01 May, 2011

Thought for Food

The oven timer has about 45 minutes left on it, though dinner certainly isn't going to be before 5, since that's when Scott gets home from work.  I'm trying my hand at making Sunday pork ragout (a.k.a. my attempt at being an Italian grandmother, which is difficult, since I'm neither Italian nor have a grandmother to teach me how to make recipes from the old country!) again.  The last time I tried it, the pork was tasty, but not tender enough to shred, and the vegetables hadn't turned mushy enough even after a whirr with the stick blender. 

Flavor: B+, texture: C-, from-scratch potato gnocchi: D-

The recipe calls for a slow cooker, which I don't have.  So I found out what temperature "low" is on a slow cooker and cooked dinner in the oven in a heavy pot with a lid.  I read that "low" is 150-175, so last time I cooked the meat on 150, and then raised the temperature at the end to get it to safe eating temperature.  This time, I'm cooking it on 175 and not even thinking about testing for done-ness until 7 hours in.  I also cut my vegetables into smaller pieces - not quite a dice, but closer to that that the stew-worthy chunks I did last time.

It's a strange feeling for me, setting my alarm for 8 am on a Sunday to get up and chop veggies, brown an enormous chunk of meat, and stick dinner in the oven...and then to do morning things like shower and have breakfast.  I doubt I'd ever do this stuff regularly, but I do enjoy it occasionally.

When the timer goes off, I'm going to check the temperature of my meat and check the tenderness of my veggies.  And unlike last time, I'm not going to rush this.  If the stuff in the pot isn't ready, I'll stick it back in for another 45 minutes and not check again until then. 

...but I hope it's ready, because it smells really good and I'm already getting sort of hungry!

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