Slow Cooked Pork Roast and a Big Ass Salad

This was the deal for Sunday afternoon football with a couple of guests.

First, I wanted to showcase my gluten free chipped creamed beef on toast, but in a more elegant and refined way, since it’s ghetto food. So I did it as an entrée round (BTW, please stop calling the main course the entrée—it’s just fucking WRONG, ok?)

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  (click for hi-res)

I considered cutting the Udi’s gluten free bread into triangles instead of squares, but I figured that would be pretentious. Didn’t want to put too fine a point on it. :)

For the main, I did a pork roast in the slow cooker, low for about 6 hours. My preferred method is too simple, courtesy of my mom going way way back: plop a pork roast in the crockpot, fatty side up, season with a decent amount of salt & pepper, and that’s it. No stock, no veggies.

To serve, I simply reduced a quart of Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken stock by about 3/4, thickened with a tsp of potato starch in a cold slurry at the very end.

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Too Simple

To accompany the pork, I did a Big Ass Salad (Mark Sisson coined the term), with some starchy stuff. But guess what? I rarely buy salad stuff anymore. Two much waste, and it’s typically just the two of us. Fortunately, there’s a Whole Foods in Los Gatos like 5 minutes away and I trust their salad bar. $8.50 per pound. Usually, I just get the salad and do my own dressing at home. No exception this time; though, while I usually do some version of a vinaigrette, I did a creamy blue cheese with the stick blender for probably no other reason than Sean at PragueStepchild inspired me via a twitter conversation. (Sean: I had some shallots on hand. About 1/2 was perfect.)

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So Here’s The Thing. That salad cost maybe $12 by weight. Now, consider what it might have cost if I had to separately buy each ingredient, and how much of that might go to waste if I didn’t happen to desire a salad for a few days.

  • Romain lettuce
  • Spring greens
  • Baby spinach
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Red onion
  • Green onion
  • Radish
  • Celery
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Olives
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sliced almonds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Yellow raisins
  • Red grapes
  • Cherry tomatoes

Any idea what it would cost to do a salad for four, having to get each of those ingredients? $50 minimum, I’d say, and you’d have waste.

So, 2-3 times per week this is what I do. I head over to Whole Foods and construct a BAS. Each one is a little different.

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  1. ChocoTaco369 on November 12, 2013 at 09:52

    Maybe this is blasphemy to some, but SOS is, conservatively, about 100 times better on home fries than bread. Creamy, chipped beef poured all over a huge pile of crispy white potatoes…now that is heaven. Nostalgia from childhood for me. Fuck your toast. Sandwich bread is the lowest of all breads, and while I generally avoid gluten like the plague, Udi’s GF white is like a dry brick compared to even the cheapest white breads. POTATOES, RICHARD! UPGRADE!

  2. Richard Nikoley on November 12, 2013 at 10:09

    Sorry Choco.

    And given our long history and your sanity, you get dispensation. So not “Go Fuck Off.” :)

    I love the Udi’s. Not too much, just a little.

    That said, I did actually consider this for future installments. A kinda chili fries with a twist.

  3. Sean on November 12, 2013 at 10:44

    Nice BAS, Richard.

    The thing about adding a touch of red onion (or shallot) to the dressing, it matures nicely after a couple hours in the fridge. My wife, despite being Czech, is willing and able to eat way, way spicier food than yours truly who grew up in NM, yet, despite being Czech, can’t stand taste of raw onions. But she doesn’t mind the half a grated red onion I put into Le Bleu Cheese Dressing.

    While I don’t typically have access to such a wide array of BAS ingredients, and I agree it wouldn’t make economic sense for many people to buy such an array of BAS ingredients, I have to take issue with the sunflower seeds which I buy raw and find keep quite well until they are toasted on the fly on the stove for our own BASs. Freshly roasted sunflower seeds+homemade blue cheese dressing makes for a pretty awesome BAS.

  4. Richard Nikoley on November 12, 2013 at 10:48

    I totally agree on the sunflower seeds.

    But, please calculate 2-3 grams cost, given $8.50 per pound doing as I do. I’m gonna guess and I promise I did not calculate: 3 cents

  5. EF on November 12, 2013 at 12:26

    What’s the blue cheese recipe?

  6. ChocoTaco369 on November 12, 2013 at 12:26

    What the Udi’s is actually really good for is stuffing. I had an “early” Thanksgiving last weekend and made stuffing with 2 loaves of the Udi’s white. Its dryness and density vs regular wheat bread made it an excellent choice, although at $4.99 a loaf at TJ’s, it’s some expensive stuffing. Next Thanksgiving I’m going to do cornbread stuffing with masa+polenta instead of AP+corn meal. It is excellent – leaps and bounds above traditional cornbread. Maybe SOS over cornbread? Or…SOS over jalapeno cornbread? I think I’m going to pick up an eye round, soak it in sugar and celery seed for 4 days, dry it out, chip it and make a giant pot of SOS and see where it takes me.

  7. EF on November 12, 2013 at 12:27

    I’m asking because my basic vinaigrette is getting tired too….

  8. Richard Nikoley on November 12, 2013 at 13:31

    Mayo, sour cream, some yogurt or kefir if you like, Lots of Blue Cheese crumbles. A clove of garlic is nice, half a shallot and maybe some EVOO. Zero salt. But lots of black pepper, finely ground in my opinion. Use a stick blender to make sure to grate the garlic & shallot and, smash up the blue cheese.

    No recipe. Go with your heart and make it a little different each time.

  9. Sean on November 13, 2013 at 00:10

    Yeah, basically what Richard said. I usually start with a cup of mayo, something like half a kilo of this really strong Niva, I usually use Greek yogurt for anything calling for sour cream, and some kefir and grated red onion, lots of black pepper, and maybe a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or some lemon juice.

    I (try to) grate the Niva which is kind of messy since it’s rather soft and crumbly, then just mix it up with a fork and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours to meld the flavors. Although it’s hard to let it sit around for that long. We were making it so much a few years back that we got burned out.

    My other favorite dressing, sesame oil, lots of fine grated ginger, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, garlic, something like that. I like the straight sesame oil but a lot of recipes cut it with EVOO.

  10. LeonRover on November 13, 2013 at 04:20

    Great minds serendip alike.

    Last weekend I slow roasted some Pork Belly, finishing it under the grill to get crunchy crackling.

    My salad was Potato Vinaigrette, RS-isfied from 24 hr refrigeration tarted (sic) up with raw onion, fresh parsley, sliced tomato & left-over cold peas.


    PS – when you discoursed on entrée above, I trivially pursued the connection with “pulled pork”, remembering that when (generations ago!) I picked up a willing piece, the following sometimes took place: I chewed her crackling, she ate (pulled?) pork, then came l’entrée, definitely the MAIN course.

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