Thursday, October 24, 2013

best of both grandmas

For Vance's birthday, I made one of Vance's favorite dishes - a famed entree in his grandma Hamor's repertoire, swine hocks. The hock of the swine translates to the lower leg of the pig. These big lugs are rubbed, seared, roasted and shredded. 
The evening before serving, chop 8 garlic cloves together with 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary. Add about one tablespoon kosher salt and a generous amount of fresh ground pepper. With a sharp knife, poke slits all over2 1½–2 lb. pork shanks (fresh hocks) and rub the garlic mixture over the shanks. Refrigerate overnight.The next day, wipe most (but not all) of the garlic mixture off of the shanks with a paper towel. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy skillet. Add shanks and brown them well. Add 1½ cups dry white wine and ½ cup low-salt chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer. At this point, either put the pan in a 350 degree oven (covered by a lid or foil), or transfer the contents of the pan to a crock pot. Cook for about 3 hours, basting regularly and turning the shanks about halfway through. If liquid evaporates, add more broth. When the meat falls off the bone easily, remove the meat and bone. Discard bone and set the meat aside.
I served the hocks (or shanks) with roasted carrots & white turnips, braised red cabbage and smoked gouda grits. It was a bit of Germany meets the South. 
In keeping with the "Vance's favorite childhood foods" theme, I Haluski last night. Haluski is a Polish dish of cabbage, onions and noodles (and butter - typically lots of butter). This dish is big in the Pittsburgh area and Vance's Grandma Albaugh used to make it as a side for Sunday dinners. I added some carrot and parsley for color and sliced some sausage to make it a main course.
We should have been drinking Iron City or Penn Pilsner instead of Amstel!
8 ounces uncooked egg noodles
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 smal head of cabbage, rough chopped
3-4 tablespoons parsley
1-2 tablespoons EVOO
2 bratwurst sausages (or sausage of your choice)
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, add oil to a large dutch oven on stovetop. Sear the sausages for a few minutes, remove and set aside. In same pan, saute onions until softened, 5-10 minutes. Add carrots and garlic and saute for another 5-10 minutes - add cabbage. Slice the sausage into about 5-6 slices each and add to pot. Saute for another 15 minutes.Once the noodles and cabbage mixture are ready, add the noodles to the dutch oven. Stir to combine then add black pepper and parsley on top.
When Vance asked for Haluski this week and I said "sure" he exclaimed..."it's like the best of both grandmas!" = love.

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