John’s Roast Pork with Beets and Apples

John’s Roast Pork with Beets and Apples

My second (and first November) Thankful recipe is dedicated to my husband.  I can’t even begin to express what he means to me or how thankful I am for him.  His steady support through all my mental health challenges, his patience with my short temper, and the wonderful father he is to our son is overwhelming.  He’s so supportive (even when it means a kitchen covered in flour and a sink piled high with the dishes of 10 baking experiments) and so kind.  He is easily the best person I know.  So this recipe, with all the amazing feelings I have for him, is dedicated to John.

Roast Pork with Beets and Applesmonster cake meter

minced sageLet’s start with the herbs.  I, when I possibly can, use fresh sage for this dish.  There are so few flavors that we want the best of the best!  It seems like this is a lot of sage, a lot of seasoning, but trust me – you’ll want it all.  We are basically making an herb crust over the pork.  So take the pork out of the fridge to take the chill off and wash the sage.  You’ll want to mince it until it’s fairly small.  To do this well simply place one hand on top of the knife near the end of the blade and rock back and forth, rotating through the pile.  Stop every few rotations to readjust and remake the pile, turn 90-180 degrees, and continue rotating to ensure that everything is minced evenly.  Put the sage, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir and toss with your fingers to mix it thoroughly.

coat the loin

Next we’re back to the old standby – pat dry the pork and rub each side and the entire length with all the seasoning. Now, if it’s a whole pork loin it will actually be two separate loins. That’s okay, simply separate them and treat them the same.  Again, it feels like a lot, but the flavor is to die for.  Set it aside and allow it to rest.

While the pork is lightly brining (for more information about pork brines, check out this recipe) chop the beets and apples into large pieces.  I slice the beets and then cut each slice in half.  Slice the apples off the core and then cut thinly.  The onion should be sliced and then each slice quartered to leave longer pieces of onion.

sear the loin

Add oil to a heavy-bottom pan that can be used in the oven (I use a braiser) and heat on medium.  If you don’t have this you can use a regular frying pan and then an oven safe 9×13 pan.  When the oil is hot add the pork and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes.  You want the sear to be nice and strong so once it’s laying down don’t move it for the entire 2-3 minutes.  You want to see the sear cook depth when you look at the pork from the side.  Repeat on all sides and then sear the ends.  Remove from the oil and place on a plate to the side.

veggies and fruit

Next add the onions and the beets to the same pan and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the beets have lost their extremely hard feeling.  You still want them to be hard, by the way, just not rigid.  Then add the apples and continue to saute for 2 minutes, or until all the apples are shiny.

pork on veggies and fruit

Add the pork back on the veggie/fruit mixture.  You’ll want it resting on top to prevent the juices from getting into the pork and braising instead of roasting it.  If you’re transferring everything to a 9×13 pan first lightly grease the pan, place the fruit/veggie mix in, and lay the pork on top.  Then put the whole thing in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  At this point you’ll want to test the center of your pork with a meat thermometer.  It needs to read 145F (for medium rare) to 160F (for medium).  If it’s not quite there simply continue allowing it to roast until it reads your comfortable temperature.  Pork inherently has some kind of nasty diseases if it’s raw, so be sure to cook it properly!  I don’t want anyone getting sick on my watch!

cover with foil

When it’s ready remove the entire pan from the oven and cover with tinfoil, allowing it to rest for 5-10 minutes but not less than 5 minutes.  This is to help the juices stabilize so you don’t lose any of that flavor when you cut it.  Serve and enjoy!

pork and stuff

John's Roast Pork with Beets and Apples

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Roast pork loin with a sage herb crust with beets and apples

