Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pork roast with Eggplant

I was in Colorado last week for work.  I got to spend some time with my brother, went to Pikes Peak, saw my dear friends Mark and Suzanne, who used to be my back door neighbors, and then after work and all that fun, stopped in Seattle to visit the grandbaby and his parents.  I'll post pictures later this week.  

I'm headed to Seward for the rest of this week for work.  Fly into Anchorage and drive 2 hours to Seward.  It should be a beautiful drive, but there is so much to do this time of year, I'm struggling with my attitude about this trip!

It has cooled down in Fairbanks.  The mornings are very cool, the birds have all flown south, and everyone I talk to says it feels like winter is just around the corner.  
"Embrace the cold," is my motto for this time of year.  The cold is coming and there is nothing we can do to change it, so embrace it.  I guess that would be good advice for myself with this upcoming trip.

I made this delicious pork roast and eggplant.  The pork is done in the crock pot, so easy hands-off cooking, and the eggplant took about 20 minutes tops.  We had a warm, delicious dinner on this blustery evening.  Winter is coming so we might as well embrace it!
Pork Roast With Eggplant Mash
from Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking, Maria Emmerich

Pork Ragu
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 cups beef or chicken broth
3 lbs. pork spareribs, cut into individual ribs
Chopped fresh flat-leave parsley, for garnish, optional

In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and their juices an the broth; stir well to combine. Add the pork spareribs and turn to coat.

Cover and cook until the pork is very tender, 7-8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.

Remove the ribs from the slow cooker, leaving the cooking liquid in the pot. Using two forks, shred the pork. Return the pot to the slow cooker and mix it into the cooking liquid.

Then make eggplant mash.

EggPlant Mash
(In the cookbook, the author called this grits, I think that is misleading.  Grits have a very unique texture and this is more like a smooth mash.  You can call it what you want, I call it delicious.)
4 cups peeled and cubed eggplant (about 1 lb.)
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. dried ground oregano
1/2 cup beef bone broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Place eggplant cubes and bacon pieces in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir-fry until the bacon is fried and eggplant is extremely soft, about 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant and bacon to a food processor; leave the bacon fat in the pan. Puree the eggplant and bacon until smooth.

In the skillet with the bacon fat, add the onions and cook, over medium-high heat, stirring until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the eggplant puree and oregano to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook, stirring with heavy wooden spoon, until the mixture forms a thick paste, 5-10 minutes, adding the broth 1 Tbsp. at a time to keep the eggplant from getting dry.  Sprinkle with cheese, stir, and serve.

Divide the eggplant among wide, shallow bowls and spoon the ragu over the top.  Sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.

September 19, 2017   Sunrise 7:26 am  Sunset 8:00 pm  Temp. H 50/ L 36°F

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