Lentils with Ham and Rosemary

(not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook)

2 medium size yellow onions, chopped

2 cups diced cooked ham (i.e. black forest ham)

1 cup diced carrot or parsnip

1 cup chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

3/4 tsp rubbed sage

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 bay leaf

1 pound dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 14.5 oz can beef broth

5 cups water

Chopped flat leaf parsley for serving

Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil

Combine with all other ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on high until the lentils are tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add boiling water for soupier lentils.

Discard bay leaf, garnish with parsley, if desired, before serving.

 

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Perfect Roast Pork

4 lb center cut pork loin, with bones (or 3 lb boneless loin)

2 medium onions

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

1 bulb garlic

a small bunch fresh thye, rosemary, bay, sage or a mixture

olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Take your pork out of the refrigerater 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F. Give vegetables a rough chop. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled. Pile all of the vegetables, garlic, and herbs into the middle into the middle of a large roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Using a box cutter or a very sharp knife, score the skin all the way along at 1/4 inch intervals– make sure it’s just the skin and fat that you’re cutting and not the meat underneath. Drizzle the pork with olive oil and season it well with salt and pepper, pushing the seasoning right into the scored skin and rubbing it over the meat. Place the pork on top of the vegetables.

Cooking:

Place the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 400 degrees F and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes– if you’re roasting pork loin on the bone, add an extra 20 minutes. If you’re doing roasted potatoes and veggies, this is the time to put them in the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking. Baste the pork halfway through cooking and if the vegetables look dry, add a splash of water to the pan to stop them from burning. When the pork is cooked to your liking, take the pan out of the oven and transfer the pork to a board to rest. If the crackling doesn’t look crispy, transfer to a separate pan under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes until golden and crisp. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and a kitchen towel and put aside to rest for 15 minutes or so while you make gravy and applesauce.

Carving:

If the crackling is still on the meat, use a sharp knife to peel it away from the layer of fat and meat. If the pork loin is on the bone you can carve the meat into individual chunky chops. If a boneless cut, hold your meat steady with a carving fork and carve into thick or thin slices. Lay all of the meat on a big serving platter with plenty of crackling. Serve with hot gravy, applesauce and roasted veggies.