Friday, December 14, 2012

Putting By

I might as well face it: I don't know how to cook for less than an army. I think it's the curse of chefs the world around. We're so used to cooking in gigantic batches that huge is our average. It's so bad sometimes that I get to chuckling at all the "cute" little containers of condiments in our cabinets at home. Doesn't everyone buy vinegar in 5-litre containers? ;)

So I might as well channel this curse into something useful: making large batches of food that we can freeze against the future day when we just don't feel like or don't have time to cook. This weekend, at Ann's urging, I made a vast pot of pork ragù and our supersized crockpot full of split pea soup. We now have, for very little effort, many meals of both tucked away for future use.


Yes, This is an Entire Hotel Pan Full of Pork Shoulder
Basic meat sauce procedure: Cube the meat; brown it; remove from pan. Add mirepoix, garlic, and bouquet garni of herbs; cook until onions are translucent. Deglaze with white wine (I used leftover going flat Crémant de Bourgogne). Add tomato purée and a bit of heavy cream. Cook (for hours on low flame) until meat starts to fall apart; stir to shred meat. Cook until desired thickness.


Split Pea Soup with Ham
Basic split pea soup procedure: dump mirepoix, minced garlic, bouquet garni, ham scraps, and split peas into a crockpot. Add water. Turn it on and forget it. Come back some hours later. Season to taste. Nothing could be simpler!

Ann's Gorgeous Olive Loaf
Annie was back at it this weekend, tempting me with more of her awesome bread! This is an olive loaf that she made to accompany the meat sauce and pasta that you see below. Everyone should eat this damn well! Sadly, few people see the investment in time in the kitchen as worth it.


Worth the Wait!

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