Ingredients

  • 1 2-3 pound pork loin
  • 5-6 large beets
  • 3 medium apples (I prefer granny smith for this recipe)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage (packed)
  • 1.5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Remove the pork out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Wash and mince the sage by placing one hand on top of the knife near the end of the blade and rocking the knife back and forth, rotating through the pile.  Stop every few rotations to readjust and remake the pile, turn 90-180 degrees, and continue rotating to ensure that everything is minced evenly.
  3. Put the sage, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir and toss with your fingers to mix.
  4. Pat dry the pork and rub each side and the entire length with all the seasoning. Set it aside and allow it to rest.
  5. Chop the beets and apples into large pieces. Slice the beets and then cut each slice in half. Slice the apples off the core and then cut thinly. Slice the onion and then quarter the slices.
  6. Add oil to a heavy-bottom pan that is oven safe and heat on medium. (If you don’t have this you can use a regular frying pan and then an oven safe 9×13 pan.).
  7. When the oil is hot add the pork and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Repeat on all sides and then sear the ends.  Remove from the oil and place on a plate to the side.
  9. Add the onions and the beets to the same pan and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the beets have lost their extremely hard feeling. (The beets should still be hard, just not rigid.).
  10. Add the apples and continue to saute for 2 minutes, or until all the apples are shiny.
  11. Add the pork back on top of the veggie/fruit mixture. Or transfer veggie/fruit mixture to a greased 9×13 pan and place the pork on top.
  12. Put the entire whole thing in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  13. Test the center of your pork with a meat thermometer.  It needs to read 145F (for medium rare) to 160F (for medium).
  14. When it’s ready remove the entire pan from the oven and cover with tinfoil, allowing it to rest for 5-10 minutes but not less than 5 minutes.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

Meat Pie

Meat Pie

It’s been a while.  I know this.  I have no apology.  But what I do have is this incredible and easy Meat Pie recipe.  Trust me, you’ll accidentally eat every single one the second they cool down enough to shove into your mouth.  And you won’t even feel bad about it.  So in honor of that feeling, let’s get rid of all guilt associated with not posting for a while and just get on with the show!

OH! And as a side note, I finished exploring every. little. section and area of BotW except the final castle.  It’s done!  And tonight I’m totally finishing the castle.  Here’s hoping I find the last few things I’m missing there…

And without further waiting on your end:

Meat Piedifficulty and time

Start by making the pastry dough.  This has to chill for at least an hour so it should always be your first step.  If you want to make the dough far ahead it can be chilled up to overnight in the fridge before use.  So make life, and dinner, a little easier on yourself and make it when you have a spare 10 minutes.

Put some water into a cup and add a cube or two of ice.  The colder the water, the better the pastry will turn out.  Add the flour to a bowl and cut up the cold (it must be cold, just like the pie crust recipe in Apple Pie) butter into 1-2 tablespoon chunks.

Now let’s rub the cold butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs with some pea-sized chunks of butter left.  You don’t want it too fine or you won’t get a nice flaky crust!  … maybe next time I’ll make a gif of how to do this.  I’m just now realizing that would probably be nice…

Now add 2/3 cup water to the dough and mix until it completely comes together and forms a ball.  This is a far more forgiving recipe than my pie crust (even though the method is the same) so a little extra handling won’t necessarily hurt it… but I wouldn’t work it too much.  You should still see large chunks of butter in your dough.

Split it in half and press into a square shape about an inch thick.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready for it.

Now, the key to the filling on this meat pie is dicing everything up really small.  Like, say, 1/4 inch cubes.  This goes for the carrots, the onion, and the roast.  Normally with my recipes size doesn’t really matter.  But in this case we want everything to cook properly and be able to squish as much as possible in the little pastry cases, so size becomes very important.

add the bowl

Once they’re all cut up put them together in a bowl and mix with a spoon to combine.  Add all the spices and stir until the spices coat everything.  I’d start with the smallest amount of spices and then, based on look and smell (please don’t taste it!  There’s raw meat in there…) add the rest if you feel like it’s necessary.  I, personally, use all the spices.  I like my food to have some flavor!  Also – yeah, yeah, I know that meat pie doesn’t traditionally have random vegetables thrown in.  But I can’t really make something like this, which feels like a full meal, without adding at least one vegetable to it.  So it’ll be fine.

mix it up

Take the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large surface.  Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.

roll it out

Start by rolling in once direction several times until it makes a large square.  Then rotate it 90°, add more flour under the dough, and roll it out until it forms your triangle.  Repeat with the other piece, making sure both are the same size.

Take the largest round cutter you have (mine happened to be 3.5 inches long) and cut circles into your pastry.  Cut the same amount of circles into each pastry rectangle – these will serve as your bottom and your top.  If you’re really feeling ambitious you can gather the scraps and roll them out once more for even more pies.  I didn’t really feel like doing that so I simply threw the scraps away.  If you’re feeling lazy and the idea of wasted scraps horrifies you, simply cut the pastry into an equal amount (and equal sizes) of squares on both pastries and call it good.  It’s all about presentation and how much you’re willing to give to it.

rounds of pastry

Transfer half of the square/circle pastries to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.  Fill each square/circle with your meat filling.  Now, we want to fill to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pastry case and we want it to be no more than stacked double in the center.  That’s very specific, I know, but if you fill it too much the case will either split mid-bake or you’ll be unable to get the top on in the first place!

add the filling

Next, dip your fingers into water and brush the empty edges of the pastries.  Lay the last half of the pastries on top of the first half to make enclosed pies.  Gently press the pastries halves together with your fingers and then seal with a fork by pressing into the edges.  This will crimp the pastries together and (fingers crossed) hopefully prevent them from leaking.  After your pastries are crimped poke 3-4 holes in the top.  It helps release the steam to prevent mini explosions in your oven

Whisk an egg with a fork and brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg.  This will give you a nice, beautiful, crispy, shiny crust!  The best kind, in my opinion!  Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pastries are nice and browned and/or and internal temperature has been reached of about 165ish.  We can be less specific because we’re using roast and beef instead of poultry.

Remove from the oven and serve warm!

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Link’s Meat Pie recipe:

      • Any Meat
      • Goat Butter
      • Rock Salt
      • Tabantha Wheat

Meat Pie

  • Servings: 13 3 inch pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Meat pies with carrots and onion

Pastry

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (455g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons (300g) cold butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) ice cold water

Filling

  • 1 pound beef roast
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons black pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and add some ice to a small cup of water.
  2. Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces. Add the butter to the flour and begin rubbing it between your fingers while adding flour. This will create a breadcrumb-like texture. Make sure you leave some butter pieces as large as peas.
  3. Add 2/3 cup of your ice water and mix until combined. There should still be chunks of butter visible in the dough.
  4. Split the dough into two equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour but up to overnight.
  5. Dice the roast, carrots, and onion into small 1/4 inch cubes. Place them in a bowl and mix with a spoon until combined.
  6. Add the smaller amount of spices and then, based on look and smell add the rest if you feel it’s necessary.  I, personally, use all the spices. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Take the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large surface.  Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.
  8. Roll the dough by rolling in once direction several times until it makes a large square.  Then rotate it 90°, add more flour under the dough, and roll it out until it forms your triangle.
  9. Repeat with the other piece, making sure both are the same size.
  10. Using a large round cutter cut circles into your pastry. Repeat on the other half of the pastry dough, ensuring you have the same amount of circles on each side. You may gather the scraps and re-roll the dough to cut more circles if you wish, but only re-roll once to prevent a tough pastry. Or, alternatively, cut your pastry into even squares, ensuring there’s an even number on each half.
  11. Transfer half of the square/circle pastries to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.  Fill each square/circle with your meat filling to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the pastry case and no more than stacked double in the center.
  12. Dip your fingers into water and brush the empty edges of the pastries.
  13. Lay the last half of the pastries on top of the first half to make enclosed pies.  Gently press the pastries halves together with your fingers and then seal with a fork by pressing into the edges.  Poke 3-4 holes in the top.
  14. Whisk an egg with a fork and brush the top of the pastries with the beaten egg. Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pastries are nice and browned and/or and internal temperature has been reached of about 165ish. Serve warm.

Prime Meat Stew

Prime Meat Stew

I realize I totally fell off the goal train last month.  I’m sorry for not writing as many posts as I claimed I would.  I got pretty caught up in the goal I was focusing on for February and sort of ignored EVERYTHING else.  Not good, I know, but at least hopefully understandable?  But it’s okay because this month is focusing on my social goal a.k.a. focusing here!  YAY!  I’m working on getting a backlog of recipes (for when I don’t have time to post), organizing my thankful recipes (for the upcoming months), and writing a couple of thoughts posts.  I’m also working on being better about reading on commenting on all of your wonderful blogs.  I know that community is the thing I struggle most with… and for that I am sorry!  You guys are all so great to be here and I want to be there for you, too.

One more thing I’m working on for this month?  Brainstorming a way to get videos to you all so you can follow along with me and learn some new skills.  After my poll, where a Twitch stream was the overwhelming favorite, I feel like I actually do want to help everyone up their cooking game.  This isn’t about making it pretty or cutting out vital pieces to make a succinct video.  It’s about teaching you the techniques I use to help the people who keep commenting “they can’t cook” feel like they can.  Because trust me, if my self-taught self can do this, so can you!

