Monday, August 25, 2008

Clay pot cooking

Something else I picked up on our North Carolina visit was one of these:

A Romertopf clay cooking pot. I've been on the lookout for one of these for quite a while. Paying enormous shipping for an online order wasn't an option, so I was pleased to find this one.

I've tried it out twice thus far. The first time with a venison roast and vegetables, it worked well. This second time I used a pork loin.

The loin weighed about 6 lbs and had good bulk, nice and thick, not skinny like some are. I cut it in half, 3 lbs is plenty big for us.

I decided to make my own recipe--yikes--I'm not usually too good at winging it when it comes to cooking. I wanted to use what I had on hand. So, while I soaked the pot in cold water for 15 minutes I searched and this is what I came up with:

- fresh beets from our garden--yay!
- about a cup of leftover sauerkraut (Boars Head brand)
- one large onion
- one very large clove of garlic from an Elephant head garlic bulb
- salt, pepper

First, I cleaned the beets. Cut off the greens (to save for later), rinsed, peeled and quartered the beets. I used 6 beets.

Then I chopped the onion and sliced the garlic clove.

By now, the pot was ready.

I placed the pork in first, fat side up. I stabbed it a few times with my meat fork and sprinkled it with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the meat.

Next I placed the beets, onions, and garlic around the pork. Then I dumped on the sauerkraut, spreading it out across and around the pork.

Put the top on the pot, placed it in a cold oven (very important to put pot in a cold oven or the clay might crack), turned the oven on to 450 degrees and set the timer for 90 minutes.

The end result was pretty tasty. The beets cooked nicely and the sauerkraut added a nice flavor. The pork was a wee bit dry, next time I'll test the meat temperature after 60 minutes.

I did take a picture, but it didn't look too appealing! The beets colored eveything reddish purple, so it looked a little weird.

What I really like is how fast and juicy everything cooks up in these clay pots. I've used my Crock pot for cooking pork alot and it dries it out terribly. I think I can work on the time and get great results with this clay pot.

Next time I'll take appealing photos to share.

Oh yes, the beet tops. Husband soaks them repeatedly to remove all the grit, chops them up and sautes them in butter. They're still a little bitter--what green isn't--but let's face it, what doesn't taste yummy with lots of butter!

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