Fall Supper and Cocktail

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
If I do say so myself, I think this is the perfect fall dinner party menu-- Pork Ragu over Creamy Polenta,  Granny Smith Apple & Blue Cheese Salad and Andy's Spicy Ginger Cocktail. While this might be the perfect menu, I still have plenty of room to improve with my food photography but who likes a recipe with no picture?  Not this girl.

Pork Ragu
Adapted from Dinner a Love Story

3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small pat butter
1 large can whole tomatoes with juice
1 small can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup red wine
7 sprigs fresh thyme
7 sprigs fresh oregano
Small handful of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon hot sauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Alternatively, you can do this in the crockpot.  It works wonderfully that way as well.

Generously season the pork with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven (we LOVE our Le Creuset 5qt Oval French Oven), combine butter and olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Sear pork on all sides until brown.  Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel and hot sauce and bring to a boil.  Cover and place in the pre-heated oven.  Cook for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so, until it's literally falling apart.  The liquid should be about 1/3 of the way up the pork so adjust accordingly.

If you're using the crock pot, after you sear the pork, deglaze the pan and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

When the pork is done, remove it from the pot and shred it with a fork.  I strained the sauce so that the liquid was in a bowl and the tomatoes and herbs were in the strainer.  Then I removed the thyme and oregano stems from the tomato mixture and skimmed the fat off the liquid.  I added the tomato mixture back to the pork and poured the liquid until I had just as much as I needed.  Ours had a lot of liquid so this was necessary, but it might not be for you.

Granny Smith Apple and Blue Cheese Salad
Adapted from Creating a Stir in the Bluegrass and Beyond

1 head green leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 or 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Poppy Seed Dressing
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ tsp minced onion
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs poppy seeds

Place lettuce in a large bowl; add apple and cheese. Whisk or blend together all dressing ingredients, except the poppy seeds, until combined. Whisk in poppy seeds. Add dressing to salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Andy's Spicy Ginger Cocktail (nominations are being accepted for an official name)

3 cups water
2 cups sugar
¼ lb+ ginger, peeled and chopped
20 all spice berries, cracked
16 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Simmer until it has reduced and is syrupy (technical word), about 30 minutes.  Cool mixture and then strain.

Fill a double old fashioned with ice.  Add 2 oz of bourbon, 1 oz syrup and top with club soda, about 2 oz.

Recipe updated November 26, 2011
6 comments on "Fall Supper and Cocktail"
  1. Roon! This looks amazing and I think Ed would
    L-O-V-E it. Seriously, my mouth started watering and I totally agree, have to have the pictures.
    I am going to try to do this next Sunday. The only reason I say next Sunday is so that I will have all weekend to mentally prepare myself... I'll keep you posted on how it turns out :)
    XO - A

  2. Definitely keep me posted! And you don't need to mentally prepare, just pour yourself a glass of wine and it will be fine! xo

  3. Fab idea. Glass of red - check!
    Depending on how things go, I will take a picture of how it turns out... if nothing more than to show you that your food photography is doing just fine :)

  4. May I submit to you a name for such a delicious cocktail... "The Andy Figging"

  5. Made it and loved it! Even the picky boys!

  6. What a fabulous meal! I think this is the most complete meal I have ever made and it was delicious!! Roon - thanks for sharing and for helping along the way!!!

    PS - The salad got nominated to go to the Boyd's family Christmas which is a HUGE deal because my usual job is buttering the bread.

    XO - A