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Generally Recognized As True: Roasting the fruits of the Whole Circle Farm CSA: pork with roasted vegetables

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Roasting the fruits of the Whole Circle Farm CSA: pork with roasted vegetables

The Whole Circle Farm CSA has been giving out a lot of beetroot and carrots lately. This is one of the main reasons I was interested in the CSA: to force myself to try vegetables that I normally might not try. I've always eaten carrots (has anyone not?), but beetroot are something I usually only eat sparingly and are usually pickled in a jar when I do have them.

So far, I've steamed beetroot and then mixed them with goat's cheese, apple, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make an apple & beetroot salad. I've steamed them and eaten them as a straight vegetable, and below is the new method.

Our friend on the left is pork. On the right are beetroot (this should be very obvious!). And at the top, and underneath some of the beetroot, are carrots. There are some garlic cloves in there, too. The CSA gave uncured garlic for a couple of weeks, which I'd never used before. The supermarket garlic is normally dry cured; the uncured stuff is more difficult to separate into cloves.

Roasted carrots & vegetables
To begin with, I parboiled the vegetables for about 5 minutes.

In one bowl, I mixed some olive oil, the juice of one orange, salt, pepper, and thyme, threw in the parboiled carrots and tossed the whole lot to coat the carrots.

In another bowl, I cut the larger beetroot in half and tossed them in a mixture of olive oil, salt, a few whole garlic cloves, white wine vinegar, and thyme.

The contents of each bowl went, as separately as possible, into a roasting tray which went in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes at 425F.

I went and got the pork this morning on my bike. The supermarkets are getting really silly with meat fat these days. I wanted a piece of pork with a nice rind of fat, but it was quite difficult to find. I don't get it: most of the taste of pork comes from the fat, but most of the fat had been trimmed. In the chicken section, it's even difficult to find anything other than chicken breasts in the Superstore near here -- drumsticks are the height of adventure in that place.

Anyway, I found a pork chop with at least a bit of fat on it.

I first pre-heated the oven to 425F with a cast iron frying pan inside.

While that was doing, I scored the rind of the pork chop with a knife (what else?) and salted and peppered both sides of the pork. When the oven was at temperature, I took out the frying pan and put a bit of olive oil in the bottom and then put the pork chop in the frying pan, and the frying pan into the oven.

And then everything roasted for about 15 minutes. After about 7 or 8 minutes, I turned own the oven temperature a bit -- to around 350F -- because the cast iron frying pan holds a lot of heat. With 5 minutes left, I threw the roasted vegetables into the frying pan to finish cooking in some of the pork juices.

And, that's about all. This tasted really good to me -- no sauces or dressings necessary.

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Carla said...

Mmm, that all sounds yummy, Matt! Remember that you can get some of the best pastured pork in the neighborhood right at Whole Circle Farm, too! It's from Tamworth pigs, a heritage breed that Johann and Maggie are instrumental in preserving. I spent some time at the farm this spring, and can vouch for the quality of the meat raised there.

mattbg said...

Thanks, Carla. I have thought about going to the farm store, but I try not to use the car unless I need to and it's about 20km away. I am pretty sure I will make it up there one day, though. I was interested in the eggs, too. I am still enjoying the CSA, but I find that I grew a number of things myself that I also got from the CSA, so I will have to come up with a way of dealing with that.