Last night we had our friends over to plan our upcoming trip to Hawaii. The weather outside was once again stormy so I was thinking that another comfort dinner would be in the works. Making one pot dinners are really easy to do and easy for clean-up. I’m obsessed with my Dutch oven (all you immature folks out there can laugh now) so it was the obvious choice for a cooking vessel.
I was undecided on what I was going to make when I went to the supermarket. Last week I braised beef so this time it was going to be pork. Making it up as I went along I headed to the produce section to get inspired on what kind of vegetables I wanted to add. I took a double look as I passed the apples. Pork and apples are one of those classic combinations, like pork with applesauce. Since I was going to braise the pork I needed a braising liquid so I got all natural apple juice and some sour dough bread to soak it all up. Garlic parmesan mashed potatoes made a great stick to your bones side dish.
Apple Braised Pork
2 kg pork butt (for 6 people and left overs), or any pork cut you like
3 gala apples, peeled and diced
2 onions, diced
3 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
About 1 cup apple juice (you want the liquid to come up about 2/3 the way up the pork)
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in the Dutch oven on medium (on the stove top). Brown the pork roast on all sides. When all sides are brown, take it out and put it aside (this when I season the pork with salt and pepper). Add all of the vegetables and apples and cook until they have a little bit of colour. Add the wine and herbs, and then scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pork roast back in and add enough apple juice until the liquid comes to about 2/3 of the way up the roast. Pile some of the vegetables on top of the roast and cover. Cook in the oven for 2 ½ hours, checking every 45 minutes or so. Add more liquid and seasoning if you need to.
If you don’t have a Dutch oven that’s ok, you can do the browning in a large pot and then transfer the roast and vegetables to a roasting pan when you’re ready to put it in the oven.
Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
4 Large russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
½ head of garlic, minced
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
Salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes in a large pot until fork tender. Drain and add all of the ingredients and mash.
This meal will make you feel warm on the inside, and in 5 months when we’re in Hawaii hopefully we’ll feel just as warm on the outside too!