cider press 2014 & cider glazed pork roast

That time of the year again…

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

Another lovely fall apple pressing, year 2014! Ollie, excited about his first pressing EVER was raring to go. That’s my guy.

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

He made about 50 trips back and forth with the barrels of peelings to the pile we set up for the deer (photo from last year). What a champ.cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

And my beautiful mermaid also got down to business.

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.comWe started picking apples a few days beforehand- We have highly sophisticated techniques.

cider pressing 2014

I get better each year with set up-

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

cider pressing 2014-8

Here’s the lot we did- with still loads more on the trees.

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

Can’t say these guys were much help with picking…

cider pressing 2014-3

Especially when knocking over the wheelbarrow and forcing me to fight for each apple. They like to just take a nibble off each and move on.

cider pressing 2014@ wendyellenthomas.com

And so we begin…

cider pressing 2014-11

The beautiful day prompted shorts and t-shirts- our group got bigger…

cider pressing 2014-13Our youngest helper- ho hum.

cider pressing 2014-10I love it when our neighbors pull up totally ready to rock it-

cider pressing 2014 @ wendyellenthomas.comno messin’ around with these guys!

cider pressing 2014-19Our neighbors -who happen to be two adorable brothers. Thanks guys!

cider pressing 2014-17cider pressing 2014-16We all worked hard

cider pressing 2014-20

and pressed about 70 gallons 🙂 I promise I did more than take photos!

cider pressing 2014-15If I were a bee this is how I’d want to go-

cider pressing 2014-18In the evening, we celebrated the bounty drinking cider and using it for the pork roast. I started by reducing fresh cider.

cider glazed pork_-3The roast was searedcider glazed pork_Covered in remaining garden veggies and apples that had been seared in the same pan following the pork loin. I drizzed the glaze over it and sprinkled with fresh minced rosemarycider glazed pork_-4Cooked at 400 for only about 30 minutes till the internal temp reached 140°- we like it pink. Tack on sides of spaghetti squash and kale…cider glazed pork_-5Et bon voila… harvest dinner. yum.

cider glazed pork_-6PS- Take your juices from the pork roast and whisk into the reduced cider. Add a 1/2-1tsp to your liking of dijon mustard. This just takes it to the next level.

Cheers and happy fall!

Time for lamb (and a little fish on the side)

Although I am completely consumed with planting vegetables in the garden, watching berries develop by the day, and still do the occasional juicing, I’m also working on keeping up with the meat in the freezer.

So before you get the onslaught of garden posts (haha- lest you think 1 or 2 posts/month is an onslaught!) I’m going to throw out a few of our dinners as of late. These are all real time. No props or primping or going out of my way to edit much. Just some solid dinners to inspire you cause let’s face it- my blogging calendar sucks. I could have stretched these photos into months but ummmm… that’s not happening.

rump roast

When you can buy meat in bulk locally, it is a chunk of change up front but still more economical with far superior quality. Last year we were fortunate, as I’ve mentioned, to purchase from Coffelt Farm located about 15 miles from us, a 1/4 of a cow along with a 1/2 of a pig, 1 lamb and a dozen chickens. We also purchased a second lamb from our neighbors. This has kept us fluid in proteins for the past year. We will be getting ready to purchase more starting the end of May. We have also finished one 10# case of salmon steaks, one 10# case of salmon filets and one 10# halibut filets.

salmon dinner

Salmon steak baked with olive oil and salt at 400 for 15 minutes. We like it RARE. Asparagus and zucchini fennel side…this huge steak fed me for dinner and lunch the next day.. FYI!

Salmon filets baked at 375 for 12 min with olive oil and lemon, side of grilled bok choy

Salmon filets baked with leeks at 375 for 12 min with olive oil, lemon and capers, side of grilled bok choy w/ bits of bacon

 

 

The freezer actually has room for a pint of ice-cream.  All went well except for one freezer partial meltdown but we all got the benefits of this Scallop Chowder.