Oh! And one last thing before we get one with it.  You guys are the best.

Prime Meat Stewdifficulty and time

One of my favorite things about these BotW recipe’s is trying to take some really strange additions to normal meals and make them into a reality.  This recipe is no exception.  Why on earth would you add wheat to a stew?  And how can I make a beef stew with something like milk?  It’s just weird, people.  Weird.  But that’s what makes it fun!  So get ready for a surprisingly delicious recipe. P.S. this recipe makes a lot.  I like having stew for leftovers for days.  If you don’t, you’ll want to scale it back.

ingredients photo for prime meat stew

This recipe started when I accidentally purchased the most expensive roast of my life.  Here’s how it went.

Me: Do you have chuck roast in your Prime beef?

Butcher: Nope.  We have rib roast, though.  Would you like that?

Me, super naively: Sure!  Is that like a regular roast?

Butcher: Yep.

Me: Let’s do it.

Cut to him handing me the 2 pound package of roast.

Me: *Checks price on package.  Price says $45.00* Oh.

So, while the beef was definitely insanely delicious, I don’t recommend doing what I did.  However, with the information we learned about the different levels of quality with beef in this Salt Grilled Prime Meat recipe, I knew I needed prime… Do I recommend using it to you readers?  Only if you have a lot of money you like to very quickly eat away.  Will I ever do this again?  Well, it’s a bit too rich for my bank account.  But it was amazing.  So what should you use instead?  Any rump, chuck, or stew roast will do nicely.  That’s what I usually use and it turns out like a dream.

So now that we’ve got the “Prime” out of the way we needed to figure out how to add those strange Breath of the Wild ingredients.  The first one: Tabantha Wheat.  It feels like a bit of a cheat but I simply dredged my meat in flour before searing it.  Have you ever had a stew where the meat breaks up into tiny little pieces because it’s perfectly braised?  Annoying because you can’t get a full piece of meat, but delicious, right?  Well, dredging prevents it from breaking up into tiny pieces.  It gives the meat a bit of a crust to stew in and holds it together until you decide to chew, leaving you with the perfect, falling apart bite.  So let’s start with cutting the roast into cubes, about an inch squared.  Then add flour, salt, and pepper to the cubes and roll them around to completely coat each one.  It’s pretty easy.  You can totally do this.

Add the oil to the bottom of a heavy-bottom pan.  I used a pot because I was silly.  A pan works just as well.  As I’ve mentioned in… pretty much all of my previous posts, I love cast iron and use it almost exclusively for pans.  But a regular pan will work just fine as long as it can handle high heat and then sustained low heat… so, like, a regular pan with a lid.  Heat the oil on medium high and, once it’s hot, starting adding the dredged meat.

dredged meat to pan

Don’t add it all together.  We really need to shake off the excess flour, because excess flour sticks to the bottom and makes it even more of a mess to clean than it already will be. Oh!  By the way, this will be a mess to clean.  So grab a handful of meat, shake it to remove excess flour, add it to the pan, queue to 3rd grade boys laughing hysterically.  Continue doing this until all the meat is added.  Then stir continuously with a plastic or wood (never metal) spatula until all the beef is browned and beautiful.

add liquid and scrape to remove fond

During this process you will get a brown crust sticking to the bottom of the pan.  That’s totally normal.  It’s called a fond (French for “bottom”) and provides some of the best flavor to any sauteed or braised meat.  If you stirred continuously and scraped the bottom of the pan often, like you should have, the fond won’t be a thick layer.  If you didn’t… like me… you’ll get stuck with a thick fond, which is harder to handle.  The way to scrape up this delicious flavor and add it to the stew is to deglaze the pan.  It’s easy.  The next step has us adding beef broth to the pan to braise the meat for an hour.  To deglaze, simply add a few tablespoons only at a time.  When you do that it sizzles and creates steam.  While it’s sizzling scrape the bottom of the pan.  The fond will scrape up and leave you with some nice flavor.  If the liquid gets soaked up before you’re done scraping just add a little more, and, while it sizzles, scrape the rest.  If you have a thick layer it’ll more difficult (maybe even impossible) to scrape it all up.  That’s fine.  It just makes clean up harder.  If you have a thin layer it’ll be a piece of cake.

add liquid to browned meat

Once the fond is scraped and removed from the pan add 2-3 cups of broth, until the meat is barely covered, and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to a rolling simmer, cover, and allow to simmer for an hour.  During this hour make sure you check at least every 10 minutes to stir the meat (so it doesn’t stick and burn) and to make sure all the broth hasn’t boiled off.  If it’s getting low, simply add more.

