Tag Archive: comfort food


Perfect Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of my favorite things to eat, but something I have never attempted to make myself.  Until now.  I found some really nice pork butt (my step daughter was giggling uncontrollably when we bought it.) at a local market and decided on a whim to try out this dish at home.  I was surprised at how simple it was to prepare.  It takes some planning, and a little care, but it is so worth it.

As I have seen done on tv, I let my pork sit overnight in a spice rub I made up myself.  Then cooked it slowly in a low oven the next day.  I really did just fall apart when I touched it with a fork.  So flavorful and moist.  I was in Heaven!

I encourage you to try this one out.  So much cheaper than buying it at a restaurant, and so much better, as you can add the flavors you want.  And lots of leftovers!

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What you will need:

1 tblspn cumin

1 tblspn coriander

1 tblspn garlic powder

1 tblspn onion powder

1 tblspn instant coffee

1/4 tspn cayenne pepper

1 tspn paprika

1 tblspn thyme

1 tspn cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

salt and pepper

3 lbs pork butt (shoulder)

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tblspn tomato paste

1 bay leaf

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Instructions:

Blend all of your spices together in a spice grinder to make a nice powder.  Use half the spice blend on the pork the night before.  Rub it all over thoroughly, wrap the meat in cling wrap and set in the fridge for about 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 f.

Place the onion cut into quarters (skin on) and the garlic cloves in a deep sided metal baking tray.  Set the pork on top of the veg.  Pour in the apple cider vinegar, and enough water to come up the roast about half way.  Add in the rest of the spice rub mix and the tomato paste.

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Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and cook for 4-6 hours (mine took about 5) until the meat is literally falling apart when touched.

Remove the meat, strain the liquid and place it in a medium saucepan over med high heat to reduce, tasting and adjusting as needed.  Then pour the sauce over the meat after you have “pulled” it apart using two forks.

There are many ways you can serve this.  Traditionally it is in a sandwich with some kind of slaw.  I served mine over homemade super sized buttermilk biscuits with some pickled carrots from a previous recipe.  I think the  leftovers are going to be in a sandwich for today’s lunch .  The possibilities are endless!

*Side note:  I generally like to take a photo of the finished product, but in my excitement to  serve it up and eat, I just plain forgot 😦

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It was a comfort food kind of day today in my home.  With fall weather peeking its head around the corner, I felt like a meal my mom used to cook for us, only updated a tad.

I am not the biggest fan of carrots, in fact, they are one of my least favorite vegetables, but my hubby came home from the grocery store with 10 pounds and now I have to get creative.  I could eat these glazed carrots by the bowlful!  Simply the best carrots I have ever had.

Taking the extra step to roast the garlic before adding it to the mashed potatoes gives it a warmer, less pungent  garlic taste, and just feels like comfort food.  And roasted garlic has the added bonus of making your home smell amazing.

I kept the meatloaf recipe pretty basic this time, as I had some pretty bold flavors in the sides.  For once, I think the protein on this dish is not the star, and I am okay with that.

Meatloaf:

1 lb lean ground beed

1 small onion, diced

1 tspn oregano

1 tspn garlic powder

1 tspn smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten

1/4 breadcrumbs soaked in some milk (just enough to moisten the crumbs)

Glaze for the meatloaf:  Mix together a bit of ketchup & mustard, a dash of hot sauce, about 2 tblspn of brown sugar and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.  Brush some over the meatloaf at the beginning of the cooking process and halfway through. 

Preheat oven to 400 f.

Mix together all the meatloaf ingredients and form  it into a log.  Wrap tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Unwrap and  bake in a deep baking tray for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on top.  ( I never do my loaf in a loaf pan, as it sits in it’s own fat for too long.)

Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Roasted Garlic Mash: 

Chop the top off of one whole head of garlic, ad place it in some tinfoil.  Top it with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Wrap it tightly and bake it for 45 minutes at 350 f.

Boil 4 medium sized potatoes, cut into chunks until tender. (I don’t peel my potatoes, as the skin holds so many nutrients and flavor, but that’s up to you.) Drain the potatoes and season with salt & pepper.  Add 1/4 cup of butter and a splash of milk, and the roasted garlic. (no a whole head is not too much, it’s very mild when its roasted.)  Mash well, to your preferred texture.

 

Glazed Carrots:

Wash and slice (on the bias) 4 large carrots into medallions.  Boil for about 10 minutes, or until just cooked but not crunchy.

Drain.  Season with salt and pepper and return them to the pot.  To the pot, add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 2 tblspn of butter (or a tad more, i didn’t measure)  Simmer over medium high heat until the extra liquid evaporates and the carrots look nice and sticky/shiny.  Don’t walk away from the pot, butter and sugar can burn very quickly.  let cool slightly before serving.

 

 

 

 

Curried Lentils

I was a bit worried that my hubby would turn his nose up at this one.  He’s not too keen on food he is not familiar with.  I served it with some Italian Sausages to appease his meat and potatoes palate.  It was a winner!

Curried Lentils

A yummy comfort food dish for a cool late summer afternoon.

1 Large Onion
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 pods cardamom (shells removed)
tspn fennel seed
tspn ground coriander
tspn cumin seed
tspn turmeric
2 tblspn curry powder (or more, that part is up to you)
salt and pepper to taste
1 large carrot (optional)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup lentils (rinsed)
2 cups veg stock (or water)
1 140z can coconut milk
cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves

Pulse the onion, garlic and ginger a few times in the food processor to make a puree. Add a bit of olive oil to your pan and cook the mix over medium heat for a few minutes.
Add the spices and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the lentils, veg stock (or water) and carrots, turn the heat to med high and simmer for about an hour. (lentils should be al dente)
Add the coconut milk, peas, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and salt and pepper and continue to simmer over medium heat for another 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!

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