The cooking actually began last night, when I started some pulled pork in the crock pot before I went to bed. I've used the original recipe (which came from Joe Bonwich at the Post-Dispatch) before, but this time I tweaked it a bit. I added two cloves of garlic along with the other ingredients, and instead of following the recipe's cooking directions I cooked it on low all night. When I came downstairs this morning, I was greeted by the wonderful smell of cooked pork. After breakfast I took the meat out of the crock pot, removed the fat, then shredded it and threw the meat into the refrigerator. For tonight's dinner, all I have to do is heat it up with barbecue sauce. The roast was almost four pounds, so I'll be able to freeze the leftovers in meal-sized portions for easy eats down the road.
Before I left to run errands and go to the gym, I started a loaf of bread in the bread machine to go with the meat. Thirty minutes after I got home the bread machine beeped, telling me that a perfect loaf was ready. Bread's easier to slice after it's cooled for a few hours, so I'll do that right before we eat. Of course two people will only eat a portion of the bread, so I'll throw the rest in the freezer for later on.
After lunch, I made a double batch of carrot-ginger muffins. Halfway through the job, I realized that turning on the oven on a hot day was a mistake. It heated up the entire kitchen, but after I sampled one of the muffins I realized it was worth it. Now we'll have a week's worth of breakfasts and snacks waiting for us in the freezer.
My last project was to make stock. I put the pork juices (along with vegetable peelings I've been accumulating in the freezer) in a stock pot and simmered them for a couple of hours. I strained the juice and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Later tonight I'll skim off the fat, then pour the liquid into several containers that I can store in the freezer to use down the line.
One dishwasher load, three sinks of hand washables, and several dishtowels later the work was done. I think I deserve a rest, don't you?
Make-ahead roast pork (serves 12-16)
Pork shoulder or Boston pork roast, approximately 4 pounds
3 cups water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 medium onions, cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 t black pepper
BBQ sauce to taste (I used an 18-oz bottle, and served more at the table)
Add all ingredients to crock pot. Cook on High for 4 hours, then reduce the heat to Low and cook for 3-4 more hours (or cook on Low for 9-10 hours). When meat is tender, take roast out of crock pot. Remove fat and shred with forks, or chop into small pieces. Reheat in BBQ sauce of your choice.