First things first: I'm sorry guys, but it looks like I didn't make it very far in the FoodBuzz Blogging contest, but it was definitely a lot of fun trying and I have discovered a lot of great blogs through this challenge. Plus it was really great to see all my friends supporting me. Thanks guys! I may not have gone all the way, but if I promised you a cookie, you'll get it. A promise is a promise :D
Next up is the contest! The nice folks over the amazingly-all-inclusive CSN Stores have contacted me about hosting a giveaway for a $45 gift card good at any of their stores, and by George do they cover everything your little heart could desire! Right now though is the perfect time and weather for slow cooking and to get you to the dutch oven of your dreams, the instructions on how to enter can be found at the end of this post.
This past weekend I got together with a friend and her family and we went to a pumpkin patch and apple orchard, just a short drive away from their house. As a treat I thought I'd make pulled pork sandwiches. I bought my dutch oven a month ago and while I would have LOVED to get my hands on a lovely Le Creuset, I just don't have that kind of cash and I didn't have your advantage of the gift card, but it was still the perfect thing for making a moist, flavorful pork shoulder that basically fell apart without any work at all. Infused with apple cider and caramelized onions, it barely needed any dressing up:
We piled it on top of Hawaiian bread buns and topped it off with some BBQ sauce, but Joys daughter preferred to just steal the meat from her mom's sandwich instead. Followed by a fried pound cake topped with honeyed mascarpone and blueberries that Joy whipped up, it made for a yummy dinner.
And now back to the contest. There are two ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite dutch oven recipe. I just started experimenting so I need your ideas :D
2. Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me that you are.
The giveaway is now closed. I will tally up the entries and post the winner in the next day or two. Thank you everyone who participated!
That's it, easy, right? I wish you all luck and I can't wait to see your ideas.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, this giveaway is only for US readers. I'm sorry but that was their restriction, though I might do something later to include everyone so you don't feel left out.
Oh yeah, let's not forget about that recipe!
Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions
From Gourmet, December 2001
1 (3- to 4-lb) bone-in fresh pork shoulder half
2 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lb onions (5 or 6 medium), halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 cup unfiltered apple cider
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Score fat and any skin on pork in a crosshatch pattern. Make slits all over meat with a small sharp knife and insert a garlic sliver in each slit. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a 4 to 5 quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown meat on all sides, turning occasionally with the aid of tongs and a carving fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate.
Add onions to pot and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes more.
Stir in cider and return pork to pot. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid (I also put a sheet of foil between the lid and the pot for an extra sealed fit) and braise pork in middle of oven until very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I turned the pork every half hour to make sure that it was cooked evenly, but that wasn't in the instructions, so you could probably skip that step.
Transfer pork to a serving dish with the aid of tongs and carving fork. Boil cooking juices with onions until mixture is reduced to about 2 cups, 2 to 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and serve with pork.