12.23.2010

The Feast

The Holidays in my family, like many other families, centers around food. It's our excuse to get a little crazy, over indulgent, experimental, and traditional. Turns out this Christmas Holiday won't be any different. Brother is bringing a pork loin, Dad is roasting duck, Husband is contemplating Elk steak. The side dishes will all be superior, home raised root vegetables that have been carefully stored. Homemade wine from the vines on the property and Ma has been baking like a mad woman. One of the highlights will be the the pigs my father raised this year. They are cut, wrapped and smoked, safely tucked away in the freezer. I suppose while most folks have visions of sugar plums dancing in their head, my visions tend toward smoked ham hocks dancing with navy beans and some bay leaf!

What won't be in the freezer very long is the ground pork butt. Growing up in Southern New England one of my favorite snacks was Gortons (pronounce "gah-tones"). I'm not talking about the famous fish sticks but a uniquely French Canadian dish. There was usually a pan of Gortons in our refrigerator and while other kids came home and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after school, I would have Gortons on toast. It is a delicious combination of ground pork, onions and spices, simmered and cooled. It is best served cold on toast or crackers. While I loved it growing up, now I'll serve this recipe as a fantastic "rustic" French appetizer for a cocktail party. It is excellent with a good red wine.


Memere's Gortons
(I usually double this recipe...because I just love it!)

1 lb lean ground pork (butt or shoulder)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried savory or sage
2 med yellow onions- minced
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups water

Place all of the ingredients above in a 3 qt saucepan. Simmer on low heat until all of the water is gone. Spread Gortons into a shallow dish and let cool for about 20 minutes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve with crackers or on toast. Keeps up to two weeks in the refrigerator tightly wrapped.

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Cincinnati, OH, United States
A dedicated foodie, with a passion for the best food. Favorite food crushes include; Cheese, Wine, Breads, Seafood, anything made with eggs, ...there's actually no point in a list, there isn't much out there I don't have a crush on. Transplanted from the Northeast at age 18, a whole new frontier of food was opened up to me. I have fished for Salmon, hunted for mushrooms, cracked open fresh oysters from the sea and devoured them on the spot. Figs, pears, peaches, so many indigenous jewels! I dedicate this BLOG to the endless variety this region provides. My hope is to live here for a very long time & continue to discover and experience it's unique bounty! Alas, my life has now taken me to Cincinnati, OH where the food culture is like none I have ever experienced.

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