December 2, 2010

Slow Roasted Pork and Gravy, Fast

Not only is this hot, gratifying comfort food. It's also fast food, homegrown style. And it's one of my all time favorite meals.

Want a pork roast just for one or two without the fuss? It's the holidays and there's just not enough time for everything? Hungry kids want something good and filling right now? Unexpected guests showed up? Or you'd like to prepare a simple, gratifying meal for an ill neighbor? This is the answer to all those situations.

Keep some jars of this in your pantry and you'll be ready any time you need to make a meal for any number of hungry folks in a hurry. It tastes like you worked two days to prepare it. And it will have that unmistakable "better the next day" pot roast taste.

Hey, don't act all innocent... you know exactly what I am talking about. Tell me that none of you out there have heated up some leftover pot roast for breakfast because it's all that you could think about the next morning...

Oh, yeah.

I knew it. (Me, too.)

Here's how I do it: Start with a nice cut of roasting meat. You can use pork or beef, whatever you fancy (and have on hand). This time I used a large pork loin. I rubbed it with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, minced garlic, and brown sugar. I used pickling salt since I planned to can it. Then I placed it in an electric roaster with some seasonal stock and cooked it all day, low and slow.

After enjoying some of the roast that evening I let it cool to room temperature and then I put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day I skimmed the fat off the top, cut the meat into chunks, and strained the stock. Then I reheated the meat with some of the stock, packed it into hot jars, and processed as usual for meats. Remember the National Center for Home Food Preservation is a good free resource for safe canning instructions and guidelines.

I canned the remaining strained stock by itself.

To make "Slow Roasted Pork and Gravy, Fast," prepare a roux of butter and flour, slowly stir in a jar of the canned pot roast stock and whisk. Stir in a jar of the canned slow roasted pork. Continue heating until it is thickened to the consistency you like. Taste and season as desired. (It may not need additional salt or seasoning since you used that delicious pot roast stock.) Serve over mashed potatoes, noodles, biscuits, or toast and really "wow" those unexpected guests!

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