By Marsha Fottler –
Unless you live in a house full of vegetarians, your friends and family expect to see a big golden turkey land on the Thanksgiving Day table. Even people who don’t list roast turkey as their favorite meat, concede that turkey is the traditional essential element for this national holiday. So we eat turkey.
But turkey doesn’t have to be the only meat on the menu. Most people I know eat hot turkey, but they enjoy cold turkey the next day in a big customized sandwich more than they do the hot turkey on Thanksgiving. So, for the past couple of years I’ve come up with supporting-star meat for the table. Turkey gets the spotlight, but a also on the table or buffet board, is a platter of pork. This meat pairs well with nearly all of the sides you make to accompany the big bird, so there is really not a lot of extra work. Some years, my pork is bone-in, other years it might be a rolled pork tenderloin. Stuffed pork chops are an option too.
This year, I doing something different. This pork dish is best made the day before and reheated just before serving so it’s easy to accommodate this recipe into my holiday week timeline. The dish I’ve chosen is Stracotto Alla Mamma or Mamma’s Pork Pot Roast from the cookbook Ciao Y’all by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola, the cousins who founded the hugely popular Carrabba’s restaurant chain. This recipe feeds eight and it is ridiculously easy to make. And it’s truly delicious. Your guests will gobble it up.
Mamma’s Pork Pot Roast
8 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thick slices
24 -30 Italian parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly-found black pepper
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups boiling water
½ cup Italian parsley leaves
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Pierce meat all over with a paring knife and insert a piece of garlic and a few parsley leaves into the pierce parks. Season meat very well with salt and pepper, butting seasoning into the meat evenly. Let season met sit for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large roasting pan over medium-high hear. Meanwhile, flour the meat all over. Add the meat to the pan and brown on all sides, being careful not to scorch it. About half through the browning process, add the carrot, celery, onion and coarsely chopped garlic and let the vegetables brown a little. When the vegetables and meat are brown, add the water and the parsley to the pan and cover. Place the pan in the oven and roast for three to four hours, turning the meat every hour until tender. Remove roast from the oven. Remove cover and let roast cool for about an hour.
Heat gravy and strain to remove vegetables. This roast is best if made the day before. Slice cold and arrange in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Remove the hardened fat from the gravy while it’s still cold. Spoon the de-fatted gravy over the roast, cover with foil and heat in a 325 degree oven until warm.