Dinner on the eve of the first New England snow

file8801266007042Last week was great as a student in a week-long training. It’s fun to the be student instead of the teacher, but homework and tests are time consuming! I barely got a chance to breathe and think on Saturday morning before the snow set in this morning (Sunday) but I didn’t race to the grocery store for bread, milk and cans of tuna. Instead, I tried to make a few crockpot meals at the end of last week and to start this week, with varying levels of success. Read on…

My first was an attempt at pork, which is a great protein for the week and different from the normal chicken (we eat a lot of chicken over here). I tried a quick crockpot recipe, easy to throw on and for the family to eat while I was in class. 3 Ingredients: Pork, Ground ginger and a can of pineapple, in a crockpot, low for a few hours. Hmmmm…. the pork was dry (I prefer it brined and forgot/didn’t have time) and the flavor was lacking, so the combination of Dry and Lacking: Yuck.

But never one to throw out perfectly good food, I put it in the refrigerator for another try this week…

Saturday evening was a get together at the Uncle and Aunties with lots of people and lots of food. And what do I covet at families parties: the animal carcass… bake a bird (turkey or chicken), a ham, lamb, you name it and that knuckle-y bone just calls out to me. Yay Me! I scored the ham bone for the evening (even though I don’t believe anyone else was eyeing it quite like I was!).

Early this morning I tossed it into the crockpot with the bones of a whole chicken I had baked last week, covered them with filtered water and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and set it on low to simmer all day. In a few days I’ll have a rich bone broth, full of nutrients and most importantly, warmth.

Back to the pork: this afternoon was the day. The $15 in pork I had disrespected with a recipe that didn’t work out, called to me. So I strained the pork from the pineapple, discarded the pineapple, shredded and cut the pork. Then added a bunch of yummy spices, a combination of garlic, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, a dash of heat (cayenne), paprika, until it smelled good to my nose. Threw all of that in a pot and stirred, adding a ladle full of bone broth from the crockpot. It was still missing something so I opened a can of tomato paste and stirred almost an equal amount of balsamic vinegar (to taste) into the meat until I got the flavor and moisture levels right for me.

Served with a fresh vegetable or two, like garlic steamed broccoli and baked butternut squash, and we were a pretty happy family with full bellies, for a cold and snowing Sunday dinner.

How did you ‘save’ a favorite meal and make it even better? Leave a comment below…

Want to learn more about bone broth, why I used extra cumin and what I avoid in commercial BBQ sauces (my dad’s BBQ sauce didn’t need it!), and how it keeps me healthy, energetic and pain-free, then

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