I’ll admit, I love my Le Creuset Dutch oven (or French oven, as they call it) because it’s my favorite way to cook meat besides on the grill. You just put the whole pot in the oven and the meat cooks itself! A couple of years ago, Bill got me a 9-quart Le Creuset French oven for my birthday and it remains one of my prized–and most essential–pieces of cooking equipment in the kitchen.
It comes in handy for cooking those oddball pieces of meat that require some imagination or research to figure out how to make. Take pork shoulder–not that it’s so unusual, but it takes more thought and planning than, say, picking up a couple pieces of boneless pork loin at the grocery store, which offer many options, from pork piccata to stir fry.
I found this recipe for Pork Roast with Carolina Gravy from Southern Living magazine in my collection.
As with beef stew, pork shoulder needs time to cook so it’s another good weekend meal (or a nice option if you’re stuck at home for the day). This cut is also good for pulled pork, and the recipe above–if you cook it long enough–turns into a nice batch of it. You can put pulled pork on mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice, and of course, it’s great for sandwiches.
That was to be my plan until I checked on it toward the end of the cooking process. It was so brown and succulent looking that I wanted to eat it right away. The recipe calls for it to rest for 25 minutes, so while the pork did nothing, I roasted a small butternut squash with olive oil and sea salt, and sauteed some collards–still alive and kicking in my garden (in November!). Voila! A little Carolina in Michigan!