I’ll be honest with you, my love affair with my cast iron was a long time in the making. As a matter of fact, I received a Lodge cast iron skillet (from Mr. Lodge’s mother-in-law who goes to church with us) as a wedding gift in 1995, and never even used it for the first time until three years ago when I fried some chicken. Something about it intimidated me, but I got tired of ruining my other skillets cooking things that were better off in cast iron. My husband who absolutely loves cornbread refused to eat mine because it was not cooked in the correct pan. I finally got over my fear of cast iron by just using it one night; and many nights there after! I only have a skillet and 50-year old Dutch oven from Audley’s grandmother, but I do ok with that.
To me, cast iron screams old fashioned comfort food which is something I love during the cold winter months. These are the flavors that take me back to visits with my grandmother growing up or reminds me of all the delicious Sunday dinners my mom would fix. And despite the fussing that often went on at our dinner table at home, I love those moments and hope my own children will have memories of their childhood when they gather at the table after they are grown.
I use my Dutch oven more than my cast iron skillet. It actually belonged to Audley’s great-grandmother and is about 50 years old. It is just as good as ever and is perfect for a one-dish supper or stew. I love to roast a whole chicken, a chuck roast or Boston butt with assorted veggies for dinner. It takes a little prep work, but after you pop it into the oven, you have time to clean your kitchen, set a beautiful table, vacuum, work in your flower garden for a bit or take a nap.
To make my pork roast, all you need is a Boston butt, potatoes, carrots, a sweet vidalia onion, whole head of garlic, Kosher salt, pepper, olive oil, and a splash of white wine.
Peel and thinly slice your sweet onions and then peel your garlic cloves. I use an entire head of garlic because we enjoy the flavor, but you can use less if it is not a flavor you enjoy. For the carrots and potatoes, only use what you know your family will enjoy. I use six carrots and six medium size potatoes for our family of five. I leave most of the peel on my potatoes (they have a great flavor) and cut them into eighths, then peel the carrots and slice.
While all of your veggies are laying on the cutting board, sprinkle Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on them.
Add the olive oil to your Dutch oven and heat on medium heat.
Salt and pepper your pork roast and add to the pot, browning on both sides.
When you flip it over, add the onions and garlic to saute in the olive oil with the pork.
Remove from heat and trim your thick layers of fat. I always find it a bit easier after the fat has cooked a little.
Take your carrots and potatoes and add to the Dutch oven and mix well in the olive oil and with the onions and garlic.
Add your roast back to the pot and arrange your veggies around it, then splash a bit of white wine (about a 1/2 cup) over it. I used a Riesling with just a touch of sweetness.
FYI: for white meat use white wine.
FYI: for white meat use white wine.
Cover the pot and roast in the oven at 350 for 2-3 hours, or until juices run clear.
You can serve your roast strait from the pot, or you can place it on a platter with the veggies. The meat and your veggies will be so tender after roasting in the wine and juices from the meat. The flavor is absolutely scrumptious!
Do you have a meal that takes you back to good times from your past?