I've been "cooking up a storm" so to speak , since we have come home from Italy .. my inspiration has been all the fabulous food we ate for 5 days while in Rome !.. I am doing things just a little differently than I usually do .. with time and love as the key ingredients .. As a cooking class teacher I am always trying to find fast & easy recipes to share with my students but sometimes to get that flavorful and rich taste .. time is the essence !
So with that in mind I called my butcher in the beginning of the week and ordered a few cuts of meat that would tolerate slow long cooking .. pork roast with a bone in .. veal shoulder seasoned and tied into a fragrant bundle .. lamb roast with the bone still intact... and I have been using the method that my mother used all her cooking life "on top of the stove " .
I usually shy away from this type of braising because I felt that type of cooking needed my unadulterated attention but I am pleasantly finding that it is not the case at all .. sure there is a little more work in the beginning of the cooking process than just turning the oven on and throwing the roast in .. you must brown or caramelize all the sides of the meat .. this provides a nice crust and wonderful flavor worth the extra time .. as soon as my roast are golden brown on all sides I add a liquid to gather all the bits and pieces that cling to the big dutch oven .. this is called de~glazing and can be done with broth or water ... better than either of these choices is wine ! Sometimes I use all three .. I add some aromatic vegetables such as onion , garlic , celery , carrots and then the lid goes on .. I check the time and then go do something else for at least an hour .. when I return I flip the meat over and baste it .. make sure there is enough liquid in the bottom of the pan ( too much and you are boiling ~ too little and it will burn ) about 2 inches is all you need .. this liquid does not evaporate quickly because the lid is on at all times.
I check doneness with a meat thermometer .. I can usually tell if it is almost done because the house fills with the wonderful aroma of a mouthwatering meal ! at this point I peel and cube some Yukon gold potatoes .. those buttery delicious potatoes that cook in a flash .. I sprinkle the potatoes around the roast and let it stay on a low flame for about 20 to 30 minutes more .. turn off the heat and let it rest ..
I can say that we have been eating very well since we got home from Bella Italia
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