonight, even though M wasn’t into the idea (and will probably refuse to eat any of it–more for me!), I made hash out of some of the meat, chopped leftover potatoes, diced onion, gravy, and a little thyme.

It didn’t turn out as crispy as I would have liked since I couldn’t find a metal spatula to really scrape up those crusty bits, and now my pan will need some extensive soaking to get it clean.

Yes, hash is one of those not-very-pretty meals that you probably wouldn’t serve to company.  Too bad for them!  Because made with really good ingredients, hash is indeed heavenly.

I used the rest of my bag of cranberries cooked with a little applesauce and honey to brighten up the plate.

We’ll see what I end up making for M later on this evening when he realizes he’s hungry and turns up his nose at my delicious dinner.  I don’t know if I’m game to make tacos at this point, but I’ll need to figure out something.

After all, a boy cannot live on icicles alone…

Local ingredients: pork shoulder, potatoes, onions, applesauce.  Cranberries from Wisconsin!


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