We cruised through the steaks and chops and then had some fun with ribs (do I sound primal?)

lamb chops

Searing lamb chops on a hot pan

lambchops2

Seasoned chops baked at 400 for 5 minutes then flipped, brushed with a little dijon and pinches of fresh thyme and cooked another 5-8. Again. rare.

 

Mustard lamb chops, greens, creamy parmesan polenta, house made red kraut

Mustard lamb chops, greens, creamy parmesan polenta

 

and now we are left with large roasts- like the rump roast, (which this is not- and it took me about two hours of studying the photo to confirm this- note string tying up ROLLED boneless shoulder). Rump roasts and the LAMB SHOULDER I have here, work great on a work day when left in the slow cooker as do pork shoulders and butts which we have gone through already- Read pulled pork.

lamb shoulder

First seared in oil and butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then laid atop carrots, potatoes, onions, a few sprigs of time and 3-4 bay leaves- cup and a half water at the bottom. Cooked on low for 8 hours.

 

At first I thought I should be saving them for dinner parties. Dinner parties I do love to have but let’s be honest, they don’t happen every weekend.

Polenta is a great side and I use it often instead of potatoes or just for a little variety. This polenta was put hot in the tin and I fried up the wedges

Polenta is a great side and I use it often instead of potatoes for a little variety. This polenta was put hot in the tin and I fried up the wedges

 

So I just started cooking them up for our little family and invited Dad up.

Rump roast w/ polenta

Slow cooked LAMB SHOULDER & jus, veggies from the slow cooker atop a fried wedge of polenta with a little garnish of parsley

 

I love to cook a roast on a Sunday.

leg of lamb raw

Bone in leg of lamb spiked with slivers of garlic and dressed in freshly chopped rosemary, sage and thyme.

The tradition of gathering for a Sunday meal may not have been my experience growing up but I liked what I read in books or saw in movies. My mom did try to get us to sit down for dinner. But I think in my mind the image was more the Walton’s or the Ingall’s and aside from all being of the human race, we had very little in common with either family. Oh and they are all fictional characters. But I’m getting off topic…

leg of lamb cooked

Preheat oven and cook at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce temp to 350° and cook about 15min/pound for internal temp of 125° and about 20min/pound for medium (135°) and well after that I just can’t recommend… go to Morrison’s cafeteria.

Yukon Golds sliced thin on a mandelin and layered with salt and pepper and a little melted butter

Start with a crepe pan and a pat of butter and 1 T olive oil. Yukon Golds are sliced thin on a mandelin and layered with salt and pepper and a little melted butter

Cook on low-med heat gently pressing on potatoes with a spatula for about 8 minutes then bring the heat up to medium and brown. Gently flip like a big fat pancake and repeat on the other side. Cool and flip on a cutting board and cut into wedges like a pie

Cook on low-med heat gently pressing on potatoes with a spatula for about 8 minutes then bring the heat up to medium and brown. Gently flip like a big fat pancake and repeat on the other side. Cool and flip on a cutting board and cut into wedges like a pie- you’ll see the edges shrinking from the sides. Test that they are cooked through with a toothpick

Roasted leg of lamb, pommes anna, simple veggies

Roasted leg of lamb, pommes anna, simple veggies

Sometimes we have a good bit of leftovers for work lunches and maybe even a stretch to a second dinner. And sometimes I thought, was I thinking that this would serve 6-8? We can chow down pretty good on our own in a night after a long day in the garden. And a lamb sandwich to boot- hell yeah.

Leftover, sliced lamb, mayo, or garlic aioli even better, mustard lettuce, bread... salt and pepper

Leftover, sliced lamb, mayo, or garlic aioli even better, lettuce, bread

Please serve with a couple cornichons aka gherkins aka those little mini pickles

lamb sandwhichand a little hard cider like this one from Seattle Cider Co

hard ciderSo this should figuratively and literally give you something to chew on…

Stay tuned for loads of green posts and cute surprises to follow!

%d bloggers like this: