Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Diced Pork with Rosemary & Thyme

So they say that "necessity is the mother of all inventions".  Well, after making my roast last week, I had leftover herbs that I need to use before they spoil.  And I had a huge package of diced pork, which I needed to split between the plan of green chile and something else.  I kept finding all sorts of recipes for pork loin with rosemary & thyme, but nothing using diced pork specifically.  So, I took the roast recipe and tweaked it in my usual "Heather experimenting style", and lo-and-behold, a new recipe is born!  (And a very good one, if I do say so myself.)  ;)
Pressure-cooked Diced Pork with Rosemary & Thyme Stew
  • 2 lbs. diced pork
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-5 potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-sized chunks
  • 2 whole Carrots, cut in bite-sized chunks
  • 1 zucchini, cut in bite-sized chunks
  • 1 16oz. container of sliced mushrooms
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup red cooking wine
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock/broth
  • 2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
  • 3 sprigs each fresh thyme and rosemary, roughly choppedor more to taste
  • 1 can cream soup (I used celery, but chicken or mushroom would work too)

  • Heat oil in 8qt. pressure cooker, uncovered on medium-high heat.  Add pork and brown.  Then add onion and garlic, stirring for a couple minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except cream soup) into pan, then cover with pressure cooker lid and follow manufacturer instructions, brining to pressure and cookingn for about 40 mins.  Remove from heat, and either use quick release or wait for natural pressure release, about 15 mins.  Once done, stir in the canned cream soup, and serve.

    (Note: I'm pretty sure you can cook this without pressure-cooker, using either a regular stew pot, cooking slowly on low, or crockpot.  You'll have to just play with it and see what works best. Our pork came out so very moist, and so you should also aim for a nice fall-apart pork as well.)

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    Perfect Pioneer Pot Roast

    Well, this is the time of year when you bring back the comfort foods! You know, the ones that are both hearty and help warm up the house.  Especially the ones that cook all day and fill your house with the most amazing aromas, and make you wish it was dinner-time!  On my last grocery shopping trip I decided to pick up a roast.  Now I have to say that I've always imagined these tasting better than I have ever cooked them, so a little reluctance and resignation accompanied my decision.  You see, I just didn't ever have a great recipe.  My roast always tasted pretty bland and disappointing, and so decided it was time to scour the internet (yet again) for a better recipe.  Lo-and-behold, "eureka! I found it!" Of course I cannot take credit for it, but definitely wanted to pass it on to my friends, family and followers.  I cannot even try to replicate the georgeous photography that The Pioneer Woman produced on her website, so I'll just aim you that direction.  I'll say that I tweaked it ever so slightly myself (adding potatoes and mushrooms to mine), and my son even added his own condiment of choice to the meat (bbq sauce!), but all in all, it turned out to be one of the best tasting roasts I've ever made!  Reminiscent of Mimi's Cafe (well, at least in my simple mind), lol!  Here's the link...hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Fall = Casseroles

    Okay, so the lazy months of summer are well past, and homeschooling has resumed smoothly enough.  The cooler weather has returned, which means it's time to turn up the heat and make our homes cozy.  How better to do that than to turn on the oven and make a simple dinner, and throw in a sweet treat while we're at it.  So, in honor of the wonderful invention of the casserole, here's a family favorite that I grew up eating, quite often.  You can either use pork chops (that have been browned in a frying pan with a little oil first) or diced chicken.  Don't forget to have a great recipe for cookies or sweet bread while you have a preheated oven!

    Chicken (or Pork Chops), Potatoes and Mushroom Soup Casserole
    1-2 lbs. diced boneless, skinless chicken breast
    6-8 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
    2 cans cream of mushroom soup (use can to add 1/2 - 1 full can amount of milk)
    salt, pepper, garlic salt (to taste or optional)

    Super simple instructions!
    Grease a 9x13" baking pan, then toss it all in together, then cook for 1 hour, at 400 degrees.

    Serve with additional veggies or salad of choice.