Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dark Days Challenge 5 - Pot Roast

Earthfare had locally-raised round roasts back in the meat case this week so I bought one to be the centerpiece of this week’s DDC meal. And, they finally had a local vegetable I could use: Sunny Creek Farm’s Hydroponic Bibb Lettuce! Sunny Creek Farms is in Tryon, NC and, according to their website, grows a lot of other items Earthfare could be stocking including ginger, sugar and snap peas, bean sprouts, and lima and black-eyed peas. They are a wholesaler so I guess I'll have to chat with Earthfare's produce manager. I have salad greens,carrots and onions purchased a couple of weekends ago at the Watauga County Farmers Holiday Market, and part of a locally grown butternut squash, some garlic and more of last week's tatsoi purchased at Bare Essentials. I also used another of the apples I bought before Thanksgiving in Blowing Rock. This week, Harris Teeter didn’t have much in the way of local vegetables except for cabbage and assorted winter greens. Then I noticed that the there was a “Local” sign by the bags of Yukon gold potatoes I always buy. I took a quick look at the bag and saw “Matthews, NC.” Upon closer inspection this evening, I am not positive that they were actually grown there, but I am planning to corner the produce guy at HT next time I’m in the grocery to find out the story.

The bottom round roast was braised with some NC red wine – a Raffaldini Swan Creek Sangiovese (2008)—and we drank the rest of the bottle with dinner. According to the back of the bottle, the wine was “produced and bottled” in Ronda, NC. DH has been to the vineyard and does not recall seeing any red wine grape vines. This too may take some closer inspection… I actually grew one of my ingredients tonight – parsley. Amazingly enough, the pot of parsley on my deck survived the five inches of snow we had weekend before last. I used the parsley, along with some non-local salt, pepper, and organic olive oil, to season the pot roast and vegetables. I used some locally produced sourwood honey, along with non-local olive oil and apple cider vinegar (both organic), to dress the salad. And I decided that bread from our local bakery, Stickboy, was acceptable given that (1) I have found no local flour source, and (2) I don’t bake bread.

Ultimately my menu was red wine-braised pot roast with onions, garlic, Yukon gold potatoes, carrots and butternut squash, a green salad with chopped apple dressed with a honey-apple cider vinaigrette, and a whole wheat baguette. DH and I enjoyed the Raffaldini Sangiovese and the kids are loving the Homestead Creamery milk.

It was a really nice dinner and one that I will likely make again. The wine was a little less expensive than the Rockcreek Meritage we had a couple of weeks ago ($17 as opposed to $20) and we may have liked it more. I enjoyed our salad, but think it could be truly fabulous with the additions of goat cheese and toasted pecans -- both of which are grown/ raised/ produced in this area.

No comments: