Friday, March 9, 2012

Crock Pot!

Today was another prep-day, this time with meats. We'll be in LA for a good part of the day tomorrow wandering the fashion district, trying to find a good material for the couch cover so i figured getting things done today would be good. Plus all we had left to eat was some fresh salmon i baked up the other night and eggs, so we needed some other foods. I decided to break out the crockpot so that i could use some cheaper meats and still run some errands during the day. The first thing that went in was a pork loin roast, which i seared on each side after seasoning with pink salt and pepper. I deglazed the pan with a little bit of madeira wine and added a cup of vegetable broth to the pot, along with a bag of frozen pearl onions and one and a half heads of garlic. I don't think i will cook pork loin in the crockpot anymore if this doesn't turn out moist because it's too easy to overcook in this thing, even on low. I turned it off when i checked and the temp was 185! too high for pork. I'll eat some tomorrow and see. When this was done i transferred the roast to a plate and sliced it really thin and put it in a tupperware. I used a slotted spoon to get the garlic and onions out and put those in a container to eat later.
Then i did something i don't normally do. I reused the liquid from the (fully cooked) pork to supplement the next dish that went in: chuck roast. To all my friends, i know this is advised against and i'd never serve it to other people but if david and i got food poisoning from one dish, we wouldn't be eating the other anyway since we'd be too sick and it just makes no sense that we even would get sick since everything is cooking and cooking and cooking, at decent temps. And i didn't want to waste that already garlicky, oniony flavor! Justifying my laziness, and all that.

I seared the chuck the same way as the loin only i also rubbed roasted garlic dry rub from Napa Style on it. Then i put it in the crockpot with tomato paste, some Pepper Plant chipotle pepper sauce, another head and a half of garlic, and some beef broth. I set it on low again and waited.
I was home for this one while it was cooking and dear god crockpots torture me. I can't wait 8 hours for something to cook, especially when it smells so good.

Finally it was done (actually it just got done a few minutes ago, and now it's resting on a plate so i can shred it after it is cool and put it in a tupperware). I am thinking if the juices are any good on their own i'll use some soy flour or something to thicken it up as a gravy for david. I dislike gravy. I prefer mayo.

Meanwhile, earlier while the stuff was just beginning to cook, i fried up some bacon. We got this package from Vin Goat in Corona Del Mar (which is a fabulous cheese place and you should definitely go). It looks and smells little more sugared than i'd prefer it to so i hope it's not sweet because i hate sweet breakfast meats and we are low-carbing right now too. It's also supposedly from sustainably raised pigs, which probably explains the 14$ price tag. I always try to pick the meatiest slabs of bacon, it seems that nowadays it's all fat compared to what i remember as a kid and while some fat is good, i like my protein. The slices are the thickest i've ever seen.
My gross greasy splatterguard that saves my eyes and life most of the time. Sometimes stuff splashes through but mostly it stops it. I will hold it up as a shield in front of my face as i slip the tongs under to turn the bacon.
Extra-crispy bacon, always. and forever.
I have a metal sink rim and a ceramic sink so i will line a little aluminum foil in the drain in a cup form to catch the grease i dump between panfuls. If i plan to keep the grease for something else i will just pour it into a ceramic souffle cup to keep for later. I already have enough bacon grease though, and no bacon grease cookies in the near future.
And voila! Now we have salmon, pork loin, beef roast, bacon, and turkey bacon (not pictured), for the next few days of on-the-go eating, where we can just come home and grab some stuff to eat.

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