Saturday, January 21, 2012
Do Leeks Count as a Vegetable Serving?
The thing with the hogs is that, since they've spent their lives running instead of being fattened, the meat is tough. Really tough. And there's a lot of it. And Matt went hunting again today, even though we still have 3 hams and 3 loins in the freezer from last time. He promises not to go again until we eat what we have. Phew!
So I really need to find a way to cook this meat that makes it a little easier to swallow. Literally. It's dry. haha. Matt wants to get a meat grinder so we can make sausage. That may be the way to go.
I'm rambling about. Sorry. Anyway, today I cooked Nigella's Roast Loin of Pork (pg 286 of How to Eat). It's hard to actually call this a recipe, because she doesn't provide measurements. She suggests that you rub cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom into the meat before roasting it, and toss in a glass-full of cider or wine to help make a gravy, so that's what I did, eye-balling the spices. She said to cook it for 20 minutes a pound. This loin was a little less than a pound. Twenty minutes just seemed too short. I should have trusted her and checked it then, but I let it go for thirty, because that's how long my roasted leeks needed. I overcooked it. My bad. The seasoning was mighty delicious, though, and would have been great on a moist piece of meat. It smelled like chai when I rubbed it in, which was lovely.
Conclusion: Liked it. I don't hold the tough meat against the recipe.
Nigella recommends Roast Leeks (pg 286 of How to Eat) as an accompaniment to the pork. Oh my lord. These were delicious. I could have stuck my face in a whole bowlful. All you do is cut thick chunks of leek, toss them in oil, add salt, and roast. It doesn't get much easier than that. The outside of the leeks brown up and get that nice burned onion flavor, while the inside stays mushy and sweet. I'm going to be making these a lot. Nightly, perhaps. Matt's not home from the hunt yet (so, so weird), so if I eat his serving, he'll never even know they were here. Mwa ha haaa!
Conclusion: Loved it. LOVED it.
Hunting update: Matt and his friend shot a hog, but when they went to go get it, a herd of cattle tried to stampede them, chased them back to their car, then followed the car as they drove away. Huh?? I...I have no words. I couldn't make that up if I tried. On the upside, I still only have one tough hog to eat.
I took yummychunklet's suggestion and am linking this post up with the folks who participate in Forever Nigella. As far as I can tell from my forays into How to Eat, I love Nigella, so cooking something--anything!--from her book once a month is a challenge I'm more than happy to take on.