Sometimes the best meals you’ll ever have are those that warm your heart as well as your stomach. Long, slow cooked meals as infused with love as they are with ingredients. The kind of meal that you make with family all standing around the kitchen adding their own touches. These are the meals that create memories you will savor far longer than the food itself.
After munching on a picnic ham for two days we’d both decided that reheating it again was no longer an option. We both wanted something else for dinner, I really wanted something like you’d eat in England, perhaps in a Britannia Hotel on a cold winter’s day that would leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. But we’re not the kind to watch at least two pounds of good pork go to waste, so what to do with it?
As both myself and Mrs. seat of her Pants were both cooking very much by the seats of our pants, I don’t have an actual recipe. I do remember what went in to this though, so I’ll run through the steps in a less formal manner. It is a leftover dinner, after all. Just a re purposed one.
Separate pork meat from bone. (With your fingers! You’ll never get all of it with a knife.) Tear into more or less bite-sized chunks. Take a guess at how much pork you’ve got (or use a scale, if you’d like. I’m pretty good at guessing.) We figured we had about two pounds left when all was said and done.
Coarsely chop some celery, carrots and onion. (Yup a mirepoix, though in our case not in the classical volumes.) In our case it was half a head of celery, 3 large carrots and a white onion close to the size of Manhattan island.
Sauté veggies over medium heat in a large stock pot with 3 tbsp olive oil for about 20 minutes. Add 5 cloves garlic and a few tablespoons of tomato paste (we use the kind in the tube), stir for about a minute and add two tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Stir the mixture until veggies are coated and the flour smells a bit nutty. Add 32 oz of beef stock or chicken stock and bring to a boil. At this point the liquid may be too thick, so add water to desired consistency.
Add 5 chopped potatoes, cover and simmer until everything is tender and smelling lovely. Salt and pepper the mix to taste, add in the leftover pork and a good splash of port wine. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes or so and serve.