Friday, March 28, 2008

Milk-Braised Pork Roast

Today's column features milks sold here in suburban St. Louis, all from small-farm dairies. With increasing interest in local, organic and especially grass-fed dairy products, watch the dairy section in your own markets for special treats like these from your own area.

First published in 2008, republished online in 2012, with recipe and photo updates. Enjoy!

Milk-Braised Pork Roast

When I was a kid, the neighbors kept a cow. Her milk, still warm and thick from the udder, was, ewww, undrinkable. But since discovering new milks in our local stores, milk has become the ‘house drink’, in wine glasses no less.

Straubs carries bottles from Heartland Creamery, a cow and goat farm in northeast Missouri. Many local stores carry Oberweis milk and home delivery, a convenience for 80 years, is available too. My favorite milk is found at Dierbergs. Kalona Supernatural (formerly Farmers’ All Natural Creamery) milk comes from grass-fed cows on Amish and Mennonite organic farms in central Iowa. The milk is unhomogenized so requires a good shake to distribute the milk fat. Best of all, the flavor is creamy, delicate and delicious. These milks are pricey but worth a sample sip.

SPICED TUSCAN SALT Add an extra flavor dimension to roast pork with a spice blend from Webster Groves cook Karen Tedesco, author of the food blog FamilyStyle Food. It calls for 4 parts kosher salt and peppercorns; 2 parts fennel seed & coriander seed; 1 part turbinado sugar, red pepper flakes and dried lemon peel. In a mini food processor, grind all except the salt and sugar, then combine.

ALANNA's TIPS As it cooks, the milk will form thick curds and turn light gold. No milk? Buttermilk works beautifully too. The blender step exists only for aesthetics, skip it if you like. Save the good milk for drinking, not cooking.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

MILK-BRAISED PORK ROAST

Be it ever so humble, milky good
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-table: 3 - 8 hours
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons fat (bacon grease is great, vegetable oil is fine)
  • 4 – 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 – 4 pound pork roast (allow about 6 ounces uncooked bone-in, fat-on meat to yield a three-ounce cooked serving)
  • Spiced Tuscan Salt or salt & pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary, optional

Preheat oven to 300F.

On medium high, warm fat in a Dutch oven til shimmery. Meanwhile, slice off any thick layers of fat from the roast. Pat it dry, rub with Spiced Tuscan Salt or salt and pepper. Add garlic and meat, brown meat on all sides til slightly crispy. Add milk and rosemary.

Cover and place in oven. For just-done slicing, cook until meat reaches an internal temperature of 150F, about 1-1/4-1-1/2 hours, turning halfway through; for fall-off-the-bone tenderness, cook 2-3 hours in the oven or on medium heat in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours.

Lift meat out, transfer to cutting board, cover and let rest.

To make a milky gravy, transfer half of hot milk to a blender. Holding top very tightly, whiz til smooth, then repeat with remaining milk. Slice meat and serve with small individual bowls of liquid for dipping. For a thicker milk gravy, mix 1/4 cup of milk mixture with 2 tablespoons flour til smooth. Stir slowly into remaining milk mixture and cook, stirring often, til thick.

Otherwise, just serve the milky liquid in small ramekins placed on individual plates. It's not pretty but so delicious for dipping!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per 3-Ounce Cooked Serving: 242 Calories; 12g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 4g Carb; 0g Fiber; 576mg Sodium; 75mg Cholesterol; 28g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 6, PointsPlus 6

More About These Dairies

Kalona Supernatural (formerly Farmers’ All Natural Creamery) | Based in Kalona, Iowa, south of Iowa City. Certified organic. Milk comes from Amish and Mennonite farms with average herd of 25-35 cows. Uses PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles made in the plant which contain UV blockers to protect nutrient value. In St. Louis, available at Dierbergs, Whole Foods and Wild Oats.
Heartland Creamery | Based in Newark, Missouri in northeast Missouri. Not organic but uses no rBGH/rBST artificial growth hormones. Glass bottles. In St. Louis, available at Straubs and Whole Foods. Single-family farm with 6000 cows and 750 goats. Profits support Heartland Ministries, farm for troubled adolescents and adults.
Oberweis Dairy | Based in North Aurora, Illinois. Milk comes from small- to medium-sized independent family farmers (producers) who work exclusively for Oberweis Dairy. The average herd size is about 80 cows. The milk is not organic but contains no rBGH artificial growth hormones. Glass bottles. In St. Louis, available at most grocery stores, home delivery also offered.

