Sunday dinner, or a nice thing to do with a pork shoulder roast

April 30, 2017

Sunday dinner. Could’ve done without out-of-season okra.

Y’all. Go to Sam’s, right now, and get you some Weber Honey Garlic Rub.

You don’t have a Sam’s card? Go get one, you cheapskate. You’ll save the $50 a year on toilet paper, laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. Not to mention whatever other goodies you get in the habit of buying.

I was in Sam’s the other day, picking up some of the basics I get at Sam’s, and sampling the samples as I shopped. If you go to Sams about 11 a.m. on a Friday, you can basically eat lunch off the samples, if you’re not plumb ravenous. And sometimes, you try something you just have to buy, which, of course, is their point.

And they had chunks of chicken breast, sprinkled down with Weber’s Honey Garlic Rub, and sauteed on their little hot plate. And they were pretty decent, albeit REAL garlicky, and I thought to myself, “Self? We could make use of that, couldn’t we?” and Self agreed that we could, albeit we’d need to do something to tone down the garlic just a bit, else our breath would become a corporeal object.

So we bought it.

And promptly forgot about it.

And I was casting about for what to do for Sunday dinner for the kids, and I had settled upon something with that piece of pork shoulder roast that I’d picked up on sale at Aldi and chunked in the freezer. So I laid it out to thaw, thinking to rub it in something and braise it in something else, and when I set about building a spice rub, I opened the cabinet and saw the Weber’s.

Any just WHY should I make up a rub when I had a perfectly good one there?

I should not. So I coated the roast down nicely with the Weber’s and stashed it in a zip-loc for an overnight sojourn in the fridge, and this morning, I got it out and stuck it in a baking dish. Poured a bottle of hard cider over and around it, covered it in foil, and stashed it in the oven for five hours at 300F, snatching it out after I got home from church.

You must admit, that is not an overly labor-intensive treatment for Sunday dinner, and it was damn well good.

I paired it with baked beans, never a bad thing with a pork roast. I cooked a pound of Rancho Gordo alubia blanco beans until they were barely tender with a quartered onion and three or four smashed cloves of garlic. S-I-L 2, bless him, loathes the texture of an onion, but likes the taste, so I try to accommodate him. Anyway, I fished the onion and garlic out of the beans, mixed up a sauce of tomato sauce, molasses, brown sugar, mustard and a little Worcestershire, and put them in to bake nice and slow this morning with the pork. Good beans.

The other sides were cheesy potatoes and fried okra, because I found okra at the produce market the other day and had to buy it. It was disappointing. You could tell it had been picked too long, because it had little moisture about it when it was cut, and it really had little flavor. What I get for rushing the season, I reckon.

Those cheesy potatoes, though. They were a blast from the past, a standard I used to fix regularly when the girls were small carb-loading monsters. And I thought about them and they sounded good, so I decided to try them again, for the first time in probably 15 years.

One peels, dices and boils potatoes. I used Yukon Golds, my potato of choice because it works for most everything. When they’re done, dump them in a colander to drain, then convey the pot back to the stove and chunk in some butter. However much butter you used, use about that much flour, and make a roux. Don’t let it get dark, but when the flour starts smelling toasty-nutty, add milk and let it come back to a near-boil. When it starts to thicken, add a goodly quantity of grated cheddar, along with some black pepper and just the merest pinch of nutmeg. (I used about 1/4 cup each of butter and flour, about 3 cups-ish of milk, and about four ounces of cheddar.) Dump the potatoes back in that, stir them up, and move them over to a baking dish. Top them with a Parmigiano-bread crumb topping and run them in the oven until they’re bubbly-crispy.

In fact, you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em can just ignore the out-of-season okra and just enjoy the good stuff. Given the chance for a do-over, that’s what I’d do. Seeing a happily fed and full family is well worth it.



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