While the meat is cooking cut up the veggies.  We just want to dice the carrots, onion, and celery into large, bite size pieces, like I have you do in my Veggie Cream Soup.  If you’re using fresh herbs strip them from the stalks and mince.  Again, let’s not belabor something I’ve already taught you so check out the Veggie Cream Soup if you want to remember how.  I don’t dice up the potatoes until the very end because potatoes exposed to oxygen will turn black (an oxidation of the starchy liquid, for those science nerds out there).  If you do want to dice the potatoes now simply place them in a bowl and cover them entirely with water.  It’ll act as a barrier to the oxygen so they shouldn’t go black.

making a roux

When the hour is almost up let’s move on to how I added milk to this recipe.  I’ve never, in my life, added milk to a beef stew.  It was a puzzle worthy of being it’s own shrine (though not dungeon).  So I turned to an old-fashioned roux.  But instead of using a roux to thicken the stew with broth (which is the normal route, for heaven’s sake, Link) we are going to use a little milk and then finish it up with broth.  Complicated, but necessary to include that odd ingredient.

I feel like I mention it so often you don’t need the link, but for instructions on how to make a roux, check it out in Fish Pie.  Heat butter on medium in a heavy-bottom saucepan, add flour a bit at a time once the butter has melted completely, whisk until thickened and bubbly.  Now add the milk all at once and whisk until combined, smooth, and thick.  At this point add 3 cups of beef broth, 1 cup at a time, and whisk until thick and smooth.  Once that mixture is ready dump all the beef and remaining liquid from your meat into the sauce.  Be careful.  Since everything is hot you don’t want to get splashed and burned.  Add the vegetables, herbs, and more salt and pepper to taste.  Add another cup of beef broth and stir until homogeneous.  Bring liquid to a boil and then lower to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through.  Serve and be delighted!  P.S. this recipe goes really well with Becky’s Rolls.

close up

Link’s Prime Meat Stew

    • Rock Salt
    • Hylian Rice
    • Hearty Blueshell Snail or any Porgy

Prime Meat Stew

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Roast beef stew with carrots, celery, and potatoes


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chuck, rump, or other stew roast
  • 6 celery stalks
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 4 medium potatoes, any variety
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8-10 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour, plus 3-4 tablespoons for dredging
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut the roast into 1 inch square cubes
  2. Add the 3-4 tablspoons dredging flour, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the cubes and roll them around to completely coat each one.
  3. Add oil to the bottom of a heavy-bottom pan. Heat the oil on medium high.
  4. Add the dredged meat, one handful at a time, first shaking off the excess flour. Continue until all meat has been added.
  5. Stir continuously with a plastic or wood spatula until all the beef is browned.
  6. Remove the fond by adding 2-3 tablespoons beef broth to the pan and remove the fond by scraping. Repeat until all the fond has been removed.
  7. Add 2-3 cups of water, until the beef is barely covered, and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, lower the heat to a rolling simmer, cover, and allow to simmer for an hour.  During this hour make sure you check at least every 10 minutes to stir the meat. If the broth level is getting low simply add more.
  8. While the meat is cooking cut up the carrots, onion, and celery into large, bite-sized pieces. If you’re using fresh herbs strip them from the stalks and mince. Dice the potatoes when the meat has stewed for nearly the entire hour to prevent oxidation.
  9. Heat, on medium, a large 6-7 quart heavy-bottom dutch oven or pot. Add the butter.
  10. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add half the flour and whisk continuously until it’s completely incorporated and thick. Add the remainder of the flour and repeat until combined and bubbling slightly.
  11. Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir until homogeneous and thickened. Add 3 cups of beef broth, 1 cup at a time, and whisk until thick and smooth between each addition.
  12. Once the sauce is ready add all the meat and the braising liquid to the sauce. Stir until combined.
  13. Add the vegetables, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste to the stew and stir to combine. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the vegetables add the remainder of the broth and stir until combined.
  14. Bring stew to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through.  Serve and be delighted!