Make It a Meal

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mashed Potatoes & Carrots Lighter Mashed 'Potatoes' (Cauliflower Mashed 'Potatoes') Rustic Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Carrots

More Ways to Cook a Pork Roast

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Wine-Braised Pork Roast Winter Stew Tender Pork Tenderloin
~ more pork recipes ~

Friday, March 14, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

The Recipe: A long-time favorite pie in the South and the Midwest, especially among men. Not too sweet, not too sharp, a classic!

The Conversation: What holiday do we celebrate on March 14? Hint, it's Pi Day!

Lemon Meringue Pie, a long-time favorite in the South and Midwest. Not too sweet, not too sharp, a classic.

Good morning, class.

What holiday do we celebrate on March 14th? [Puzzled looks. Furled brows.]

A hint? What might hungry mathematicians eat on the 3rd month’s 14th day? [Suddenly a confident hand shoots up.]

Very good! Yes, class, today we celebrate Pi Day to honor pi, the revered mathematical constant of 3.14 and a trillion more digits.

On Pi Day, we make pie, today a classic recipe from America’s south and heartland, a lemon meringue pie that is citrus-sweet and meringue-light. It earns high marks for deliciousness and is perfect for early spring when we yearn for summer like a classroom longs for recess. It’s today’s homework, an A+ pie.

ALANNA's TIPS If you’re making your own crust, add lemon zest to the pastry too. Visit KitchenParade.com for my favorite pie crust recipe and technique tips. "Blind bake" the pie crust at 375F for 15 minutes with foil bunched inside the crust, another 5 - 10 minutes without the foil. Be sure the crust is made and cooled before starting the Lemon Filling. Whisking a small bit of hot liquid into uncooked eggs ensures the eggs won’t instantly turn to cooked lumps once added to the hot mixture. This is called "tempering" the eggs. The Lemon Filling makes a scant two cups filling, perfect for a shallow, smaller pie plate about 8 inches in diameter. For a larger pie plate, considering doubling the Lemon Filling. In summer, tuck fresh raspberries or blueberries into the Lemon Filling, so fresh! Egg whites separate from their yolks more easily when the eggs are cold but the whites whip better when whipped at room temperature. Plan accordingly! My mother insisted upon removing the chalazae [kuh-LAY-zee], the white cord that centers a yolk inside the white, using serrated tongs. Super-fine sugar melts into meringue so beautifully. Just whiz regular sugar in the food processor until fine. Not into meringue? I love this pie topped with whipped cream!

LEMON MERINGUE PIE

Sunny slivers of the lemony classic
Hands-on time (not including crust): 35 minutes
Time-to-table: 1½ - 2 hours
Serves 8
  • 1 baked pie shell, cooled
    LEMON FILLING
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons (35g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/2 cups (335g) water
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Zest & juice (about 4 tablespoons) from 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
    MERINGUE
  • 4 large egg whites (see TIPS)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup super-fine sugar (see TIPS)

Heat oven to 350F.

LEMON FILLING In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, salt and water. On medium-low heat, cook until mixture bubbles, stirring often; cook for 3 more minutes, stirring continuously. Turn heat off. Whisk yolks in a bowl, then whisk in a half cup of hot mixture, then whisk combined mixture into saucepan (see TIPS). On medium-low heat, return mixture to a bubble and cook 3 more minutes, stirring continuously. Turn off heat. Add lemon zest, juice and butter, stir until smooth.

MERINGUE In a clean bowl, beat whites, salt and lemon juice or cream of tartar until frothy. While still beating, add sugar in a slow stream. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

COMBINE Pour filling into pie shell. With a spoon, arrange meringue around the perimeter, touching but not covering the crust’s edge, then filling the center. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 1-2 hours before serving.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Slice with crust: 371 Calories; 20g Tot Fat; 10g Sat Fat; 43g Carb; 1g Fiber; 294mg Sodium; 156mg Cholesterol; 5g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 9, WW PointsPlus 10
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite family pie recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

What Makes a Lemon Meringue Pie So Yellow?


Lemon Meringue Pie, a long-time favorite in the South and Midwest. Not too sweet, not too sharp, a classic.

Is it the lemon juice? No, there's not enough color in lemon juice to create such rich color in the Lemon Filling. Give up? It's the egg yolks! The more yellow the yolks, the more yellow the "Lemon" Filling. Sweet, eh?!


Celebrate Pi Day!


Celebrate Pi Day with a collection of pie and pie crust recipes from food bloggers.

This is my contribution to the pie recipes collecting from across the world here on Kitchen Parade, all to celebrate Pi Day and the wonder that is homemade pie with homemade pie crust.


More Pie Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie First-Prize Peach Pie with Lattice Crust Pumpkin Pecan Pie
~ more pie recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Straight-Up & Perfect Rhubarb Pie ~
~ Honey Pumpkin Pie ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)