Tuesday, February 28, 2012

turnip and pork hash

By Julie

I'm torn about saying this, but it's not root vegetable season anymore. Winter squashes are long done. In another month or so it'll be time to start thinking about spring-y stuff. I'm torn because I know that once I admit that heavy vegetables are all coming from like Mexico and that I need to stop making them, I'll inevitably want to move on to spring before realizing that ugh, it's March, and the weather isn't anywhere near warm. So here is an unabashed embrace of all things root. Specifically turnips. It's not the most attractive dish. It kind of looks like barf when you're done. Shut up and put a fried egg on top and you'll be fine.
There was a time a few months back when I was obsessed with hashes. I basically ate some for every meal for like three weeks straight. They make you stink like onions and grease. Small price to pay for eating crispy, sweet browned onions and potatoes, other ingredients optional. I'd be sufficiently happy to eat that with eggs for the rest of my life I think. But, I guess that'd be pretty lame and I like to think I'm pretty unlame and food cool. Seriously food cool. You know I'm really into avocado foam-frosted localorganicwhenpossible ground beef cupcakes. That's my next blog post.
So yeah, turnips. I had grand thoughts of making a turnip/parsnip/insert other maligned root veggie here mash for Thanksgiving. I had those same grand thoughts for like a million other regular meals this past fall. Never made it. In fact, I had two turnips turn to wrinkly sacs in my fridge. Ew. So here I am in a last ditch effort to use some turnips before they're coming from Mexico. These might have come from Mexico, I forgot to check because I was shoving the last of the grocery store's turnips in my cart before some other dude could get them. No, no, no, I'm nicer than that. I left him two.
And then I took two rutabagas to make up for them. And then I saw some lovely celeriac and then tried to stop there because this was supposed to be a turnip hash. But I threw in a cute little sweet potato, too. The pork chop can be substituted with another kind of meat if you want - if you're real fancy like me and make your own bacon, big ol' hunks of smoked bacon would rock. Lardons of regular bacon would be good too, but you'd miss out of the same texture as having decent sized pieces of pork. Oh hey here's an idea, do both! Duh. Oh another idea! Cook the bacon separately and top the hash with crispy bacon pieces. Thanks, I love me, too!
turnip and pork hash
adapted from Saveur, serves 6-8

2 pounds turnips, peeled and trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 rutabagas, peeled and trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 small sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 medium celeriac, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 tablespoons lard or butter, divided
1 thick-cut pork chop, boneless or bone-in, cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth

1. Heat two tablespoons of your fat over medium high heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven. I started out with my trusty cast iron, but soon realized it would have been an immense pain to contain all of the veggies, so I switched. Generously season the pork with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Stir until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. If you have a bone-in pork chop, chuck the bone in the pan too, just 'cause.

2. Add your onions and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until they're nice and brown, about 10 minutes.

3. Add chopped veggies, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and remaining fat. Stir around to mix, then cook for about 15 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables have some color.

4. Reduce heat to medium low, add broth, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. This is done when all the veggies are fork tender. Some will be mushier than others. YUM. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the pork bone and bay leaves.

this was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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